August 2019 Market Stats: Infographic & Report

 
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August 2019 market stats are here!

The average sale price for the month was $792,611,755, up 3.6% compared to August 2018.

Here’s a breakdown of the average sale prices & year-over-year increases/decreases for the 416 area code:

  • Detached = $1,246,392 (+0.3%)

  • Semi-Detached = $956,411 (+7.3%)

  • Townhouse = $712,934 (+4.1%)

  • Condo Apartment = $619,307 (+5.7%)

And here’s TREB’s official market report for the month of August 2019:

Toronto Real Estate Board President Michael Collins announced that Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 7,711 residential sales through TREB’s MLS® System in August 2019.

This result represented a 13.4 per cent increase compared to 6,797 sales reported in August 2018.

On a month- over-month basis, after preliminary seasonal adjustment, sales were up by 0.8 per cent.

GTA-wide sales were up on a year-over-year basis for all major market segments, with annual rates of sales growth strongest for low-rise home types including detached houses.

This reflects the fact that demand for more expensive home types was very low in 2018 and has rebounded to a certain degree in 2019, albeit not back to the record levels experienced in 2016 and the first quarter of 2017.

Market conditions also became tighter in August 2019 compared to a year ago because, while sales were up year-over-year, new listings were down by three per cent over the same time period to 11,789. Year-to-date, growth in sales has well outstripped growth in new listings.

This is why overall active listings counted at the end of August were down by more than 11 per cent compared to August 2018.

The MLS® Home Price Index Composite Benchmark for August 2019 was up by 4.9 per cent on a year-over-year basis.

The average selling price, at $792,611 in August 2019, was up by 3.6 per cent year-over-year.

Both the MLS® HPI benchmark prices and average selling prices were up on an annual basis for major market segments.

The condominium apartment segment continued to lead the way in terms of price growth, followed by higher density low-rise home types and finally detached houses.

If you’re thinking of making a move and would like to know how we can help, please contact us or more info.

Will A King Size Bed Fit In Here?

Will A King Size Bed Fit In Here? Photo

Will A King Size Bed Fit In Here? Photo

Wants. Needs. Every buyer's got 'em.

Sometimes wants & needs align nicely and a buyer finds a property that ticks all of their boxes. Sometimes they don't.

I was out with a client earlier this week, looking at condos near Yonge & Lakeshore. We stepped into the 2nd bedroom of the first condo and she asked, "Do you think a king size bed could fit in here?"

A king size bed... in a condo's 2nd bedroom!

If you've seen even a handful of condos in the downtown core you know that the 2nd bedrooms are usually pretty tight. You'd be lucky to squeeze a queen size into many of them, let alone a king!

"How important is that?" I asked.  "Is it a want... Or is it a need?"

In this case, it was a need. Each buyer has their own set of "must-haves" and for her, being able to fit a king size bed into the 2nd bedroom was on the list.

Fortunately, the condos we were seeing were on the larger side and the 2nd bedrooms weren't too bad. A few of them were actually large enough to fit a king. Of course, there wouldn't be any room left for end tables, armoires, or much else. That didn't matter to her though. The fact that a king could fit was enough.

Point being, each and every buyer is going to have their own set of criteria when searching for a home. Sure, the majority of items on that list are going to be the same for almost everyone (granite counter tops, stainless steel appliances, hardwood floors, etc...).

Sometimes though, something unique finds its way onto the short-list and I'm given fodder for a new blog post...

If you’re thinking of making a move and would like to know how I can help, feel free to contact me for more info.

July 2019 Market Stats: Infographic & Report

 
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July 2019 market stats are here!

The average sale price for the month was $806,755, up 3.2% compared to July 2018.

Here’s a breakdown of the average sale prices & year-over-year increases/decreases for the 416 area code:

  • Detached = $1,227,301 (-9.1%)

  • Semi-Detached = $981,802 (+5.0%)

  • Townhouse = $755,401 (+5.5%)

  • Condo Apartment = $627,927 (+7.7%)

And here’s TREB’s official market report for the month of July 2019:

Toronto Real Estate Board President Michael Collins announced that Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 8,595 sales through TREB’s MLS® System in July 2019.

This result was up by 24.3 per cent compared to July 2018.

On a month-over-month basis, sales were up by 5.1 per cent, after preliminary seasonal adjustment.

New listings entered into TREB’s MLS® System in July 2019 were up compared to July 2018, but by a much lesser annual rate than sales, at 3.7 per cent. With annual growth in sales far outstripping annual growth in new listings, market conditions clearly tightened compared to last year.

Active listings at the end of July were down by 9.1 per cent year-over-year, further reflecting tightening market conditions.

As market conditions continued to tighten in July, the average selling price increased by 3.2 per cent on a year-over-year basis to $806,755.

The MLS® Home Price Index Composite benchmark was up by 4.4 per cent. Higher density home types continued to drive price growth, whereas detached home prices remained down in many communities throughout the GTA.

