for more detailed GTA statistics: REALTYSTATS.CA/5A2X
James Metcalfe BROKER
www.OurHomeToronto.com | Service@OurHomeToronto.com
REAL ESTATE UPDATE
Royal LePage Real Estate Services Ltd.
Johnston & Daniel Division, Brokerage
477 Mount Pleasant Rd., Toronto, ON M4S 2L9
The average selling price of a resale home in the GTA during
2012 increased by another 7% to $497,298 and resulted
in an increase of about $32,000 in equity for the average
homeowner. Using 2007 as a base year, the average price
of a resale home in the GTA has increased by 5.7% per year
during the past ﬁve years and has provided homeowners with
a gain of over $121,000 in equity. Considering that primary
residences are capital gains tax exempt, in order to get an
equivalent rate of return, another investment would have
had to average 8.8% per year during the same time frame
(assuming a 35% income tax rate). The month of December
also saw the average price increase by 6% versus December
A total of 85,731 homes were sold in the GTA during 2012,
which represented a 4% decrease versus 2011’s volume of
89,096. The ﬁrst half of the year was characterized by very
strong year-over-year growth but this increase was more
than offset by across-the-board sales declines in the second
half. Stricter mortgage lending guidelines for government
insured mortgages (implemented in July) resulted in some
households postponing their home purchase. In the
City of Toronto, the dip in sales was compounded by the
additional Land Transfer Tax which buyers must pay upfront.
Notwithstanding the weak second half of the year, annual
volume was actually quite strong from a historic perspective.
GTA RESALE HOME SALES
8 9 10 11 12
GTA Resale Home Sales
20052003 2007 2011 2012200920062004 2008 2010
8 9 10 11 12
sale Home Sales
GTA AVERAGE RESALE PRICE
20052003 2007 2011 2012200920062004 2008 2010
A teenager playing basketball on his family driveway in
Peterborough made national news when the neighbour
complained about the noise. A backyard hockey rink can create
the same amount of noise. Should a seller be required to
disclose these types of situations when they sell a home?
A British study found that one of the top 10 reasons people
move is because they want to get away from problem
neighbours, either those who are aggressive, or those who are
noisy or messy. REALTORS®
say the top reasons people move in
Ontario has more to do with upsizing, downsizing, getting closer
to good schools, jobs or their families.
It has been demonstrated that in some cases, the nuisance
caused by noise or smell can affect real estate values. In a
1983 Vancouver case, Sharon Kenney bought a condo that was
above two restaurants. Before buying, she made sure that these
restaurants only served light meals and no foods were cooked or
deep fried. In 1987, one of the restaurants installed an exhaust
fan directly below her patio.
The noise from the fan and the smell were a constant nuisance
and she sold her condo as a result. It took seven months to sell
and though she listed it for $119,000, she eventually dropped the
price and sold it for $105,000. An appraiser gave evidence that the
nuisance caused at least a $10,000 reduction in the value of her
In 1990, B.C. judge Bruce Cohen ruled that the fan interfered with
Kenney’s enjoyment of her condo and reduced her resale value.
The judge said the test was whether the use of the land by the
neighbour interfered substantially with the enjoyment of the other
unit and was the interference unreasonable.
He also said that “Not every smell, whiff of smoke, sound of
machinery or music will entitle the affected person to recover. It is
impossible to lay down precise standards, but the invasion must
be substantial and serious.”
In this case, he awarded Kenney $25,557 based on $10,000 for the
loss of value of her unit, $7,500 for the gross interference with her
comfort and enjoyment of her condominium and repayment of the
real estate commission of $8,057 that she had to pay.
Most lawyers will tell you that neighbourhood conditions do not
need to be disclosed to potential buyers. However, sellers do
have to respond truthfully if you ask them direct questions.
Sellers should ﬁrst try and settle things amicably. Taking the time
to get to know them could lead to an effective resolution.You may
also suggest a mediator to try and reach a reasonable solution.
