Active Listings Increase in May
June 5, 2017 — Toronto Real Estate Board President Larry Cerqua announced that Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 10,196 sales through TREB’s MLS® System in May 2017 – down by 20.3 per cent compared to 12,790 sales reported in May 2016. Sales of detached homes were down by 26.3 per cent. Sales of condominium apartments were down by 6.4 per cent.
Active listings – the number of properties available for sale at the end of May – were up by 42.9 per cent compared to the lowest level in 15 years recorded in May 2016, but remained below the average and peak during that period. The number increased considerably for low-rise home types including detached and semi-detached houses and townhouses. Active listings for condominium apartments were down compared to May 2016.
“Home buyers definitely benefitted from a better supplied market in May, both in comparison to the same time last year and to the first four months of 2017. However, even with the robust increase in active listings, inventory levels remain low. At the end of May, we had less than two months of inventory. This is why we continued to see very strong annual rates of price growth, albeit lower than the peak growth rates earlier this year,” said Mr. Cerqua.
Selling prices continued to increase strongly in May compared to the same month in 2016. The MLS® HPI Composite Benchmark price was up by 29 per cent year-over-year. The average selling price for all home types combined for the TREB Market Area as a whole was up by 14.9 per cent to $863,910. Year-over-year price increases were greater for condominium apartments compared to low-rise home types. This likely reflects the fact that the low-rise market segments benefitted most from the increase in listings.
“The actual, or normalized, effect of the Ontario Fair Housing Plan remains to be seen. In the past, some housing policy changes have initially led to an overreaction on the part of homeowners and buyers, which later balanced out. On the listings front, the increase in active listings suggests that homeowners, after a protracted delay, are starting to react to the strong price growth we’ve experienced over the past year by listing their home for sale to take advantage of these equity gains,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Director of Market Analysis.
Done Deals: Two Bids Compete for Spacious, Two-Storey Luxury Condo
1 BALMORAL AVE., No. 807, TORONTO
ASKING PRICE: $1,975,000
SELLING PRICE: $2,150,000
PREVIOUS SELLING PRICE: $1,250,000 (2004); $780,373 (1998)
DAYS ON THE MARKET: Seven
LISTING AGENT: Elli Davis, Royal LePage Real Estate Services Ltd.
The Action: Owners at One Balmoral are often slow to relinquish their homes, so the listing of this two-storey, corner suite was a rare opportunity to purchase a unit there this spring. It was assessed by 16 buyers up close and drew two bidders armed with competing offers in late March.
What They Got: Spanning the eight and ninth floors of a nearly 20-year-old mid-rise is this 2,355-square-foot unit with exits to corridors on both levels, and nine- and 12-foot ceilings on the main and second floor, respectively.
A balcony wraps around the southern and eastern sides of main floor, so there are walkouts from every room, from the den to the updated galley kitchen. A two-sided gas fireplace divides living and dining rooms.
Several Juliet balconies bring fresh air into the larger of two bedrooms upstairs, complete with a walk-in closet and one of three remodelled bathrooms.
An ensuite laundry room, three lockers and two-car parking round out the unit. Monthly fees of $1,991 cover utilities, concierge, as well as fitness and recreation rooms.
The Agent’s Take: “The building is well located near Yonge and St. Clair, the subway and shops,” agent Elli Davis notes. “So a lot of people who looked at it lived in the area and were transitioning from a house to a condo.”
Its two-storey set-up and upscale appointments mimic features of many low-rise homes. “It had two full bedrooms, two full bathrooms upstairs on the second level, so it felt like a little house,” Ms. Davis notes. “It showed beautifully and had a fireplace, so that was appealing, too.”
Strong Growth in New Listings in April
May 3, 2017 — Toronto Real Estate Board President Larry Cerqua announced that Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® entered 33.6 per cent more new listings into TREB’s MLS® System in April 2017, at 21,630, compared to the same month in 2016. New listings were up by double-digits for all low-rise home types, including detached and semi-detached houses and townhouses. New listings for condominium apartments were at the same level as last year.
Total sales for the TREB market area as a whole amounted to 11,630 – down 3.2 per cent year-over-year. One issue underlying this decline was the fact that Easter fell in April in 2017 versus March in 2016, which resulted in fewer working days this year compared to last and, historically, most sales are entered into TREB’s MLS® System on working days.
“The fact that we experienced extremely strong growth in new listings in April means that buyers benefitted from considerably more choice in the marketplace. It is too early to tell whether the increase in new listings was simply due to households reacting to the strong double-digit price growth reported over the past year or if some of the increase was also a reaction to the Ontario government’s recently announced Fair Housing Plan,” said Mr. Cerqua. The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) Composite Benchmark Price was up by 31.7 per cent year-over- year in April 2017. Similarly, the average selling price for all home types combined was up by 24.5 per cent to $920,791.