Broadly speaking, increased competition between buyers for available properties has resulted in relatively strong price growth above the rate of inflation for semi-detached houses, townhouses and condominium apartments.

However, the single-detached market segment, which has arguably been impacted most by the OSFI stress test, has experienced a slower pace of price growth, with average detached prices remaining lower than last year’s levels in some parts of the GTA.

If you’re thinking of making a move and would like to know how we can help, please contact us or more info.

The August Slow-Down

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Toronto's real estate market is exceptionally active.

On any given day listings are being uploaded to MLS, realtors are out viewing properties with clients, and offers are being signed.

It seems as though the Toronto real estate market never sleeps.

It does take a breather though. Twice a year.

Once during the holiday season (late-December/early-January). And again during the 2nd half of summer (the month of August).

Things are noticeably slower as these are the two times of year when a relatively large portion of the real estate market (buyers, sellers, and realtors) are away on vacation.

Even those buyers who aren't away on an actual vacation are likely still taking a break from their home search.

Accordingly, many sellers (and listing agents) feel that once August hits it's probably best to hold-off until after Labour Day to list.

We can't say we disagree.

We met with a couple of perspective sellers just a few weeks ago and, after some discussion, both decided to wait until September to sell.

And our current buyer clients are in the mind-set of, "If something great becomes available in the next few weeks let's go take a look. But realistically I'm not expecting to find anything until the market picks up again in September."

There are always two sides to the coin though. And in some instances August can actually be a great time to buy and/or sell.

We’'ve written a few articles in the past that are worth a read here:

  1. Are There Deals To Be Had In The Last Few Weeks Of Summer? (read it here)

  2. Why Wait Until After Labour Day To List Your Home For Sale? (read it here)

  3. Is It Better To Wait Until After Labour Day To List Your Home For Sale? (read it here)

Whether you decide to stay active or take a break from the market this August is up to you. We know we'll be working the majority of the month, so if you got any questions just give us a shout. If not, enjoy the rest of your summer and we'll see you in September!

If you’re thinking of making a move and would like to know how we can help, please contact us for more info.

June 2019 Market Stats: Infographic & Report

 
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June 2019 market stats are here!

The average sale price for the month was $832,703, up 3.0% compared to June 2018.

Here’s a breakdown of the average sale prices & year-over-year increases/decreases for the 416 area code:

  • Detached = $1,332,639 (-1.6%)

  • Semi-Detached = $1,055,423 (+5.4%)

  • Townhouse = $810,039 (+9.2%)

  • Condo Apartment = $636,606 (+5.1%)

And here’s TREB’s official market report for the month of June 2019:

The new President of the Toronto Real Estate Board, Michael Collins, announced that Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 8,860 sales through TREB's MLS® System in June 2019, representing a 10.4 per cent increase compared to June 2018.

Over the same time period, total new listings remained at a similar level for the month of June and active listings at month-end were down by 5.7 per cent.

Sales and new listings statistics for the first half of 2019 compared to the same period in 2018 painted a similar story to that of June.

Sales were up by 8.5 per cent, while new listings were up by less than one per cent.

This shows that sales accounted for a greater share of listings compared to last year, which means that competition between buyers increased, resulting in renewed price growth in many segments of the market.

"As I start my term as President of the Toronto Real Estate Board, I am proud to say that the Greater Toronto Area continues to grow, in terms of employment, population and overall diversity. As people are attracted to our region from all around the world, they obviously need a place to live. Over the next year, as demand for ownership and rental housing continues to grow, my hope is that we will see more movement from policy makers on two fronts: alleviating the constrained supply of housing and providing more flexibility around demand-side policies, including the OSFI two percentage point mortgage stress test and allowable amortization periods on insured mortgages," said Mr. Collins.

The overall average selling price in June 2019 was $832,703 – up by three per cent compared to the average of $808,066 in June 2018.

Price growth was driven by the higher density market segments, including semi-detached houses, townhouses and condominium apartments.

The MLS® Home Price Index Composite Benchmark was up by a similar annual rate of 3.6 per cent.

For the first half of 2019, the average selling price was $810,661, representing an increase of 2.4 per cent compared to the first half of 2018.

"Buyers started moving off the sidelines in the spring, as evidenced by strong year-over-year price growth throughout the second quarter. However, because we saw virtually no change in the number of new listings, market conditions tightened and price growth picked up, especially for more higher density home types, which, on average, are less-expensive than traditional detached houses and therefore provide more affordable housing options under the new OSFI stress test regime," said Jason Mercer, TREB's Chief Market Analyst.

If you’re thinking of making a move and would like to know how we can help, please contact us or more info.

The Art (And Benefit) Of Home Staging

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     Take a quick glance at the real estate section of your local newspaper,  the archives of your favourite real estate blog (ahem...),  or HGTV’s prime time line-up on any given night, and you’ll see that home staging is one of the most acclaimed tools a seller can use to help sell their home quickly and for top dollar. 

And the reason that so many in the real estate industry sing its praises is simple - it works! 

