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Archive for the ‘Toronto Market News’ Category

Predictions on the Lighter Side of Real Estate for 2015

Monday, February 2nd, 2015

Put your hand up if you’re tired of hearing about bursting bubbles. My, there are a lot of you out there. Is it any wonder? untitled untitled1

Prognosticators have long been predicting that the sky is falling. For years, we’ve heard doom and gloom about rising interest rates and the dire consequences that will have on Toronto’s smoking hot real estate market.

As lifelong realtors who have been there, done that and just about seen it all, we’d like to offer our thoughts on what we think should take place in the real estate sector for 2015. Keep in mind that we make these suggestions with our tongues firmly planted in our cheeks.

Tip Your Realtor: That’s right, we said it first. You tip your hairstylist, your doorman, your newspaper delivery person. You offer gratuities to wait staff, taxi drivers and gardeners. If you feel you’ve received top-drawer service from your realtor why not give them a little extra? Or perhaps tickets to a theatre or sporting event or a weekend away at your cottage? We’d probably fall over but your kindness would be most appreciated.

Stop Talking about Rising Interest Rates: We’ve heard it for years and now it’s simply annoying. This reminds us of the self-proclaimed trendsetter who prides himself or herself in repeatedly saying red is the new black until – several years pass – and finally it is. We propose a new rule when it comes to making forecasts: the act of making predictions is punishable by death unless uttered six months before said incident is to happen.

You Drive: Clients would be better behind the wheel as that would allow realtors more opportunity to sweet talk you into a deal you hadn’t bargained for. While the realtor would naturally help navigate (turn left at the light, for example), clients, it could be argued, would begin to warm up to certain houses and neighbourhoods much sooner by experiencing the feeling that they are driving ‘home.’

Only Lookers Need Apply: Realtors will no longer be unattractive as this can be repugnant and off putting to some clients. Instead, they will have movie-star good looks with smooth skin, big bright eyes and a full, glossy head of hair. This rule will be implemented by January, 2016, which gives agents who no longer fit the bill a full year to find other work.

Full-Service Realtors Expand Horizons: Full service shops will really give discount brokers a run for their money in 2015. They will do so by offering a multitude of services that assist the prospective home buyer or seller. In addition to looking after your traditional real-estate needs, agents, depending on their speciality, will also offer feng shui, house cleaning, psychotherapy and home repair services. To get your business, others may throw in hair cuts for the whole family, dog walking and even violin playing. This may even prompt a trend in which clients begin picking realtors based on what they did in previous careers.

Just Cause it’s Cold Outside Doesn’t Mean a Deep Freeze for the Housing Market

Monday, December 22nd, 2014

We naturally understand that the holidays place a huge stress on our time given all the commitments the festive season creates. Yet we’ve always believed that real estate should carry on like usual though many consumers opt to put the brakes on the buying and selling of real estate during the holidays.

We’ve said it here before that those who continue shopping throughout the festive season are more inclined to realize a good buy as opposed to those who wait till winter’s thaw.

And it appears that our message is starting to get through.  According to a survey by Ipsos Reid, two-thirds of prospective home buyers in Ontario are planning to continue their search for the perfect home over the holidays. A majority of buyers feel that shopping for a home during the holiday season could mean less competition among potential buyers and, possibly, a better deal on the price of a desired home.

With the thought that potential sellers could be worried their home will sit on the market while prospective buyers are enjoying the holiday season with their families, a majority (55%) of likely buyers believe that sellers are more willing to negotiate on the price over the holidays, compared to two in ten (19%) who don’t believe sellers will be in a negotiating mood over the holidays.

If you’re a seller, less competition is a good thing for you. You are competing in a much smaller inventory over Christmas and New Year’s so that means more buyers’ eyes on your property. Ensure that your house is priced well and that your home is always ready for a viewing.

If you’re looking for a home over the holidays, you’re obviously very motivated.  Since time constraints from seasonal commitments and miserable cold weather make people want to hibernate, sellers need to be flexible about showings.

Festive decorations can make a home look merry and bright. Just don’t overdo it. Christmas lights are pretty but not in the National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation way. When strangers traipse through your home they want to feel cheerful and comfortable so don’t assault them with stinky food smells, ugly décor and too much clutter. Bake gingerbread and light a fire to add to the warm and cozy feel.

The poll was conducted by Ipsos Reid, a leading public opinion researcher, on behalf of the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA).


