President's Toronto SUN Column

 TREB President's Column as it appears every Friday in the Toronto Sun's Resale Homes and Condos section.

Don’t Delay Buying A Home

July 4, 2014 -- Throughout the next year in my role as President of the Toronto Real Estate Board I will be sharing updates with you on our city’s housing market, as well as some of the many insights I have gained during my 30 years as a Greater Toronto REALTOR®.

I have a passion for the profession because I firmly believe that buying a home is one of the smartest decisions you will ever make, and statistics show that many of you share this perspective.

Based on data from the 2011 National Household Survey on Homeownership and Shelter Costs in Canada, more people own a home today than at any other point in our nation’s history. From global investors, to new immigrants, to young adults forging their own path, owning property in the Greater Toronto Area is a shared goal of people from all walks of life, and with good reason.

While it fulfills our basic human need for shelter, a home’s benefits go well beyond its physical structure. For many people buying a home is a rite of passage, demanding enough tenacity to save for a down payment and stability to make a long-term commitment.  Often, it also compels us to connect with those around us, becoming part of a neighbourhood’s pulse by contributing to its schools, shops and community organizations. Moreover, it is the only investment in which you can live; building memories with family and friends while it appreciates.

Sentiment aside, buying a home is one of the most important milestones in many people’s lives because it serves as a foundation from which a healthy financial future can be built.  The most notable financial benefit of owning a home is the capital gains tax exemption. Simply put, when you sell your principal residence, you are not required to pay tax on the profit you make from the sale, and with an average GTA house price of $582,100 in mid-June, it’s easy to see how your home’s equity can foster a rapid ascent up the property ladder.

Combine these benefits with the consistently top-notch rankings that our city achieves with respect to its economic and social development - most intelligent, most resilient and most youthful are just a few of the titles Toronto has garnered in independent international studies this year alone - and it’s understandable that consumer demand for GTA housing is virtually insatiable.

If in the coming months you are planning to buy your first home or make the transition to a home that is more suited to your lifestyle, my best advice to you is don’t wait.  The outlook for our city’s housing market is bright, as is the decision to invest in it as much as you can reasonably afford. 

For advice on taking the next steps toward your real estate transaction talk to a Greater Toronto REALTOR® and for information on the housing market, plain language explanations of commonly used real estate forms and more, be sure to visit www.TorontoRealEstateBoard.com. Write to the President at TREBpres@trebnet.com

Paul Etherington is President of the Toronto Real Estate Board, a professional association that represents 39,000 REALTORS® in the Greater Toronto Area.