The Art (And Benefit) Of Home Staging Photo

The Art (And Benefit) Of Home Staging Photo

     The best way to sell a property is to show potential buyers what their lives could be like if they lived there. 

You want them to envision themselves inhabiting the space. 

It’s tough for buyers to do this though if a property is stuffed with furniture, decor, and personal items that clutter up the space or draw too much attention to themselves. 

Home stagers have the ability to remove the clutter, pare a space down to its essentials,  and then dress it in a way that suggests all the possibilities the space holds.

I recently had a listing in the St. Lawrence Marketarea, a one bedroom condo of approx 550 sq ft. 

The sellers had already moved out and the space was vacant - a blank canvas. 

The only problem was that the canvas was too blank! 

I told them that if we left the space empty it would be tough for potential buyers to see how they could fit an adequate sized bedroom set or a decent living room set into the space. 

We needed to furnish the suite to show buyers just how much space there actually was. 

We enlisted the services of my stager and were able to show the property at its best. 

Needles to say, the property sold with multiple offers for 102% of the list price!

I generally advise my sellers that home staging is something we should seriously consider when preparing their property to go on the market. 

Yes, it requires more effort.

But the potential benefits are well worth the initial investment. 

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen cluttered,  poorly laid out properties sit on the market while similar properties sell in the meantime because they’ve been properly prepared and staged. 

This isn’t to say that every property needs to be professionally staged. 

I’ve worked with a number of sellers whose properties were already in top showing form and staging wasn’t an issue. 

But for those who can benefit from it, home staging often proves to be a key factor in achieving a successful sale.

If you're thinking of selling and are curious about the benefits of staging, feel free to contact us for more info.

April 2019 Market Stats: Infographic & Report

 
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April 2019 market stats are here!

The average sale price for the month was $820,148, up 1.9% compared to April 2018.

Here’s a breakdown of the average sale prices & year-over-year increases/decreases for the 416 area code:

  • Detached = $1,355,764 (+0.0%)

  • Semi-Detached = $1,051,765 (+2.9%)

  • Townhouse = $757,150 (-4.7%)

  • Condo Apartment = $637,181 (+5.8%)

And here’s TREB’s official market report for the month of April 2019:

Toronto Real Estate Board President Garry Bhaura announced that Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported a substantial year-over-year increase in home sales in April 2019.

The number of residential transactions jumped by 16.8 per cent to 9,042 compared to 7,744 in April 2018.

On a preliminary seasonally adjusted basis, sales were up 11.3 per cent compared to March 2019.

New listings were also up year-over-year by eight per cent.

However, the annual growth rate for new listings was much lower than that reported for sales.

This suggests that market conditions continued to tighten which points toward an acceleration in price growth.

“The strong year-over-year growth in sales is obviously a good news story and likely represents some catchup from a slow start to the year. TREB’s sales outlook for 2019 anticipates an increase relative to 2018. It should be noted, however, that growth in new listings is not keeping pace with sales. This points to the ongoing housing supply issue in the GTA. In this regard TREB welcomes the provincial government’s Housing Supply Action Plan announced last week to reduce red tape and improve the mix of housing types. TREB provided input on the Plan through submissions and participation on working groups,” said Mr. Bhaura.

The year-over-year rate of price growth generally edged up in April relative to the first three months of the year.

The MLS® HPI Composite benchmark was up by 3.2 per cent – the highest rate of growth in more than a year.

The average selling price was up by 1.9 per cent to $820,148, representing the strongest annual rate of growth so far in 2019.

On a preliminary seasonally adjusted basis, the average selling price was also up by 1.1 per cent compared to March 2019.

Price growth continued to be driven by the condominium apartment segment and higher-density low-rise segments.

The average price for detached houses dipped year-over-year, specifically in regions surrounding the City of Toronto.

The detached market segment, with the highest price point on average, has arguably been hardest hit by measures such as the OSFI stress test.

“While sales were up year-over-year in April, it is important to note that they remain well-below April levels for much of the past decade. Many potential home buyers arguably remain on the sidelines as they reassess their options in light of the OSFI-mandated two percentage point stress test on mortgages. Longer term borrowing costs have trended lower this year and the outlook for short-term rates, for which the Bank of Canada holds the lever, is flat to down this year. Unfortunately, against this backdrop, we have seen no movement toward flexibility in the OSFI stress test,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Chief Market Analyst.

If you’re thinking of making a move and would like to know how we can help, please contact us or more info.

Friend Or Foe?

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Despite what some may think, realtors are not all the same.

We have different ways of running our business and different approaches to working with clients.

We also have different styles when it comes to co-operating with other realtors...

Some agents think it's best to take an adversarial approach when working on a deal.

While others see the benefit in both sides "working together".

Over the years we’ve had the pleasure of dealing with agents at both ends of this spectrum.

There were those who acted as though we were sworn enemies, battling it out ‘till the death.

And there were those who acted as if we were best friends forever.

Where do we fit on this scale? We’d say that we’re a bit of both.

That's a good thing, because both have their merits.