How to Compete in Multiple Offers

Sunday, February 9th, 2014

Have you been searching for your dream home for months, maybe even a year or two or three? Maybe you’ve lost out on a bidding war in which multiple buyers all vied for that exact same piece of the rock. Are you starting to feel a little desperate or doomed?

Don’t even go there.

Multiple offers are pretty much a side effect of a hot seller’s market. But that doesn’t have to mean the seller has Oz-like power and might. As a buyer you can employ certain tactics and strategies that will make you stronger and more competitive. Let’s look at how you can stand out from the crowd:

Clean offers – those with fewer conditions – are best. A clean offer with pre-approved financing, especially in a multiple offer situation, shows the seller that you are serious.  Conditional sales and offers that hinge on financing aren’t acceptable when there are other offers on the table.

Sell your house first.  You don’t want to include selling your house as a condition as this will serve to weaken your offer by making your bid more complicated and less desirable.

Don’t wait for an open house. If a house interests you based on its online photos, make an appointment to see it before the weekend open house. That way your offer can be entertained before the open-house feeding frenzy.

Use a trusted local broker.  The more well-known and respected your agent is, the better odds they have at enticing listing agents. In a bidding war situation, the offer presented by the known broker will be more attractive to the listing agent and increase your odds especially if the two offers are close.

Get a home inspection – quick. The idea here is to signal to the seller that you are prepared to act quickly. Having to wait ten days for a home inspection that might prompt the buyer to drop a deal, isn’t very appealing for the seller so get this done ASAP.

Be flexible. Believe it or not, but this attribute can make or break a deal. If a seller has already purchased and you meet their closing date that could net you the house over a higher competing offer. Also, to stand out from other offers, don’t ask for the moon when it comes to extras such as window coverings and appliances. Simply ask for what is offered in the listing. Also on this point, try not to nit-pick on minor repairs and instead offer to purchase the property as is.

Pull out the big guns.  Offering a large deposit shows the seller you’re serious. Put down as much as you can afford. No need to worry as it goes toward the balance owing on the property or, if the deal falls through, you get it back.

What the Experts Predict for 2014

Friday, January 10th, 2014

Canada’s largest real estate association is calling for a strong year in sales for 2014.

The Canadian Real Estate Association projects sales to reach 458,200 units across the country for the year. While this represents a slight increase of eight tenths of one per cent over last year, growth in sales projections are looking upward for the provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Ontario.

“Most housing markets are well balanced, including many large urban centres,” says CREA chief economist Gregory Klump. “Housing price gains are always stronger in places where supply is tight relative to demand, such as we’re seeing in Calgary and in parts of southern Ontarioincluding the low rise market in Toronto.”

In 2014, national activity is forecast to climb to 475,000 units, which represents a hike of 3.7 per cent. Most of the increase reflects the weak start to 2013, which is not expected to happen again in the early part of this year.

In Toronto, where dire predictions of a housing bubble and a pricing collapse have been bandied about for years now, expect the opposite. According to Central 1 Credit Union, the city’s rising population combined with land supply restrictions will see house prices doubling over the next 25 years.

Expect Ontario house prices to rise about four per cent a year through 2016. The credit union says higher mortgage rates over the next three years will hold back housing sales in Ontario
generally, but will not cause a market correction.

It also predicts the Toronto condo market will slow as builders delay new construction in the face of weaker demand. The uncertainty facing the condo market is driven in large part by the
belief that investors own a large chunk of the market and that speculation in condos could halt if investors get scared. The Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation says about 23 per cent of Toronto condos are rented out, while others say that figure is likely closer to 50 per cent.

Central 1 also predicts Ontario’s overall rental apartment vacancy will hold steady at 2.6 per cent through 2014, before declining to less than two per cent in 2016.

In terms of the national picture, British Columbia is expected to post a strong increase in sales at 8.4 per cent for 2014, most provinces will show gains of two to four per cent.

CREA says the national average home price is set to rise by 5.2 per cent to $382,200 with similar gains in the Prairie provinces, Ontario and Newfoundland and Labrador. Smaller gains are
projected for the other provinces.

In Toronto, where the average selling price for December 2013 sales was $520,398 – up by nearly nine per cent compared to the average of $477,756 in December 2012, expect smaller gains of about 1.5 per cent, says CMHC.

Selling Your Home in the Winter

Tuesday, November 12th, 2013

Yes Virginia, there is value in selling over the festive season!

