Corinne McCabe ABR, Broker

Bosley Real Estate Ltd., Brokerage

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The media is at it again this week with grim news that the "Housing market stumbles in spring". Yes, we know the number of sales is down if we compare it to last years figures, but that is nothing new. Sales in the GTA have been down over the past year following a market correction that began last May, long before the stress-test rules were in place. But on a month-over-month basis, The GTA market has been stabilizing this year, with sales down just 1% in April compared to March on a seasonally adjusted basis. One of the factors in declining sales nationally has been a reduction in new homes listed for sale as sellers have sat on the sidelines waiting for the markets to strengthen. A decline in new listings has helped keep prices relatively stable even as the volume of sales has declined.

An impending long weekend has a natural cooling effect on the market with the freehold sector remaining relatively unchanged from the previous week, however sales were up 13% and competition for homes is still strong with an average 66% selling at or above the list price. Once again, the east end of the city (Riverdale and Leslieville) remain the hot spots. Properties in the $700K to $1.SM price range saw plenty of multiples and of those sold 76% sold at or over the asking price.

If you thought shifting your dreams of home ownership to the condo market would make life easier, you might be a little disappointed. This year we have watched as competition for resale condos increased dramatically. Last week the number of sold condos was up by 12% and of those sold 55% sold at or above the list price. Clearly, it's a seller's market for condos in Toronto. It was also great to see a 20% influx of new condos come to market last week with 425 new listings.

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"April showers bring May flowers" It's May and it's finally warm and everyone is smiling. And yea the Raptors are in the second round of playoffs. With the spring market in full swing we are seeing a ramp up of new listings. The Toronto Real Estate board released the April monthly figures and it sounds all gloomy. That's because the stats include the entire GTA and the reported number of sales is down and so is the average sale price. But the good news is that the average sale price for the City of Toronto is up again!

January: $766,616  February: $806,494  March: $817,642  April: $865,817

The freehold market recorded a 40% increase in new listings last week, but as the Spring market hits its stride this increase is considered low. The new listings were spread out over all areas of the city. Sales have remained identical to the week before, but competition was fierce with nearly 55% of properties selling at or over the list price. A good house, well priced, staged nicely and given enough time on the market should generate upwards of 5 or more offers depending on location, price and condition.

Condominiums have remained the strongest market statement in Toronto as buyers continue to favour the lowest-price housing option. Last week new listings increased 15% while sales saw a modest 5% gain. 204 condos traded last week up from 198 the week before. The most active category was the $400 to $700 price point in the central core with 50% of condos selling at or above the list price. Even though mortgage rates went up this week the condo market is still fueled with would-be house purchasers unable to enter the freehold market.

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Woohoo the spring market is heating up! The media headlines are all positive news that the Toronto-area and GTA real estate market is showing signs of a spring rebound and the recent strength in price marks the start of a new upward trend. Even if the volume of transactions remains relatively low in the Toronto area, demand is building. The right properties in desirable neighbourhoods are attracting multiple offers, while still allowing room for negotiation. The market's going to do a bit better than most people are expecting. All those waiting for a slow down, you might be waiting for awhile!

Recent changes to mortgage regulations are fueling demand for lower-priced homes while shrinking the pool of qualified buyers for higher-priced homes and that finds the $700,000 to $1.S million price range extremely competitive. Last week the number of freehold properties sold was up 54% from the week before and again Riverdale and Leslieville are the hot spots with 83% of properties selling above the asking price. There is no slowdown to neighbourhoods in the west end such as Wallace Emerson and Dufferin Grove where 75% of the sales happened in multiple offers. Sales remained strong in the central core which saw 47 properties sell in the $1,500,000 to $3,000,000 up by 70%, a huge jump from last week.

The downtown condo market is still insane. It seems downtown condos offer a lifestyle that buyers want. They want to be within walking distance to work or a short transit ride, and they're still willing to pay top dollar. Multiple offers and over-asking prices are the norm, but supply is an issue for condos. Last week we saw 175 condos sold, up 25% from the week before and of those sold 51% sold over the asking price. The number of new listings was slightly down by 13%.