One of our key assets as realtors is knowing when to favour one of these approaches over the other.

There’s a time to be warm, open, and charming.

And there’s a time to be cold, tight-lipped, and poker-faced.

We've seen plenty of other realtors falter here.

Some are too friendly, speaking when they shouldn't and seriously compromising their client's negotiating position.

Some are way too tough when they shouldn't be, making molehills into mountains and killing any goodwill between the two parties.

Knowing which approach is the best in any given situation is something that can't really be taught.

It's a skill you develop over time, by doing deals and gaining real world experience.

We like to think that our ability to put on the right hat at the right time is a huge benefit to our clients.

Sometimes they need us to be a friend to the other agent. Sometimes they need us to be a foe.

If you’re thinking of making a move and would like to know how we can help, feel free to contact us for more info.

March 2019 Market Stats: Infographic & Report

 
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March 2019 market stats are here!

The average sale price for the month was $788,335, up 0.5% compared to March 2018.

Here’s a breakdown of the average sale prices & year-over-year increases/decreases for the 416 area code:

  • Detached = $1,267,598 (-2.1%)

  • Semi-Detached = $1,020,561 (-1.3%)

  • Townhouse = $741,881 (+0.4%)

  • Condo Apartment = $603,969 (+2.3%)

And here’s TREB’s official market report for the month of March 2019:

Toronto Real Estate Board President Garry Bhaura announced that Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 7,187 residential sales through TREB’s MLS® System in March 2019.

This result was inline with 7,188 sales reported in March 2018.

For the first quarter of 2019, sales were down by one per cent compared to Q1 2018.

While March and Q1 sales remained relatively flat compared to last year, new listings have declined more so than sales.

March new listings were down by 5.1 per cent year-over-year and Q1 new listings were down by 1.5 per cent.

“The OSFI stress test continues to impact home buyers’ ability to qualify for a mortgage. TREB is still arguing that the stress test provisions and mortgage lending guidelines generally, including allowable amortization periods for insured mortgages, should be reviewed. The supply of listings in the GTA also remains a problem. Bringing a greater diversity of ownership and rental housing online, including ‘missing middle’ home types, should be a priority of all levels of government. TREB is happy to be taking part in the City of Toronto’s consultations for the Housing TO – 2020-2030 Action Plan, and will certainly be raising the supply issue during these discussions,” said Mr. Bhaura.

“While the City of Toronto’s recently announced Housing TO – 2020-2030 Action Plan is exciting and commendable and TREB looks forward to contributing solutions as a Member of the External Advisory Committee, the recently proposed increase to the Municipal Land Transfer Tax on higher priced properties is problematic. As the recent City budget process showed, the MLTT is not a sustainable revenue source from which to fund municipal programs. On top of this, additional MLTT on higher priced homes could have a trickle-down effect on the supply of homes throughout the housing price continuum,” said TREB CEO John Di Michele.

The MLS® Home Price Index Composite Benchmark was up by 2.6 per cent year-over-year in March, while the average price for March sales was up by a lesser annual rate of 0.5 per cent to $788,335.

The average selling price for Q1 2019 was up by 1.1 per cent year-over-year.

“Market conditions have remained tight enough to support a moderate pace of price growth. Despite sales being markedly lower than the record levels of 2016 and early 2017, the supply of listings has also receded. This means that in many neighbourhoods throughout the GTA, we continue to see competition between buyers for available listings, which provides a level of support for home prices,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Chief Market Analyst..

If you’re thinking of making a move and would like to know how we can help, please contact us or more info.

When Does The Spring Real Estate Market Actually Begin?

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The answer to the above question depends largely on who you're asking. 

Speaking as a Realtor I'd say that the spring market actually starts as early as January. 

Granted, the number of listings and sales this early in the year aren't going to match the level of activity we see in March, April, May,... 

None-the-less there's activity in January and it's certainly the start of a market that will grow over the coming months. 

Many feel that the spring market doesn't really begin until the month of March. 

There's some truth to this in the sense that March is generally when we start to see signs of warmer weather and buyers are more apt to tour the neighbourhood for open houses.  

March is a little tricky though, as a number of buyers, sellers and realtors aren't fully participating due to commitments associated with "March Break".  At least those with families anyway.

I would say that the week after Easter Weekend is when the spring real estate market fully blooms and enters its busiest phase.

A number of sellers wait specifically until after Easter to put their property on the market. 

And a number of buyers wait until then to kick their search into high gear. 

Regardless of when the spring market actually starts, we're at mid-April now and things are quite active.  And they'll remain so for the coming months. 

Then what? 

The summer market of course! 

When does that start? 

Well......

If you’re thinking of making a move and would like to know how I can help, feel free to contact us for more info.

February 2019 Market Stats: Infographic & Report

 
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February 2019 market stats are here!

The average sale price for the month was $780,397, up 1.6% compared to February 2018.