You’ve thought long and hard about selling your house. You’ve had those long, late-night chats with your spouse; perhaps you’ve discussed the prospect of a new school and new friends with the kids. Maybe you’ve scoped out neighbourhoods you’d like to move into. But now it’s November and with the holidays approaching, you’ve decided it’s best to wait till spring to list your home.

Not necessarily.

In today’s energetic real estate market selling your house over the holidays can actually net you a better price for your home than during traditionally strong spring and fall markets. Let me explain. With a housing market that’s as large and as vigorous as Toronto’s, seasonal markets don’t really exist anymore. That said, there are peaks in sales, usually in May and September thanks to the number of listings that come available then. The holiday period – aka the ‘slow months’ of November, December and January – is when the number of listings drops as people turn their attention to gift buying, decorating and entertaining. But this is a great time to sell your property because demand for housing is still very high. Combine strong demand with less supply and what have you got? Higher prices. It’s simple economics.

My view may seem contrarian in that it goes against commonly held beliefs about selling over the holidays: the main one being that buyers will think the seller is desperate, which will reflect in the offers that come in. But in Toronto’s current market that notion doesn’t really fly anymore. I’ve helped clients sell during these ‘slow months’ and netted them better results than if they’d waited till spring or fall.

Here are a few tips for selling at this time of year:

Rein in the décor – Don’t overdo it. Whether you’re celebrating Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah or another faith-based holiday, prominently displayed menorahs, angels and other religious symbols can be a distraction for potential buyers. Garish displays could be considered offensive not just to aesthetic sensibilities but also to different religions and cultures.

Don’t be a Scrooge – While it may not be a good idea to play up the holidays when it comes to decorations, giving your home that cozy Christmas feeling doesn’t hurt. Play soft music, display homemade treats on a decorative tray, and keep the thermostat at a comfortable temperature. Baking muffins or a pie just before a showing isn’t a bad idea because it fills the air with a homey, comforting scent.

Proud homeowner — Try to provide spring and summer photos of your home and property so buyers can get a sense of how it looks when trees are in full bloom or when the pool is sparkling in the summer sunlight.

Let it snow – But make sure you clear it from all paths, steps, walkways and driveways.

Price Growth In All Major Home Types In May

Tuesday, June 18th, 2013



June 5, 2013 — Greater Toronto Area (GTA) REALTORS® reported 10,182 sales through the TorontoMLS system in May 2013, representing a dip of 3.4 per cent compared to May 2012. Sales of single-detached homes in the GTA were up by almost one per cent compared to the same period last year, including a three per cent year-over-year increase in the City of Toronto.

“The sales picture in the GTA has improved markedly over the past two months. While the number of transactions in April and May remained below last year’s levels, the rate of decline has been much smaller. A growing number of households who put their decision to purchase on hold as a result of stricter lending guidelines are starting to become active again in the ownership market,” said Toronto Real Estate Board President Ann Hannah.

The average selling price for May 2013 sales was $542,174 – up by 5.4 per cent in comparison to $514,567 in May 2012. The annual rate of price growth was driven by the tight low-rise segment of the market and particularly by single-detached and semi-detached home transactions in the City of Toronto. Average condominium apartment prices were also up slightly in comparison to last year.

The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) Composite Benchmark was up by 2.8 per cent year-over-year.

“The annual rate of price growth in May was not surprising given the competition that still exists between buyers, particularly for low-rise home types such as single-detached and semi-detached houses. We remain on track for a three-and-a-half per cent increase in the average selling price for 2013 as a whole,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Senior Manager of Market Analysis.

*supplied by the Toronto Real Estate Board

*Toronto Real Estate Board Info
Year Over Year Sales Summary GTA

2013 2012 %Chg.
Sales 10,182 10,544 -3.4%
New Listings 19,216 19,075 0.7%
Active Listings 22,677 20,462 10.8%
Avg Price $542,174 $514,567 5.4%
Avg. DOM 23 21 9.4%

Downtown/Midtown Sales Statistics
Month of May 2013**

May/13 Apr/13
Properties Listed 1862 1760
Property Sales 578 561
Avg. Price $873,670 $917,607
Median Price $703,500 $706,667

**areas bounded by Yonge-Ossington-Lakeshore-Eglinton

Year Over Year Sales Summary GTA

Friday, April 26th, 2013

           2013                             2012                 % Chg.

