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 ...
Toronto Market Report August-September 2017
August 9, 2017
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 ...
Toronto Market Report June-July 2017
June 26, 2017
Sales Commentary The big or new story with this market is the shrinking sales numbers – lower sales have been recorded every month since March. Starting in the first two weeks of April, sales on TREB averaged 435 per day. The last half of April the daily number was 345. In May we averaged 329 sales per day and with the mid-month report for June, we are at 214 sales per day. Historically, May and June are the biggest sales months of the year. For 2017, our biggest month has been March. So why have sales dropped? It began with prices skyrocketing by 30% at the start of the year. Buyers couldn’t wait to throw money at average properties because there was little to choose from. Everyone knew this price explosion would not last long. It was just a matter of time, and that time came at the end of ...
Should You Walk Away from a Real Estate Deal?
June 13, 2017
With the sudden change in the market, some buyers who bought at the end of March and early April are thinking they might have paid too much. Should they just walk away from the deal and lose their deposits? Bad Idea! Walking away is the most expensive thing you can do. A Seller will then resell the property, probably for less money because you the Buyer will cover the losses. The Buyer will also pay for the extra legal fees, carrying costs of the property, extra costs for where the Seller is moving to, and so on. You get the picture, big bucks! Close now. We don't care what it costs you. The market will bounce back in September and prices will be back to March and April prices by this time next year. Remember, real estate is a long-term investment, think short-term and you can loose. Think long term ...
The Problem with 'Double Ending' Part Two
June 6, 2017
Welcome to Part Two of Double Ending, or Dual Agency. In Part One we concluded that problems only arrive with Dual Agency when we have multiple offers on a property. This is a Toronto problem. In smaller communities all across Ontario, most top agents double end over 50% of their sales, without any problem. Banning Dual Agency is a bad idea. The solution, as I've said before is to change the act. Listen to me RECO, on all multiple offers, let all buyers and their agents see all offers. Right now, all we can disclose is how many offers and who the buyer agents are. Make everyone see all the offers. Right now, only the listing agents see them, and what an advantage that is if they have their own offer. That's where all the complaints come from too. Simply change that section of the act and the problem is solved ...