“It was encouraging to see a very strong year-over-year increase in new listings. If new listings growth continues to outpace sales growth moving forward, we will start to see more balanced market conditions. It will likely take a number of months to unwind the substantial pent-up demand that has built over the past two years. Expect annual rates of price growth to remain well-above the rate of inflation as we move through the spring and summer months,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Director of Market Analysis.
The Globe and Mail has published an article about a recent trend where home sellers are moving into rental properties rather than buying. There have been many shifts in the real estate market as of late, and everyone must adapt to remain relevant. Although I was not interviewed for the article, a photo of a property I just leased out for a client was featured.
Toronto Homeowners Cashed Out to Capitalize on High Prices – And Many Aren’t About to Dive Back In
THE GLOBE AND MAIL
PUBLISHED: WEDNESDAY, APR. 26, 2017
Justin Wheeler didn’t expect he’d start leasing in his 30s. He’s owned a house in Cambridge, Ont., for 10 years and raised a young family there. But he changed his mind after people started flocking to Cambridge to escape Toronto’s expensive real estate market, driving the average price of a house up more than 30 per cent in a year.
“In a couple years, we were going to sell. And then we saw people selling their houses for crazy amounts of money, so we said, ‘Screw it.’”
Last month, Mr. Wheeler sold his house for well over asking price – at twice what he paid. He thinks it’d be “crazy” to buy while the market is so high, so he’s searching for a bigger house to lease while he waits for it to fall.
Toronto-area realtors say interest in leasing high-end rental homes has surged as more and more owners do exactly what Mr. Wheeler did: Cash out and lease while they wait to buy in a cheaper market. Ashley Gollogly, a local realtor, says this is setting Toronto’s high-end leasing market “on fire” – and helping to drive its prices up.
“[It] has always been crazy, but I think in the last six months it’s gotten more so just with the ones that have been selling their houses and taking a break from the market.”
With housing prices in Toronto at record highs, more people are looking to lease – and the increased demand is driving leasing prices higher. Realosophy Realty, a brokerage that collects statistics on housing in Toronto, found 403 new listings of high-end homes – defined as properties asking $4,000 a month and up – in the first quarter of 2017; a 35-per-cent increase from the same period last year. Of those listed, 219 were actually leased out – a 53-per-cent year-over-year increase.
A search of online realty sites turns up homes in the Greater Toronto Area that come with Victorian-style furniture, whirlpools, outdoor kitchens – and price tags as high as $25,000 a month.
Andy Taylor, of Sotheby’s International Realty, represents a Yorkville brownstone listed at $23,500 a month. It has 3,000 square feet of living space, has three bedrooms and no garage, but Mr. Taylor says there’s a market for furnished rentals in great locations, even at this price. So far, he’s seen interest from executives moving to Toronto and from people who sold their house.
Years ago, such leases were popular with businesspeople and athletes who relocated their families after finding temporary jobs in the city. Now, people who have just sold a home – often for a price they never dreamed they would get – are pushing into the leasing market flush with cash.
“People don’t want to take all their money they’ve made in appreciation of their family home and sink it back into real estate,” says local sales representative Jimmy Molloy, of Chestnut Park Real Estate Ltd.
Ehson Rahmati, of World Class Realty Point, who sells and rents condos in the GTA, sees the same story playing out in high-end condo rentals. Interest in large condos increased “tremendously” last year and in March, he says.
“A lot of people obviously are moving out of their houses, so a lot of these smaller condos won’t cut it for a family. So a lot of the bigger two-bedroom, three-bedroom penthouses or just bigger units are being rented.”
The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp.’s Rental Market Report for the fourth quarter of 2016 found the average price for condos with three or more bedrooms increased by 16.35 per cent last year. In comparison, the average price of a one-bedroom apartment increased by 7.30 per cent.
It’s not just Ontario’s recent moves aimed at curbing the housing market that have some convinced that the market is set for a slowdown, and soon. For Ms. Gollogly, it was the election of Donald Trump. For Mr. Wheeler, it is his conviction that the Bank of Canada will raise interest rates.
Penny Brown, a realtor with Sotheby’s International Realty Canada, has noticed a couple trends: People are insisting on closing sales quickly, as if the market could crash any day; people are downsizing while they’re still young; and people are moving into nearby cities such as Cambridge or Hamilton to work remotely.
While selling and leasing might offer the chance to cash in on a rising market, the sellers still need a place to live and may find leasing too expensive.
Terri Roberts lives in a Markham house worth three times what she originally paid. She wants to sell, and rent in the city so her two children have access to the perks of Toronto and to reduce her daily commute. So far, she and her realtors haven’t found a three-bedroom place that’s within her budget and in a neighbourhood that she’s comfortable living in.
“It’s frustrating. Very frustrating.”
