Corinne McCabe ABR, Broker

Bosley Real Estate Ltd., Brokerage

Cell 416-888-9842 | info@corinnemccabe.com

 

Call us unimaginative, but along with being thankful for family, good health and warm fall weather, this year we are going to be thankful for being Realtors®. Again. Sure, it has been and up and down and up kind of year and no we have not moved out of the near bottom ranking of jobs people like to hate, but nobody gets to explore and enjoy the city like we do. As the city learns to live a high-rise lifestyle we Realtors can enjoy some of the city’s most stunning views in the morning and wander amongst the grand homes of Lawrence Park in the afternoon. Condo owners have a bit more to be happy about as overall price growth in that sector continues to outstrip the single home market but recent stats from the Toronto Real Estate Board show all house types up year-over-year in the 416. Happy Thanksgiving!


In the condo market there was a modest decline in new listings as we head into the Thanksgiving long weekend with listings down 12% to 276 from 314 the previous week. Buyers can be thankful, though Sellers are definitely not, that the percentage of condos selling above their listed price continues to decline. This week only (yes, only) 27% of condos sold over their advertised price, down from above 40% in early-September.


In the freehold market the decline in new listings was more pronounced, down 17% from the previous week. While the condo market seems to have found its identity (just keep going up), the freehold market still seems to be looking for stable footing.  We are witnessing a bit of everything, with some listings reducing their prices after a few weeks and some still increasing their price when they don’t get a bidding war on offer night. Bidding wars are still happening with 35% of homes selling above their list price, just not to the same extent they were in the ultra hot spring market.

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Ground Control to Major Tom, take your protein pills and put your helmet on. And just like that the Fall market has started. In case you have been away this summer it might be worth a quick recap on just where we are in the real estate world. After a rocking great start to the year with record sales through April the provincial government created their Fair Housing Plan, including their new rules on rental properties and a foreign buyers tax.  Not to be outdone, the federal government then joined the chorus with not one but two increases to the prime interest rate that the banks were only too happy to embrace and have begun to hum the tune of stricter borrowing rules that we have heard before. While the municipal government has kept out of the legislative choir it seems they are mostly hoping all these measures to cool the market don’t work too well, because gosh they really need all that income from the land transfer tax. So what does all this mean to Toronto’s real estate Fall market? It’s a bit too early to say. What we can say is that perhaps we are not all singing the same tune.  The media continues to sing the song of market collapse while from the background singers we are hearing whispers of homes selling with 8 offers and multi-million dollar Rosedale mansions selling after one day on the market.


The freehold sector was up a whopping 450% or five times more new listings than the previous week. This is not unusual for so many listings coming out after labour day. What was unusual was the amount of sold listings down by almost 50% from the previous week, with 20 per cent selling over the asking price. What was notable last week was 29 new listings in the central core listed above $3 million!


The condo market also saw an increase in new listings. Up 200% over the previous week, with the sweet spot being the $400k to $700k. While sales tapered off 45% over the previous week, a substantial amount (34%) of the sales, sold over the asking price. The condo rental market is fierce these days. New listings don’t even last a day and most end up in a bidding war. The average one bedroom in Toronto is now $2,089 a month!

Bosley Real Estate Ltd. is a full service boutique brokerage operating in Toronto, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Jordan and Port Hope, 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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As we approach the middle of August, the traffic around the city gets a little lighter and it seems like it’s your last chance to take a bit of a breather before we start to think about getting ready for the fall real estate market. There is much talk around the office about all the new listings that will be hitting MLS after Labour Day. Will it be a repeat of May when we saw an excess of listings come to market? Are buyers waiting patiently for the impending influx of new listings to satisfy their desire for a place to call home?

 

The freehold sector remained relatively unchanged from the previous week. Sales were steady but the amount of new listings has tapered off by 33 per cent. The $700k to $1.5m price range was the busiest sector and 43 per cent of the sales, sold over the asking price. The west end was the hot spot this week for buyers with more than half of the homes selling over asking.

 

The condo sector has eased off as well with slightly less new listings and 12 per cent less sales. The hot spot is the $400K to $700K price range in the central core and 18 percent of the sales, sold over asking. The big talk in the office this week was the rental market with condo rentals receiving as many as 16 offers! Trying to find a rental in Toronto is a lot like online dating. With students going back to school renting in Toronto is the hardest it’s ever been. With rents increasing on average 11% in the last year, the average one bedroom in Toronto is $2,089 a month.

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The dog days of August are upon us.  The weather is finally hot, hot, hot and sipping drinks on a patio is where we all want to be.  Listings are slowing down but last week sales were slightly up by 8%.   There was a significant increase in open house traffic last weekend and agents are seeing more appointments being booked on their listings.  Stories around the office of properties that had 9, 16 and 18 offers this week got everyone all talking.   Is pricing low to generate offers the way to go?


Some agents believe to list with an asking price close to market value and accept offers anytime and some believe to list low and set a date for offers.  The latter seems to be happening again.  It’s too soon to tell if a flurry of sales signals a trend that some buyers simply need to move on with their lives.


The July resale housing market figures were just released for the GTA, and results show we were down 40.4% in sales on a year-over-year basis and listings were up slightly (5%) above last year.  The average selling price for all home types combined was up by 5% from 2016 to $746,218.  Sumer market statistics are often not the best indicators of housing market conditions.  “Clearly, the year-over-year decline we experienced in July had more to do with psychology, with would-be home buyers on the sidelines waiting to see how market conditions evolve.”, said Mr. Syrianos, TREB president.

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The traffic has slowed down and you can tell most people have ventured out of town for their summer holidays. The weather has finally warmed up and everyone is taking advantage of the great outdoors. Open house attendance has dropped off and property showings have slowed down. In real estate language, we call this "The Summer Market".

 

It's easy to see the freehold sector easing into the summer market. Listings remained unchanged except for a slight increase in the 3 million plus range. There is still some good news. Homes selling in the $700 to $1.5m range, almost half of them sold over asking!

 

In the condo sector the number of new listings has not increased but a surprising number of condos (35) are available in the $300-400 range and more than 50% have sold over the asking price. Good news for the first time buyers with a small budget.

 

The Bank of Canada interest rate hike last week could prolong the slowdown of the Toronto housing market, but economist Benjamin Tal said it is not expected to last long term. "What led to the slowdown in Vancouver was really more domestic buyers waiting to see what the foreign buyers tax will do."

 

While Toronto could follow a similar path to the Vancouver market that saw a significant decline, there are other factors now at play, Tal said.

 

"We also see interest rates going up and the regulators are talking about introducing more measures to slow down the market" he said. "That's why it's possible the slowdown in Toronto will be more durable than the slowdown in Vancouver." 

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