Here’s a breakdown of the average sale prices & year-over-year increases/decreases for the 416 area code:

  • Detached = $1,294,936 (+0.8%)

  • Semi-Detached = $1,087,363 (+10.5%)

  • Townhouse = $764,569 (-1.7%)

  • Condo Apartment = $612,488 (+7.4%)

And here’s TREB’s official market report for the month of February 2019:

Toronto Real Estate Board President Gurcharan (Garry) Bhaura announced that Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 5,025 homes sold through TREB's MLS® System in February 2019.

This sales total was down by 2.4 per cent on a year-over-year basis.

Sales were also down compared to January 2019 following preliminary seasonal adjustment.

"The OSFI mandated mortgage stress test has left some buyers on the sidelines who have struggled to qualify for the type of home they want to buy. The stress test should be reviewed and consideration should be given to bringing back 30 year amortizations for federally insured mortgages. There is a federal budget and election on the horizon. It will be interesting to see what policy measures are announced to help with home ownership affordability," said Mr. Bhaura.

Despite sales being down year-over-year, new listings actually declined by a greater annual rate.

This suggests that market conditions became tighter compared to last year.

Tighter market conditions continued to support year-over-year average price growth.

Both the MLS® Home Price Index Composite Benchmark and the average selling price were up modestly on a year-over-year basis in February 2019.

The MLS® HPI Composite Benchmark was up by 2.4 per cent year-over-year.

The average selling price for all home types combined was up by 1.6 per cent over the same period.

Price growth was driven by the condominium apartment segment and higher density low-rise home types.

On a preliminary seasonally adjusted basis the average selling price was down compared to January 2019.

"Home sales reported through TREB's MLS® System have a substantial impact on the Canadian economy. A study conducted by Altus for TREB found that, on average, each home sale reported through TREB resulted in $68,000 in spin-off expenditures accruing to the economy. With sales substantially lower than the 2016 record peak over the last two years, we have experienced a hit to the economy in the billions of dollars, in the GTA alone. This hit has also translated into lower government revenues and, if sustained, could impact the employment picture as well," said Jason Mercer, TREB's Director of Market Analysis and Service Channels.

If you’re thinking of making a move and would like to know how we can help, please contact us or more info.

January 2019 Market Stats: Infographic & Report

 
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January 2019 market stats are here!

The average sale price for the month was $748,328, up 1.7% compared to January 2018.

Here’s a breakdown of the average sale prices & year-over-year increases/decreases for the 416 area code:

  • Detached = $1,174,134 (-8.8%)

  • Semi-Detached = $993,465 (+6.1%)

  • Townhouse = $797,528 (+12.3%)

  • Condo Apartment = $591,444 (+8.8%)

And here’s TREB’s official market report for the month of January 2019:

TREB President Garry Bhaura announced that Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 4,009 home sales through TREB's MLS® in January 2019 – up by 0.6 per cent compared to January 2018.

On a preliminary seasonally adjusted basis, sales were up by 3.4 per cent compared to December 2018.

"It is encouraging to see the slight increase in January transactions on a year-over-year basis, even with the inclement weather experienced in the GTA region during the last week of the month. The fact that the number of transactions edged upwards is in line with TREB's forecast for higher sales in calendar year 2019," said Mr. Bhaura. 

The MLS® HPI Composite Benchmark price was up by 2.7 per cent compared to January 2018.

The condominium apartment market segment continued to lead the way in terms of price growth.

The average selling price was up by 1.7 per cent on a year-over-year basis.

After preliminary seasonal adjustment, the average selling price edged lower compared to December 2018.

"Market conditions in January, as represented by the relationship between sales and listings, continued to support moderate year-over-year price increases, regardless of the price measure considered. Given housing affordability concerns in the GTA, especially as it relates to mortgage qualification standards, we have seen tighter market conditions and stronger price growth associated with higher density low-rise home types and condominium apartments, which have lower average selling prices compared to single detached homes," said Jason Mercer, TREB's Director of Market Analysis and Service Channels.

If you’re thinking of making a move and would like to know how we can help, please contact us for more info.

Don't Underestimate The Importance Of Photos When Selling Real Estate

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Take a look at the above image. 

Every now and then a listing pops up on MLS where this is the one and only “photo” used to advertise the property. 

What are these sellers thinking? 

More importantly, what is their realtor thinking?

Everyone knows that homebuyers use the internet as an information source and visit public sites (like Realtor.ca and agent sites, like ours!), to search listings and browse photos. 

Buyers want to see photos, photos, and more photos!

As listing agents, a crucial part of our marketing plan involves hiring a professional photographer so that we have an assortment of great pics in our arsenal. 

Quality photos play an important role in a buyer’s decision to pursue a property or not. 

Online search tools can produce up to hundreds of listings for buyers to choose from and the quickest way for them to thin the herd is to throw aside anything with bad photos (or worse, no photos at all).   

Granted, interior photos of a property may not always be an option. 

If the home is tenanted the sellers may be limited to using photos of the exterior or, in the case of a condo, photos of the building amenities and the common elements (the gym, rooftop terrace, lobby, etc). 