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Friday the 13th is generally believed to be a bad luck day. With a potential ice storm this weekend it might be bad luck. Old man winter just won't go away. When are we going to put away our coats and let the sunshine warm our bodies?
Well, as with any spring market the tide is turning slowly on the inventory problems. Market watchers are seeing signs, that sales in the GTA are starting to take off after a year of volatility. Freehold listings increased to 243 units in the core, nearly 128% higher than the previous week while condo listings increased by 353 units (or an 85% increase) over the same period.

We can hear home buyers breathe a sigh of relief as listings spiked as soon as the Easter holiday weekend wrapped up. Unfortunately, the number of freehold properties that sold was down by 33% week over week. It could be that offer night for all the new listings take place a week later. Bidding wars are still erupting, and buyers are once again flinging around jaw-dropping amounts above asking prices. It's not uncommon to see a property sell for $300,000 over the asking price and in the east end (E01) that is a common occurrence.

The condo market last week saw a huge influx of new listings but the number of sold units was down 22% from the previous week. Finding a condo to rent in Toronto made headline news this week. The average monthly rent surged 10.7% in the first quarter from a year earlier to $2,206. Part of the reason is simple supply and demand or the fact that to buy an average priced ($590,000) resale condo in Toronto, you have to make an average annual income of $100,000, up from $77,000 a year earlier.

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Good bye March. Welcome warm weather, spring flowers, sunshine and more listings! The March real estate stats were released this week and when we add in the GTA figures it sounds like the real estate market is crashing. Not so.

AVERAGE SALE PRICE FOR TORONTO (2018): JANUARY - $766,616  |  FEBRUARY - $806,494  |  MARCH - $817,642

With three consecutive months of increase, house prices in the Toronto area continue to show signs of stabilizing, fueling predictions the city will continue to see stronger growth in the second half of 2018. The new mortgage qualifications rules do not appear to have had a major impact on the average monthly prices in the first three months this year. Toronto has seen a dramatic drop (down 34%) in the number of sales from last year. Last year we had less than a month of inventory versus this year with inventory ranging between two and three months.

Last week was a short week with Good Friday and Easter, therefore the number of new freehold listings was substantially down 49% compared to the week before. That being said, the number of sales were up 20% and of those sold, 75% sold over the asking price.

It was a similar market in the resale condo sector. Listings were down 33% from the week before but sales were slightly up by 10%, and 55% sold over asking.

AVERAGE CONDO PRICE FOR TORONTO (2018): JANUARY - $543,279  |  FEBRUARY - $570,275  |  MARCH - $590,184

Bosley Real Estate Ltd. is a full service boutique brokerage operating in Toronto, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Port Hope and Cambridge Ontario since 1928. We have four centrally located offices and over 250 sales representatives selling and leasing homes and condominiums in all the vibrant communities we work in. Our brand is well recognized internationally thanks to our unique affiliation with Leading Real Estate Companies of the World. Our sales teams meet weekly to discuss market conditions, trending topics, and anecdotes that more accurately reflect the true temperature of the real estate market.

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Ready, set, go! Spring has sprung. This weekend approaching is Easter, and millions of people will delve into delicious chocolate eggs, head to church, participate in egg hunts and be thankful for the arrival of spring. Agents are all gearing up to see what happens next week. The holidays will all be over and with warmer weather and sunny days, hopefully the tides will turn on the inventory problems and the spring market will be underway!

The freehold market saw a whopping 120% increase in new listings last week throughout all neighbourhoods in Toronto. Again, it's the price range between $700,000 and $1,500,000 that dominates, although there were 17 new listings in the central core that were listed over $3 million. The number of sold properties was up by 20% week over week and of those properties sold, 43% sold over the asking price. The east end of Toronto E0l, E02, and E03 has had the most sales. E0l has consistently been leading in all neighbourhood this year with 107% list to sell ratio.

A similar market exists in the resale condominium sector. Listings were up last week by 20% and the biggest jump happened in the central core's first-time buyer's price range of condos listed between $400K and $700K. Sales were down by 18% last week, but its interesting to note that multiple offers are on the rise. Last week 46% of condos sold in multiple offers.

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