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Condo Sales Drive the February Market
Despite the continued winter weather, the Greater Toronto Real Estate market managed to see a small increase in both number of homes (including condos) sold and the average price over the same period last year. Interestingly, this sales increase was driven by the sales of resale condominium apartments. According to the Toronto Real Estate Board, "new listings of resale condominium apartments were up on a year-over-year basis, giving buyers ample choice." While the condo listings were up, the number of new listings of single family homes, semi-detached homes and townhomes continued to be small. You may have heard of multiple offer situations for these latter types of homes due to this shortage. These situations were mainly for homes in good condition under $1.8 million.
Hopefully, spring weather will bring an uptick in new listings for all types of housing making the home buying process more even.
“While the strong price growth experienced over the last year should prompt an improvement in the supply of listings, sellers’ market conditions will continue to prevail this year. Home prices, on average, will trend upwards at a pace well-above the rate of inflation. The impact of strong price growth on affordability will be mitigated by low borrowing costs,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Senior Manager of Market Analysis.
What a year it was. Pundits, economists and experts were all predicting that we would see a downward slump in the Real Estate market. They were wrong. Articles in the National Post, Globe and Mail and Toronto Star at the beginning of January all told a similar story – the Toronto Real Estate Market has not crashed; in fact, it’s very buoyant.
The housing market got off to a slow start at the beginning of 2013 but a slight rise in mortgage rates mid year resulted in some buyers jumping into the market to avoid even higher rates. “Prices have been much stronger than we anticipated them to be,” said Toronto-Dominion Bank real estate economist Diana Petramala. Economists had been expecting the large supply of condos coming on stream in cities such as Toronto to weigh significantly on prices, Ms. Petramala said. While that hasn’t happened so far, she expects that it will over the next two years, noting that the number of condo units scheduled to be finished in Toronto this year is more than double historical levels. “Heading into 2014, 2015, as some of these condos start to come on the market we should see price pressure ease,” she said. She expects national home prices to grow by about 2 to 4 per cent over the next five years.
“According to pure economics, we should be seeing prices softening,” said Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce economist Benjamin Tal. “The fact that it is not happening suggests the market is more resilient than we thought.” There is widespread acknowledgment that house prices here are too high, but the severity of the overvaluation and the impact it will have are hotly debated. “Saying that some pockets of the national housing market are overvalued by 20 or 25 per cent is not a stretch,” Mr. Tal said. “But that doesn’t mean that they’ll go down by 20 or 25 per cent.” If price growth peters out or dips a bit while incomes and employment remain strong over a period of time, the situation could right itself, resulting in the soft landing that the central bank and federal Finance Minister continue to expect.
Meanwhile, January, in the Greater Toronto Area, saw the number of listings down 16% over the same month in 2013. Fewer homes on the market means less choice for buyers and this resulted in pushing up the average sale to $526,528.
TORONTO LIFE'S "THE BEST PLACE TO LIVE IN THE CITY"
The September 2013 edition of Toronto Life has stirred up controversy over it's "...(mostly) scientific ranking of all 140 neighbourhoods in Toronto. The magazine examined 10 criteria for each neighbourhood across Toronto: housing, crime, transit, shopping, health and environment, entertainment, community engagement, diversity, schools and employment. Then they had a team at U of T's Martin Prosperity Institute think tank help evaluate the data. The data was pulled from a variety of sources including: Statistics Canada, the Toronto Police Service, The Centre for Research on Inner City Health and the Fraser Institute.
Where does your neighbourhood stack up? My neighbourhood is not even mentioned - last year the Toronto Real Estate Board revamped Toronto's neighbourhood boundaries so we no longer in live in Deer Park but in live in Yonge-St. Clair.
The number one position went to Rosedale-Moore Park. Number two is listed as Banbury-Don Mills. While in third position is High Park-Swansea. Now I don't know what you think, but to be these three neighbourhoods are as different in composition as they are in location. So how did they get ranked. Turns out Toronto Life also conducted an on-line poll of Toronto Life readers, who told them what they prioritize when choosing where to live. Then Toronto Life adjusted the rankings accordingly: with housing weighted highest at 15 per cent, crime at 13 per cent, transit and shopping at 11 each, etc.
So the question is: do you agree with these research methods and their results?
Buying an old home? Check these things first
April 3, 2012 Kevin's Blog
Buying an old home can simultaneously be one of the most exciting yet daunting experiences in real estate. Nothing can compare to the character and charm of a home that has stood the test of time...
Homeowners are pretty well informed when it comes to interiors, says Kennedy McRae, a partner in the Toronto landscape design firm Earth Inc.
“Then,” he says, “they get outside and have no idea.”
Reshaping an underperforming backyard into an attractive, useful part of one’s house is an involved process
A hot market is a "seller’s market". During a seller’s market, properties can sell within a few days of being listed and there are often multiple offers. Sometimes homes even sell above the asking price. Though most buyers want to get a "deal" on a home, reducing your offer by even a few thousand dollars could mean that someone else will get the home you desire.
There are many television shows today that focus on home staging. If you have not watched any, do yourself a favor and tune in. They all say the same thing: do not even consider putting your house on the market until you have taken a close look at its condition. Experienced sales people know that you only have one shot at impressing potential buyers, so take some time to prepare your home for showings. You will be rewarded with a faster sale and a higher offer.
A very accurate saying is that "Any home will sell once you get the price right." Of course, this is usually said from the perspective of dropping a price until it's too attractive to pass up. Actually, the accurate pricing of your home prior to listing is as much an art as it is a science.
A great many moves in our lives are to larger residences to accommodate growing families. Or, perhaps our financial development allows us to move up to a larger home with more features and amenities. There is no stress involved in trying to reduce our life’s stuff to fit into a smaller place. If anything, we just need to shop for some more furniture for the new larger place.
You may have lived in your home for many years. The location factors that you considered when making your purchase decision may not apply to today’s buyers. The task is to identify the current positive aspects of your home’s location and market them aggressively. When it comes to positive locations, people’s different attitudes and preferences will determine if a location is a “good” one.