That’s fine.

Some photos are still better than none. 

But care should always be taken to use quality images. 

Below are a few choice listing photos we found online.  Would any of these make you want to contact the listing agent for more info or visit the open house?

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If you’re thinking of making a move and would like to know how we can help, contact us for more info.

December 2018 Market Stats: Infographic & Report

 
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December 2018 market stats are here!

The average sale price for the month was $750,180, up 2.01% compared to December 2017.

Here’s a breakdown of the average sale prices & year-over-year increases/decreases for the 416 area code:

  • Detached = $1,145,892 (-8.0%)

  • Semi-Detached = $939,859 (+4.0%)

  • Townhouse = $714,456 (+10.0%)

  • Condo Apartment = $594,381 (+11.4%)

And here’s TREB’s official market report for the month of December 2018:

Toronto Real Estate Board President Garry Bhaura announced that Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported a total of 77,426 residential transactions through TREB’s MLS® System in 2018.

This result represented a 16.1 per cent decline compared to 92,263 sales reported in 2017.

Total new listings entered into TREB’s MLS® System were down by 12.7 per cent over the same period to 155,823.

The overall average selling price for 2018 transactions, at $787,300, was down by 4.3 per cent year-over-year for all home types combined across the TREB market area.

Home prices were up very slightly in the City of Toronto and down in the surrounding GTA regions.

This dichotomy reflects the fact that the condominium apartment segment, which accounted for a large proportion of sales in the City of Toronto, performed better from a pricing perspective than the detached market segment.

The average price for condominium apartment sales across the TREB market area was up by 7.8 per cent year-over-year.

“Higher borrowing costs coupled with the new mortgage stress test certainly prompted some households to temporarily move to the sidelines to reassess their housing options. With this said, it is important to note that market conditions were improved in the second half of the year, both from a sales and pricing standpoint,” said Garry Bhaura.

“After spiking in 2017, new listings receded markedly in 2018. In many neighbourhoods, despite fewer sales from a historic perspective, some buyers still struggled to find a home meeting their needs. The result was a resumption of a moderate year-over-year pace of home price growth in the second half of the year. Price growth was strongest for less- expensive home types, as many home buyers sought more affordable home ownership options,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Director of Market Analysis and Service Channels. .

If you’re thinking of making a move and would like to know how we can help, please contact us for more info.

Viewing Properties At Night? Be Sure To Take A Second Look During The Day

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When most people picture themselves shopping for a home they imagine doing so on the weekend, during the day.

After all, this is when the majority of open houses happen and it’s generally the easiest time for people to coordinate a couple of free hours.

In a busy city like Toronto however, realtors and buyers are out there pounding the pavement at all hours.

A lot of my buyer clients find it easiest to meet for viewings during the week, after work.

I’ve shown properties as late as 10:30pm on a weeknight.

Seeing properties during the evening isn’t much of an issue in the spring or summer when daylight stretches past 8:00pm.

In the winter though, when night falls as early as 5:00pm, evening viewings can pose some problems.

Natural light is a deal breaker for most buyers. A property that gets plenty of it is always going to outshine (pardon the pun) a property that doesn’t.

Knowing how much natural light a property gets (or doesn’t get) is such an important factor in assessing value that it’s foolish not to view the property during the day.

Before moving forward with an offer on a property that we’ve seen at night, I always advise my clients that we come back for a second look during the day.

Just because a home has windows doesn’t mean the sun’s going to pour in. I’ve seen plenty of houses, condos, and lofts that are dark and dreary on the inside, despite what the exterior might suggest.

And what about the view? Staring out the window of a 3rd floor condo into the dark doesn't give you peace-of-mind for what lays beyond.

What if the garbage bins are sitting directly under the balcony?

Worse still, what if there's a hole in the ground where a new condo will soon stand? (Of course, if your realtor is worth their salt they'll know about that new condo...).

I know that you're busy and evenings may be the only time you can squeeze in some viewings. Do yourself a favour though - take an extra long lunch the next day and go back for a second look.

It's only the largest purchase of your life.

If you’re thinking of making a move and would like to know how we can help, contact us for more info.

November 2018 Market Stats: Infographic & Report

 
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November 2018 market stats are here!

The average sale price for the month was $788,345, up 3.5% compared to November 2017.

Here’s a breakdown of the average sale prices & year-over-year increases/decreases for the 416 area code:

  • Detached = $1,301,382 (+1.8%)

  • Semi-Detached = $1,060,359 (+17.2%)

  • Townhouse = $739,837 (-2.9%)

  • Condo Apartment = $595,678 (+7.0%)

And here’s TREB’s official market report for the month of November 2018:

Toronto Real Estate Board President Garry Bhaura announced the continuation of moderate price growth in November 2018 compared to November 2017.

The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) Composite Benchmark was up by 2.7 per cent year-over-year.

The average selling price was up by 3.5 per cent year-over-year to $788,345.

Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 6,251 residential transactions through TREB's MLS® System in November 2018.