Mr. Wheeler is having similar troubles. Although his house sold at a good price for Cambridge, a declining number of listings has made leasing as competitive as buying. And although he’s convinced banks will raise interest rates in the future, leading to a market collapse, he admits there’s no way to tell when that might happen or what the effect on the Cambridge real estate market might be.
“At this point, [the sale feels] good, but who’s to say it’s not going to get even worse and I’ll have gotten out too early? That’s the gamble you take.”
Tight Market Conditions Continue in March
April 5, 2017 — Toronto Real Estate Board President Larry Cerqua announced that Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 12,077 residential sales through TREB’s MLS® System in March 2017. This result represented a 17.7 per cent increase compared to the 10,260 sales reported in March 2016. For the TREB market area as a whole, annual sales growth was strongest for condominium apartments and detached houses.
The number of new listings also increased on a year-over-year basis, at 17,051 – a 15.2 per cent increase compared to March 2016. The strongest growth in new listings was experienced in the detached market segment. While new listings were up strongly compared to last year, the rate new listings growth was still lower than the rate of sales growth. As a result, GTA market conditions continued to tighten.
“It has been encouraging to see that policymakers have not implemented any knee-jerk policies regarding the GTA housing market. Different levels of government are holding consultations with market stakeholders and TREB has participated and will continue to participate in these discussions. Policy makers must remember that it is the interplay between the demand for and supply of listings that influences price growth,” said Mr. Cerqua.
Strong competition between buyers continued to cause high levels of price growth in all major market segments. The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) Composite Benchmark Price was up by 28.6 per cent year-over-year. For the TREB market area as a whole, the average selling price was up by 33.2 per cent, with similar annual rates of growth in the low-rise and condominium apartment segments.
“Annual rates of price growth continued to accelerate in March as growth in sales outstripped growth in listings. A substantial period of months in which listings growth is greater than sales growth will be required to bring the GTA housing market back into balance. As policy makers seek to achieve this balance, it is important that an evidence-based approach is followed,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Director of Market Analysis.
Done Deals: Open House Valuable Marketing Tool for German Mills Home
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, Apr. 06, 2017
83 SIMONSTON BLVD., THORNHILL, Ont.
ASKING PRICE: $1,685,000
SELLING PRICE: $1,641,000
PREVIOUS SELLING PRICE: $379,000 (October, 1998); $357,500 (February, 1998)
TAXES: $5,589 (2016)
DAYS ON THE MARKET: 18
LISTING AND CO-OP AGENT: Elli Davis, Royal LePage Real Estate Services Ltd.
The Action: For over two weeks late last year, this four-bedroom home with an attached double garage hosted 19 private showings and a public open house. “A lot of people think open houses are a waste of time, but I decided to do it that weekend and strangely enough, [the buyers] came in, loved it and came back,” agent Elli Davis says.
What They Got: Various updates to this roughly 35-year-old residence keep it looking contemporary, yet classic. For instance, hardwood floors and mouldings grace an open dining space, entertaining area with a gas fireplace and rear family room with a walkout to the patio and garden beds lining the 60-by 138-foot lot.
For more casual activities, there is a lower level gym and recreation area with another fireplace, plus a guest room.
Cooking and cleaning is convenient with four bathrooms, including one in the master upstairs, and an updated kitchen with an island, marble floors and stone counters.
The Agent’s Take: “The appeal was the school district and Bayview country club, and it’s close to the Don Valley Parkway and 407 [highway],” Ms. Davis notes.
Done Deals: Rosedale Condo Appeals to Luxury-Loving Downsizers
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, Mar. 23, 2017
33 JACKES AVE., No. 602, TORONTO
ASKING PRICE: $2,550,000
SELLING PRICE: $2,450,000
TAXES: $20,192 (2016)
DAYS ON THE MARKET: 60
LISTING AGENT: Elli Davis, Royal LePage Real Estate Services Ltd.
The Action: On a short street between Yonge Street and Rosehill Reservoir is a boutique building where this two-bedroom-plus-den suite had about four dozen showings spread out over two months late last year.
What They Got: In the 1980s, this mid-rise building was designed with only 28 large luxury units, with direct elevator access, an on-site pool and fitness and recreational amenities.
This 2,964-square-foot suite with a den faces the park. The living room has a hidden dry bar and the dining area is finished with herringbone hardwood floors. A remodelled Bellini kitchen with Miele appliances, granite and marble finishes also has treetop views from a balcony with a second walkout from one of two bedrooms.
Three bathrooms, laundry machines and two lockers and parking spots are notable conveniences. Monthly fees of $3,202 go toward water, heating, concierge and valet parking.
The Agent’s Take: “It’s a beautiful building – still very popular,” agent Elli Davis said. “Typically, there are four [units] per floor, each two-bedroom and dens, 2 1/2 baths, which is very sought after for boomers selling larger homes in Rosedale and Forest Hill.”
