OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2003

SALES COMMENTARY:
Residential sales in September were a record 6751 units - up 15% from September a year ago and 3% higher than August. On a year to date basis, sales are running 8% higher than last year's record pace. Overall condo sales were up some 20% for the month but Downtown they were only 3% higher and they were flat on the Etobicoke Waterfront. Starting this month, the Toronto Real Estate Board is producing new statistics that should help owners to better understand the market. The first is the 'percentage of sales in a month to active listings'. For the total residential market the figure was 32%. Compare that to houses in Leaside at 100%, Downtown condos at just 20%, and the Etobicoke Waterfront condos at just 15%! In other words one out of every 5 Downtown condos listed for sale in September sold that month. The second figure is the 'sale to list price ratio' for those properties that actually sold. The total residential market was 98% - the same as the Downtown condo market - whereas the Etobicoke Waterfront was at 97%. The lesson here is that if owners over-price their property it will not sell! For buyers, 'low-balling' an offer will not result in a sale - just wasted time and an aggravated seller. Of course Realtors knew this all along but no one believed us!!

Last month we looked at how a new project resold into the market - City Place. We found that there was not a stampede to sell and prices remained stable. This month we looked at sales in Grenadier Landing. This is a new building on the Etobicoke Waterfront that is part of a string of new condo projects. Since registration this year, 12 units have resold on MLS.

Currently there are 16 units for sale. There are 274 units in the building. The most popular unit in the building at 714 sq.ft. - a one plus one with 2 washrooms and parking sold for $248,000 in June and $237,000 in July. There are four more similar units for sale priced from $248,000 down to $234,000 - all with great lake views. It is pretty obvious that these will eventually sell for less than the earlier sales. If anything, prices are softer in this market than the Downtown market. Prices could well return to what the original buyers paid for their units from the developer!

RENTAL COMMENTARY:
The rental market has been active with many renters shopping for 'good buys'. Because of a weak 'corporate' market, furnished rentals continue to weaken in price. Investors who have older furniture in their units need to either replace with new or convert to unfurnished! The only furnished units that are renting look new! In fact the differential between furnished and unfurnished is minimal - $1400 for a one bedroom unfurnished and $1500 for a furnished.

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