This result was down by 14.7 per cent compared to November 2017, when we saw a temporary upward shift in demand as the market was distorted by the looming OSFI-mandated stress test at the end of last year.

"New listings were actually down more than sales on a year-over-year basis in November. This suggests that, in many neighbourhoods, competition between buyers may have increased. Relatively tight market conditions over the past few months have provided the foundation for renewed price growth," said Mr. Bhaura.

On a preliminary seasonally adjusted basis, sales were down by 3.4 per cent compared to October 2018.

The average selling price after preliminary seasonal adjustment was down by 0.8 per cent compared to October 2018.

"Home types with lower average price points have been associated with stronger rates of price growth over the past few months. Given the impact of the OSFI-mandated mortgage stress test and higher borrowing costs on affordability, it makes sense that the condo apartment and semi-detached market segments experienced relatively stronger rates of price growth in November, as market conditions in these segments remained tight or tightened respectively over the past year," said Jason Mercer, TREB's Director of Market Analysis.

If you’re thinking of making a move and would like to know how we can help, please contact us for more info.

What Happens When A Seller Mistakenly Lists Their One-Bedroom Condo As A Bachelor/Studio Instead?

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I remember going back-to-school shoe shopping one year as a kid. 

I had my heart set on a pair of red Adidas Sambas. 

With cash in hand, I biked to the mall and made a bee line for K-Mart’s sneaker section. 

But the Sambas were nowhere in sight.  

I searched high and low before approaching the cashier. 

After hunting around for awhile we finally tracked the shoes down – they’d been mistakenly placed in the women’s sandal section!

If I hadn’t gone out of my way and made the effort I would’ve had to settle for a lesser shoe (British Knights, anyone?). 

And the Sambas would’ve sat in the sandal section, unsold. 

Why did this happen? 

If you ask me, it boils down to one thing - poor marketing.

What does this story have to do with the Toronto real estate market? 

Last week, a one-bedroom condo popped up for sale on MLS. 

The suite has a lot going for it – it’s located in a great area (St Lawrence Market) and it’s in a highly sought after building. 

However, the listing has one major flaw...  the property is listed as having “0” bedrooms. 

That's right.  It's a one-bedroom condo that's actually listed as a bachelor/studio! 

Anyone who has searched for real estate online knows that “minimum bedrooms” is one of the key criteria to be entered. 

Naturally, anyone searching for a one-bedroom condo ticks "1" in the drop down box so that all bachelor suites are excluded from the results. 

Guess what?  None of these potential purchasers will see the listing for the above property!

Because of this careless marketing error, there are a number of important questions that the sellers will never know the answers to. 

Here are a few that immediately spring to mind:

  • How many potential buyers didn’t see this property when searching on Realtor.ca?

  • How many automated search programs failed to capture and deliver this listing to buyer clients?

  • How much more market exposure could this property have received if the listing was posted correctly?

  • How much more $$$ could it have sold it for?

The key takeaway here? Not all realtors are the same! 

Some are better than others (and if you’re considering going with a discount brokerage… you'll get what you pay for). 

Be sure to find out exactly what you'll be getting for your commission dollars and make an informed decision.

If you’re thinking of making a move and would like to know how we can help, contact us for more info.

October 2018 Market Stats: Infographic & Report

 
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October 2018 market stats are here!

The average sale price for the month was $807,340, up 3.5% compared to October 2017.

Here’s a breakdown of the average sale prices & year-over-year increases/decreases for the 416 area code:

  • Detached = $1,311,265 (+1.4%)

  • Semi-Detached = $1,026,829 (+8.1%)

  • Townhouse = $766,718 (+2.9%)

  • Condo Apartment = $603,153 (+8.6%)

And here’s TREB’s official market report for the month of October 2018:

Toronto Real Estate Board President Garry Bhaura announced year-over-year increases in home sales and average sale prices reported through TREB's MLS® System in October 2018.

Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 7,492 sales through TREB's MLS® System in October 2018 – a six per cent increase compared to October 2017.

On a preliminary seasonally adjusted basis, sales were down by one per cent compared to September 2018.

The average sale price for October 2018 was up 3.5 per cent on a year-over-year basis to $807,340.

After preliminary seasonal adjustment, the average selling price was up one per cent compared to September 2018.

The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) Composite Benchmark was up by 2.6 per cent compared to October 2017. Price growth continued to be driven be the condominium apartment and higher density low-rise market segments.

"Annual sales growth has been positive since the late spring. While the OSFI stress test and higher borrowing costs have kept sales below 2016's record pace, many households in the Greater Toronto Area remain upbeat on home ownership as a quality long-term investment. A strong regional economy and steady population growth will continue to support the demand for housing ownership as we move into 2019," said Mr. Bhaura.

There were 14,431 new Listings entered into TREB's MLS® System in October 2018 – down 2.7 per cent compared to October 2017.

The fact that sales were up and new listings were down year-over-year in October suggests that market conditions became tighter.

