Sales Commentary GTA Year-Over-Year Summary for August 2017 A lot of people seem concerned about our real estate market – especially my agents! Yes, the market has been slow since April, and yes prices have backed off in the house but not the condo market. That’s because house prices had an unsustainable run up – not just this spring but over the last three years where we had double digit price increases. In August TREB reported 6357 sales, down 35% from August of last year, but 8% higher than in July. During July, daily sales averaged 191 units. Over the first half of August it was 193, but in the last half it rose to 215 sales. In the condo market sales were 24% lower in August than the same month last year. Downtown condo sales were down by 22% but they were 15% higher than in July! A similar ...
Toronto Market Report September-October 2017
September 19, 2017
Why Millennials Can't Afford to Buy Real Estate
September 7, 2017
More and more young people cannot afford or qualify to buy a home today, and it's not because of real estate prices. Thanks to new policies by the Federal Government, mortgage costs are way higher than they need to be. First the Government set a qualifying rate of 4.8% for mortgages. Did you know that you can get a 5 year fixed rate mortgage for under 3%? Think about it, we don't have qualifying rates for credit cards or car loans, maybe we should. Next the Government introduced new rules for insuring mortgages that eliminated many lenders for borrowers. Only the banks were able to do these types of mortgages. The end result has been that banks have increased both their market share and the interest spreads on mortgage rates this year. With less competition, consumers get to pay way more. So interfering with the market is never a good ...
Will Rent Controls Actually Hurt Tenants
August 31, 2017
It's the first week of September which means it's a busy time for renting. Unlike past years, we now have rent controls. So how will this impact Toronto renters? This is not a panacea for Tenants, in fact, rent controls can cause a big problem for Tenants, for the short, and long term. Short Term In the short term, Landlords are jacking up rents for new Tenants - increases are running at 10% plus. That's because, with rent control, Tenants who stay put will look at increases of only 2% in the second year. That increase will not cover the increase in operating costs for Landlords. So, Landlords want their money up front first. In other words, new Tenants end up paying for Tenants who do not move. It sounds like the City of Toronto Land Transfer Tax. Because city property taxes are lower in areas outside of Toronto, they slapped ...
Toronto Market Report August-September 2017
August 9, 2017
Sales Commentary The market continued its sales decline for the fourth straight month. Sales on TREB were 5,921 units in July, down 40% from last year’s number of 9,929. Historically, sales should be in the nine thousand range. Are we concerned? No – in fact we prefer this market to that of February and March. Back then, the market was driven by irrational behavior which was unsustainable. The current slowdown is psychological. Sellers still want March prices and buyers expect a price correction of 25%. The reality is neither will happen. Prices are down by 15% from their peak but are still 15% higher than a year ago. The question is: who will outwait the other? Our bet is on sellers! Unlike buying groceries that cannot be postponed, buying real estate can be deferred but only for so long. Real estate is not dominated by speculators and foreign buyers but ...
Purchasing a Condo with Kitec Plumbing
August 2, 2017
Kitec is a brand of plastic piping used in residential construction between 1995 to 2007. That means most condo buildings built during that time frame have used it. Kitec is vulnerable to premature failure and many buildings and condo owners have elected to replace it before it causes severe water damage. So what should you do? When you discover the existence in a status certificate, I would not reject buying the condo outright. You may never find the right property for you. If it is just in the condo unit, the cost to replace it is between $5,000-$10,000. So why not do an amendment to reduce the purchase price by that amount. If Kitec is in the common condo areas, to replace that would require a special assessment of each condo owner of about $3,000-$5,000. Again, why not do an amendment to reduce the purchase price by that amount ...
Industry Insights-Listing Price
August 1, 2017
Recently I had a potential seller phone to say that an agent from our Brokerage suggested a List Price that was too low and he would not be listing with us. Why would any agent suggest a list price at all? The role of the agent is to gather market information (solds and current listings) and explain the differences in these properties to the subject property. Interpreting the data is the agent expertise – not setting a list price. So, ask the seller what he would like to list at? Most sellers pick an agent based on list price and commission price versus value. Don’t eliminate yourself because of list price. If the seller wants a list price that is too high, simply say: I guess you are not in a hurry to sell. The seller will ask why? The answer is that you have to sell their property at ...
The Problem with Posted Listings
July 26, 2017
Today I want to talk about posted listings. Posted listings are those where a Seller wants to list their property on MLS. They pay a Broker a minimum fee to put it up then other brokers have to deal directly with the Seller. RECO says that this is all right. It used to be that when you listed a property, a REALTOR® had numerous obligations to the Seller and was liable for the information posted on MLS. Not anymore with posted listings. It's the wild, wild west! Deal with the Seller direct and try and figure out what they're selling. Many agents avoid posted listings altogether. It's too much work trying to educate the Seller. Those agents who attempt it, have to do both sides of the transaction. Represent your Buyer then do all the paperwork for a non-existent listing Brokerage i.e.: double the work for half the commission. ...
Toronto Market Report July-August 2017
July 21, 2017
Sales Commentary June marked the third month in a row where sales declined from the previous month. TREB sales at 7974 units were down a whopping 37% from June of 2016. They were also down 21% from May. Last year was a record year with 113,000 sales. Our own forecast for this year was for 105,000 sales. Year to date, we are at 55,000 sales. Historically, the midpoint of the year represents about 52-54% of the year’s sales. That would translate into a final number of 102,000. In 2016, the June yearly sales were 60,000 which was 53% of the final number. So why are we looking at the market this way? Everyone talks about the speculator and foreign investor components of our market. The reality is that most sales are a result of changing needs. People change jobs, they marry or divorce, they have kids, and they die. All ...
Toronto's Rocky Rental Market
July 13, 2017
Most of our blogs deal with Real Estate sales. That's our primary business. Today I want to talk about the rental market. Currently for every sale, there are 1.5 rentals being done downtown market. While the market is 50% bigger, I feel sorry for tenants. They need to get used to multiple offers. Rent controls won't help, they will only make the market worse. Landlords will even be more selective when choosing tenants. It's not just your income, but your lifestyle that will be scrutinized as well. In a sale, the one that offers the highest price is usually the winner. With tenants, you can offer the highest rent and still not get selected. So if you think the market is tight now, it will get even tighter down the road. Less new construction of condos and fewer condo buyers who want to rent their units out. So tenants, if ...
Toronto's Changing Real Estate Market
July 6, 2017
Everyone knows that our real estate market has changed, except for Buyers and Sellers. Sellers think the prices of March and April are still happening today, wrong. Buyers think that prices are still going to drop by another $100,000, wrong again! So, what happens when Buyers and Sellers can't agree on a price? No sales. In fact, in June Sales have dropped by over 50%. In most markets, prices drop until demand and supply, (Buyers and Sellers) come into line. That is what economists forecast in every market, but not real estate. Sellers are speaking by not lowering their price, but canceling their listing and saying that they will come back next year. Buyers can wait and hope for further price drops, or they have an opportunity without multiple offers, to negotiate hard for their preferred property, today. So, even today some properties will sit on the market for months ...