Last month, we spent the entire Report trying to educate the public on how the real estate market operates. It did not seem to have much effect as the rest of the Media was intent on doing the 'Chicken Little' thing and the public bought in! So let's go back to reporting the Stats.
Residential sales in October suffered their biggest single month decline this year over '07; down 35%. The 416 area code was worse, down by 38%. In terms of condos, the overall market was off 25%, but Downtown, where condo activity is stronger, sales were down more, to 32% from the same month a year ago. There is no doubt the New City Land Transfer Tax introduced in 2008 pushed forward sales into late 2007 and this also had a negative impact on this year's sales. Only the politicians who imposed the tax seem surprised! But the telling signal for Downtown Condos is that the sale-to-listing ratio which last year stood at 65% (a sellers' market) is now at 25% (a buyers' market). But before anyone thinks that everything is being sold at fire sale prices, the sale price to list price ratio for condos selling is still at 98%. What is happening is that sellers either get their price or their properties just don't sell.
Going forward, we cannot emphasize enough that 'market timing' never works. Sellers who were waiting for the top of the market missed it six months ago. So if you don't have to sell now, take your property of the market and wait! Buyers who think that the market will be even softer in six months are also in for a surprise. The long term fundamentals of the condo market are extremely positive and all of the bad economic news has already been factored into this market. The best time for buyers is now when there is so much product available. Wait a year and you will be back in the herd, running after listings with multiple offers.
So let's look at today's real estate prices by tracking some sales at the Waterview condos