"Annual sales growth has outstripped annual growth in new listings for the last five months, underpinning the fact that listings supply remains an issue in the Greater Toronto Area. With municipal elections in the rear view mirror, all levels of government need to concentrate on policies that could remove impediments to a better-supplied housing market, including facilitating the development of a broader array of medium density housing choices," said Jason Mercer, TREB's Director of Market Analysis.

If you’re thinking of making a move and would like to know how we can help, please contact us for more info.

Does My Deposit Cheque Need To Be Certified?

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In my recent blog post on real estate deposits (read it here) I answered some of the key questions that my clients often have: “How much should the deposit be?”  “When is the deposit due?” 

There’s another question that often gets asked and deserves a little attention here: “Does my deposit cheque need to be certified?”

In every MLS listing there’s a section towards the bottom for “broker’s remarks” (note: these remarks aren’t available on the public versions of listings). 

It’s in this section where listing agents will specify things like showing restrictions, offer dates, etc. 

And it’s here that we’ll often see the instruction, “deposit to be certified”.

Why Does The Seller Want My Deposit Cheque To Be Certified?

A seller wants a certified cheque because it gives them greater peace-of-mind than a standard personal cheque does. 

A certified cheque tells the seller a few very important things:

  • The buyer went to the trouble of walking into a bank and paying $5.00 - $10.00 to have the cheque drawn up.

  • The buyer is serious and is submitting their offer with the genuine intent of purchasing.

  • The buyer does indeed have the deposit funds available.

  • The cheque can be deposited immediately into the Listing Brokerage’s trust fund and there’s no worry as to whether or not the funds will clear.

Not to say that a buyer who's only providing a personal cheque isn't serious or doesn't have the funds available... 

It's just that a certified cheque holds more weight in most sellers' eyes.

Give Yourself The Upper Hand When Competing With Other Buyers

In a seller’s market, where buyers are doing everything they can to set their offer apart from the competition, having the deposit certified is a must. 

I’ve seen a buyer with the highest offer actually lose out to someone with a lower offer simply because the lower offer came with a certified deposit cheque. 

In this case, the seller wanted to rest easy that night knowing that it was a done deal and he was willing to pay (in the form of selling for a bit less) for that peace-of-mind.

Can I Provide A Bank Draft Instead?

In my experience, a bank draft is just as good as a certified cheque. 

I’ve never had a listing agent show preference of one over the other and both seem to hold the same weight with sellers. 

And bank drafts are sometimes a bit cheaper/easier to obtain (be sure to check with your banker which option is best for you).

If you’re thinking of making a move and would like to know how we can help, contact us for more info.

September 2018 Market Stats: Infographic & Report

 
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September 2018 market stats are here!

The average sale price for the month was $796,786, up 2.9% compared to September 2017.

Here’s a breakdown of the average sale prices & year-over-year increases/decreases for the 416 area code:

  • Detached = $1,342,363 (-1.4%)

  • Semi-Detached = $995,951 (+6.3%)

  • Townhouse = $743,721 (+8.2%)

  • Condo Apartment = $615,582 (+11.7%)

And here’s TREB’s official market report for the month of September 2018:

Toronto Real Estate Board President Garry Bhaura announced that Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 6,455 sales through TREB's MLS® System in September 2018 – up 1.9 per cent compared to September 2017.

The average selling price for September 2018 sales was up by 2.9 per cent over the same period to $796,786.

The MLS® HPI composite benchmark price was up by two per cent year-over-year.

New listings entered into TREB's MLS® System in September 2018 amounted to 15,920 – down by 3.1 per cent compared to September 2017.

With sales up year-over-year and new listings down, market conditions became tighter.

Many buyers may have found it more difficult to find a home meeting their needs.

"It is healthy to see sales and prices in many areas across the Greater Toronto Area up a bit, compared to last year's lows. At the same, however, it is important to remember that TREB's market area is made up of over 500 communities. Market conditions have obviously unfolded differently across these communities. This is why it's important to work with a REALTOR® who is familiar with local market conditions in your areas of interest," said Mr. Bhaura.

"While higher borrowing costs and tougher mortgage qualification rules have kept sales levels off the record pace set in 2016, many households remain positive about home ownership as a quality long-term investment. As the GTA population continues to grow, the real challenge in the housing market will be supply rather than demand. The Toronto Real Estate Board is especially concerned with issues affecting housing supply as we move towards municipal elections across the region," added Mr. Bhaura.

On a monthly basis, after preliminary seasonal adjustment, sales edged up by 0.2 per cent in September 2018 compared to August 2018.

The average selling price, after preliminary seasonal adjustment, edged lower by 0.5 per cent month-over-month.

"Generally speaking, annual rates of price growth have been stronger for higher density home types in 2018, including condominium apartments, townhouses and semi-detached houses. In many neighbourhoods, these home types provide more affordable home ownership options. This is why a policy focus on increasing mid-density housing options throughout the GTA is important," said Jason Mercer, TREB's Director of Market Analysis.

If you’re thinking of making a move and would like to know how we can help, please contact us for more info.