First-time home buyers in Toronto being pushed out by investors

At a time when a for sale sign seems to instantly turn to a sold sign, the biggest driver in the market may now be investors.

According to Teranet, the largest segment of the real estate market is now multi-property owners at 25 per cent, higher than first time home buyers at 22 per cent. 

“We're up against not only first time home buyers but also investors,” first-time home buyer Amanda Moriera told CTV News Toronto.

Moriera and her partner Ivan Opacak have been searching for four months and that search has pushed them out of the Greater Toronto Area to Waterloo Region. 

“Coming to the GTA, I mean it's almost impossible,” Opacak said.

Today, they bid on a home, only to find out they are competing against multiple offers. 

“I believe there's like 12 offers on this particular unit,” said Moriera. 

Up until 2016, first time home buyers made up the largest market share in Ontario. Since that time, multi property owners have shot up and through the pandemic, they are the only segment gaining market share. 

“In most cases, especially in the pre-construction world, it's the investor winning,” realtor Denis Klapiric says.

Klapiric says that with the steep increase in prices, many GTA homeowners who have gained equity are using that money to buy more property. 

“A lot of them are wanting to buy one-bedroom condo's because they're quick to rent, so quickly first time home buyers are priced out of the market,” he says. 

The combination of multi property owners and steep price increases has some experts warning about possible vulnerability for the entire market. 

In an address to the Bank of Canada today, Ontario Securities Commission Deputy Governor Paul Beaudry says a sudden influx of investors “likely contributed to the rapid price increases we saw earlier this year.”

And that the those high prices could “expose the market to a higher chance of a correction. And, if one occurs, the damage can spread far beyond the investors,” he says. 

While Ivan and Amanda are used to seeing multiple offers, Opacak says, “it's a little discouraging, right we're hopeful.”

If not, they'll continue their search.