Sales                                          7765                             9385                 -17.30 %

New Listings                           14728                           16191               -9.0 %

Active Listings                       18384                           16920               8.70 %

Avg. Price                         $519,879                       $500,875           3.80 %

Avg. DOM                                   24                                 21                     16.90 %


Downtown/Midtown sales Statistics

Month of March  2013**

    Feb/13              March/13

Properties Listed                   1404                             1624

Property Sales                          335                               444

Avg. Price                         $783,531                       $832,464

Median Price                   $706,667                       $641,000


** area bounded by Yonge-Ossington-Lakeshore-Eglinton



Average Price up in March and First Quarter

Friday, April 26th, 2013

April 3, 2013 — Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 7,765 transactions through the TorontoMLS system in March 2013 – down 17 per cent compared to 9,385 transactions in March 2012. While the year-over-year dip in March sales followed the trend that has unfolded since mid-way through 2012, it is also important to note that the Good Friday holiday was in March this year versus April in 2012. Generally speaking, there are fewer sales reported on statutory holidays and weekends. (more…)

Market Statistics

Thursday, March 28th, 2013
Market Watch


Price Growth Continues in February

 March 5, 2013 — Greater Toronto Area (GTA) REALTORS® reported 5,759 sales through the TorontoMLS system in February 2013 – a decline of 15 per cent in comparison to February 2012. It should be noted that 2012 was a leap year with one extra day in February. A 28 day year-over-year sales comparison resulted in a lesser decline of 10.5 per cent.

 The average selling price for February 2013 was $510,580 – up two per cent in comparison to February 2012.

 “The share of sales and dollar volume accounted for by luxury detached homes in the City of Toronto was lower this February compared to last. This contributed to a more modest pace of overall average price growth for the GTA as a whole,” said Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) President Ann Hannah.

 “Stricter mortgage lending guidelines that precluded government backed mortgages on homes sold for over one million dollars and the City of Toronto’s additional upfront land transfer tax arguably played a role in the slower pace of luxury detached home sales,” added Ms. Hannah.

The MLS® HPI Composite Benchmark price covering all major home types eliminates fluctuations in price growth due to changes in sales mix. The Composite Benchmark price was up by more than three per cent on a year-over-year basis in February.

 “We will undoubtedly experience some volatility in price growth for some market segments in 2013. However, months of inventory in the low-rise market segment will remain low, resulting in average price growth above three per cent for the TREB market area this year. Our current average price forecast is $515,000 for all home types combined in 2013,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Senior Manager of Market Analysis

Positive Start to 2013

Sunday, February 17th, 2013

February 5, 2013 — Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 4,375 transactions through the TorontoMLS system in January 2013. This number represented a slight decline compared to 4,432 transactions reported in January 2012.

“The January sales figures represent a good start to 2013. While the number of transactions was down slightly compared to last year, the rate of decline was much less than what was experienced in the second half of 2012. This suggests that some buyers, who put their decision to purchase on hold last year due to stricter mortgage lending guidelines, are once again becoming active in the market,” said Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) President Ann Hannah.

“It is interesting to note that sales were up for many home types in the GTA regions surrounding the City of Toronto. This is due, at least in part, to the additional upfront land transfer tax in the City of Toronto,” added Ms. Hannah.

The average selling price for January 2013 sales was $482,648 – up by 4.3 per cent compared to $462,655 in January 2012. The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) Composite Benchmark price was up by 3.8 per cent over the same period.

“There will be enough competition between buyers in the marketplace to prompt continued growth in home prices in 2013. Expect annual average price growth in the three to five per cent range this year,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Senior Manager of Market Analysis.


Year Over Year Sales Summary GTA

                                              2013                             2012                 % Chg.

Sales                                      4375                                 4432                 -1.30 %

New Listings                         10624                               9598                  10.70 %

Active Listings                      14231                                12290               15.80 %

Avg. Price                             $482,648                         $462,655           4.30 %

Avg. DOM                               37                                     32                     12.90 %


Downtown/Midtown Sales Statistics

Month of December  2012**

                                                Dec/12                      Jan/13

Properties Listed                      1181                               1271

Property Sales                           213                                 229

Avg. Price                                   $768,642                      $694,373

Median Price                             $546,083                      $528,333


** area bounded by Yonge-Ossington-Lakeshore-Eglinton


The data included on this website is deemed to be reliable, but is not guaranteed to be accurate by the Toronto Real Estate Board. The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS® and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.