“It’s easy, one-level living with direct access to lots of services and TLC,” Ms. Davis said.
Sales Up and Listings Down in February
March 3, 2017 — Toronto Real Estate Board President Larry Cerqua announced that Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 8,014 residential sales through TREB’s MLS® System in February 2017. Despite the fact that February 2016 had one more day due to the leap year day, this result was up on a year-over-year basis by 5.7 per cent compared to 7,583 sales reported last year.
“The February statistics tell me that many Greater Toronto Area households continue to view home ownership as a great long-term investment. The high demand for ownership housing we’re seeing is broad-based, with strong sales growth for most low-rise home types and condominium apartments. This makes sense given the results of a recent consumer survey undertaken for TREB by Ipsos, which found an even split between intending first-time buyers and existing homeowners who indicated that they were planning on purchasing a home in 2017,” said Cerqua.
While the demand for ownership housing grew over the past year, new listings entered into TREB’s MLS® System in February were down on a year-over-year basis by 12.5 per cent to 9,834.
The MLS® HPI Composite Benchmark Price was up by 23.8 per cent compared to February 2016. Similarly, the average selling price was up by 27.7 per cent year-over-year to $875,983. Annual rates of price growth continued to be strongest for low-rise home types, particularly detached houses. Growth rates for condominium apartment prices were also in the double digits, likely a result of strong demand from first-time buyers.
“The listing supply crunch we are experiencing in the GTA has undoubtedly led to the double digit home price increases we are now experiencing on a sustained basis, both in the low-rise and high-rise market segments. Until we see a marked increase in the number of homes available for sale, expect very strong annual rates of price growth to continue,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Director of Market Analysis.
Strong Start to 2017
February 3, 2017 — Toronto Real Estate Board President Larry Cerqua announced that Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 5,188 residential transactions through TREB’s MLS® System in January 2017. This result was up by 11.8 per cent compared to 4,640 sales reported in January 2016. Annual rates of sales growth were higher for condominium apartments than for low-rise home types.
January 2017 picked up where 2016 left off: sales were up on a year-over-year basis while the number of new listings was down by double-digit annual rates for most major home types.
“Home ownership continues to be a great investment and remains very important to the majority of GTA households. As we move through 2017, we expect the demand for ownership housing to remain strong, including demand from first-time buyers who, according to a recent Ipsos survey, could account for more than half of transactions this year. However, many of these would-be buyers will have problems finding a home that meets their needs in a market with very little inventory,” said Cerqua.
The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) Composite Benchmark price was up by 21.8 per cent on a year-over-year basis in January. Similarly, over the same period, the average selling price was up by 22.3 per cent to $770,745, with double-digit gains in the average prices for all major home types.
“The number of active listings on TREB’s MLS® System at the end of January was essentially half of what was reported as available at the same time last year. That statistic, on its own, tells us that there is a serious supply problem in the GTA – a problem that will continue to play itself out in 2017. The result will be very strong price growth for all home types again this year,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Director of Market Analysis.
Done Deals: Opening Bid Shuts Down Competition
26 McNairn Avenue, Toronto
ASKING PRICE: $1,388,000
SELLING PRICE: $1,630,000
PREVIOUS SELLING PRICE: $998,000 (2013); $845,000 (2009); $512,000 (2003); $467,000 (2001); $356,000 (1996)
TAXES: $6,632 (2016)
DAYS ON THE MARKET: One
LISTING AGENTS: Elli Davis and Shawn Venasse, Royal LePage Real Estate Services Ltd.
The Action: Around Yonge Lawrence Village late last year, house hunters often encountered bidding wars over residential real estate as soon as anything surfaced. Before that could happen at this detached house on a 25-by-121-foot lot, one of the first 10 visitors devised a strong pre-emptive offer to make it theirs within 24 hours.
What They Got: Much like the classic brick façade of this two-storey residence built in the 1930s, the interior preserves traditional elements, such as a fireplace in the living room and wainscoting around the dining area.
Contemporary additions include tile floors, marble counters and stainless-steel appliances in the galley kitchen, which opens to a family room with a skylight and walkout to a deck, patio and fenced-in backyard.
The basement is completely open with a recreation area, while the top floor is divided for three bedrooms, including one with a tandem sitting room and a master with a walk-in closet and semi-ensuite, which is the largest of two bathrooms.
The Agent’s Take: “It retained the old charm, but had nice new details,” agent Elli Davis says. “It had a large family room addition at the rear of the house, which really was the selling point of the house.”
Although this home has a garage for a vehicle, it’s also a short stroll to amenities on foot. “It’s in a great location north of Lawrence, south of York Mills, you can walk to the York Mills subway and Yonge Street shops,” Ms. Davis notes.