If all else fails, you can report the noise to the local bylaw
enforcement department at city hall or if more serious, to the
police. Suing for damages should be a last resort, but then
again, no one should be forced to move because of a problem
Buyers should walk around any neighbourhood that interests
them and talk to the neighbours. Come around at different times
of the day or night and see and listen for yourself. Also ask the
sellers point blank if they know of any neighbourhood conditions
that could affect the market value.
Being prepared in advance is the best way to avoid a problem later.
This article was contributed by Mark Weisleder, a Toronto-based real estate lawyer. Please visit him at markweisleder.com.
MUSTYOU DISCLOSE NOISY NEIGHBOURS?
HOWTOTEST FOR RADON GAS
Radon gas is a radioactive gas that is colourless, odourless and
tasteless. It is formed by the breakdown of uranium, a natural
radioactive material found in soil, rock and ground water. When
radon escapes from the ground into the outdoor air, it gets diluted
and is not a concern. But when it seeps from the ground into
an enclosed, unventilated space like a house, it can sometimes
accumulate to high levels and contaminate the inside air.
Back in the 1970s, Health Canada surveyed the radon levels of
14,000 homes in 18 cities across Canada. A small but signiﬁcant
minority of homes in some locations were found to have high
levels of radon gas. In Canada, the Radiation Safety Institute says
that long-term exposure to radon causes about 2,000 deaths per
year and is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers.
In addition, it can greatly increase the chances that a smoker living
in a contaminated house will acquire lung cancer.
All homes contain some radon gas. The question is whether your
home’s radon level presents a danger that can be avoided? The
amount of radon gas present in your home will depend on various
factors such as soil characteristics, geographic location, a home’s
construction type, foundation condition and weather.
It’s almost impossible to predict your home’s radon level based on
these factors, but the good news is that a simple test can tell you
if you’re in the safe zone or not.There are a number or testing kits
available to the Canadian public. Health Canada recommends that
the radon test performed in a home or public building be a long-
term measurement for a minimum of 3 months.
These detectors use a small piece of special plastic or ﬁlm inside
a container with a ﬁlter-covered opening. Air being tested diffuses
(passive detector) or is pumped (active detector) through a ﬁlter
covering a hole in the container. At the end of the test period the
container is sealed and returned to a laboratory for analysis. The
testing period of an alpha track detector is usually 1 to 12 months.
Two versions of this detector exist: one for short-term tests of
a few days or weeks and another for tests of several weeks or
months.The detector is exposed during the measurement period,
allowing radon to diffuse through a ﬁlter-covered opening into the
chamber. Results can be read in the home using a special analysis
device, or mailed for laboratory analysis.This type of detector can
be deployed for 1 to 12 months.
This detector plugs into a standard wall outlet much like a
consumer carbon monoxide detector, and continuously monitors
for radon. It allows the homeowner to make radon measurements
in different areas of the home. After being plugged in for an
initial period of 48 hours, the device displays the average radon
concentration continuously. This convenience comes at a price
though: continuous monitors are generally more expensive than
other radon-testing devices.
Like most testing kits, charcoal detectors need to be exposed to
home air for a speciﬁed time period. Charcoal detectors consisting
of a charcoal-ﬁlled container covered with a screen and ﬁlter are
exposed to a home’s air for two to seven days. They are then
sealed and sent to a lab for analysis.
You can ﬁnd Canadian radon testing service providers via a
simple web search or by going directly to the Canadian Radiation
Protection Association (CRPA) website at: www.crpa-acrp.com/
biz_directory/radon. You can also ﬁnd out more about radon
at Health Canada’s website, www.healthcanada.gc.ca/radon.
Finally, you can also download “Radon - A Guide for Canadian
Homeowners” from CMHC’s website at www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/
odpub/pdf/61945.pdf. This 47-page guide is loaded with useful
information about radon gas.
This article was contributed by Calum Ross, a leadingToronto-based mortgage consultant. Please visit him at calumross.com.