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Done Deals: North Toronto House Sells For $90,000 Over Asking Price

POSTED ON August 4th  - POSTED IN Done Deals, Elli's Archives, Featured News

127 Castlefield Avenue, Toronto

ASKING PRICE: $1,295,000127 Castlefield Avenue
SELLING PRICE: $1,385,000
TAXES: $7,993 (2014)
LISTING AGENT: Elli Davis, Royal LePage Real Estate Services Ltd.

Published in the Globe and Mail, July 31, 2015

The Action: Just a 10-minute walk from restaurants, shops, cinemas and a subway station on Yonge Street, this North Toronto home was scheduled for nearly a week of exposure. But the weekend open houses were cancelled after the owners accepted an offer from one of six visitors with mid-week private showings.

What They Got: A 27-by-134-foot lot anchors this three-storey structure with three bedrooms, three bathrooms, formal principal rooms and five decks, including one leading to a fenced yard from a fireside family room behind the double garage.

The basement offers a recreation area and a guest bedroom, while the second floor accommodates an eat-in kitchen and fireside living room with decks and a central dining area.

The Agent’s Take: “You could walk to Yonge and Eglinton, so it’s in a prime area,” agent Elli Davis says. “And it’s an older area, but this was a detached home that had been built in the eighties, so it was more contemporary.”

The set-up also suited a wide range of potential buyers, from large families to professionals wanting an urban setting. “It really had three full floors of living space, so it was very large, larger than you’d think from the street,” Ms. Davis says.

“It has a nice backyard and faced south, so you had a good view of the CN Tower from the second floor.”

Done Deals: Large Forest Hill Condo Sells Quickly

POSTED ON July 17th  - POSTED IN Done Deals, Elli's Archives, Featured News

350 Lonsdale Rd., No. 612                                               
ASKING PRICE: $838,000
TAXES: $4,056 (2014)
LISTING AGENT: Elli Davis, Royal LePage Real Estate Services Ltd.

Published in the Globe and Mail July 16, 2015

The Action: Forest Hill condominiums were a hot commodity this spring with local downsizers, so this designer’s own suite at The Lonsdale residence sold quickly after 10 showings.

What They Got: In 2008, key areas of this 1,407-square-foot space were remodelled, including the two bathrooms and a kitchen with an island, glass tile backsplashes and hardwood floors.

One of three carpeted bedrooms was opened up to create a den off a dining area and entertaining space along a wall of windows and sliding balcony doors.

A locker and parking round out the package. Monthly fees of $1,507 pays for utilities and cable, and common areas such as a rooftop deck and indoor pool.

The Agent’s Take: “That was a two-bedroom and den, originally a three-bedroom, which are increasingly hard to find in the city,” says agent Elli Davis. “It had also been renovated beautifully by the owner.”

The 44-year-old mid-rise – which Ms. Davis once resided in with her parents in the 1970s – also has a solid reputation.

“A lot of people like the older buildings because they’re well managed, have good reserve funds and space, which is key compared to the little matchboxes they’re building today,” she says.

“It’s right near Forest Hill Village, the subway, it’s a very high demand area, and it has a big party room on the main floor, 24-hour security, so it really has all the facilities someone would want.”

Market Watch Report: June 2015

POSTED ON July 7th  - POSTED IN Featured News, Market Watch

Record Sales and Strong Price Growth in June

July 7, 2015 — Toronto Real Estate Board President Mark McLean announced that Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 11,992 sales through TREB’s MLS® System in June 2015. This result represented a new record for the month of June and an 18.4 per cent increase over the June 2014 result of 10,132.

“As I begin my term as TREB President, I think it is important to point out that our region continues to grow in response to our diverse economic, ethnic and cultural bases. The GTA consistently receives international accolades as one of the best places in the world to live and do business. As the number of households grow, many of them will take advantage of the diversity of affordable home ownership opportunities that exist in Toronto and the surrounding areas,” said Mr. McLean.

Selling prices were up markedly on a year-over-year basis in June, for all major home types. The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) Composite Benchmark was up by 8.9 per cent in comparison to June 2014. The average selling price was up by 12.3 per cent over the same period to $639,184.

High-end homes have accounted for a greater share of overall transactions this year compared to last year. This is the key reason why the average selling price has increased at a greater annual rate than the MLS® HPI Composite Benchmark.

“It is encouraging to see that new listings have edged upward so far this year, as homeowners have reacted to strong home price growth and have looked to take advantage of increased equity in their homes. However, the annual rate of sales growth continues to far outstrip listings growth, which means that there remains a lot of willing buyers in the marketplace who haven’t found a home that meets their needs. As long as this situation persists, expect home prices to trend strongly upward,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Director of Market Analysis.

Market Watch Report: June 2015

Market Watch Report: May 2015

POSTED ON June 3rd  - POSTED IN Featured News, Market Watch

A New Sales Record For The Month Of May

Toronto Real Estate Board President Paul Etherington announced 11,706 sales reported by Greater Toronto REALTORS® in May 2015. This result was up by 6.3 per cent in comparison to 11,013 sales reported in May 2014. For the TREB market area as a whole, sales were up for all major housing types. However, in the City of Toronto, where the supply of low-rise listings has been constrained, sales were down for detached homes.

“During my tenure as TREB President over the past year, it is clear to me that ownership housing remains top of mind as a quality long-term investment for GTA households. This is why, despite a shortage of listings in some market segments, we experienced a record number of sales reported through TREB’s MLS® System for the month of May,” said Mr. Etherington.

Record May transactions, coupled with a dip in the number of homes available for sale, resulted in strong price growth. The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) Composite Benchmark was up by 8.9 per cent year over year in May. The MLS® HPI uses benchmark homes to estimate price growth. This allows for an “apples to apples” comparison of price growth that is not affected by changes in the mix of sales activity.

The average selling price for all home types combined in May 2015 was up by 11 per cent annually to $649,599. The higher annual rate of average price growth compared to the MLS® HPI Composite Benchmark points to the fact that the proportion of high-end home sales continued to be greater compared to 2014.

“Tight market conditions, especially for singles, semis and town homes in the GTA, have resulted in strong price growth regardless of the price metric being considered. With no relief so far on the listings front, expect similar rates of price growth as we move through the remainder of 2015. At this point, a number of months where listings growth outstrips sales growth would be required to satisfy pent-up demand,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Director of Market Analysis.

Market Watch Report May 2015

Bay Street Condo Sells Over Asking Out of Agent’s Rolodex

POSTED ON May 15th  - POSTED IN Done Deals, Elli's Archives, Featured News

1166 Bay Street

1166 BAY ST., NO. 1304, TORONTO
ASKING PRICE: $1,095,000
SELLING PRICE: $1,120,000
TAXES: $7,108 (2014)
LISTING AND CO-OP AGENT: Elli Davis, Royal LePage Real Estate Services Ltd.

Published in the Globe and Mail, Friday May 15, 2015

The Action: In an established Yorkville high-rise, the owners of this three-bedroom corner suite hoped to sell it with little fanfare, so they asked agent Elli Davis to find them a buyer, which she pulled from her list of clientele.

What They Got: This nearly 2,100-square-foot suite is fairly original to its construction 34 year ago with a separate eat-in kitchen, open dining and living rooms and three bedrooms, including a master with one of two bathrooms.

A laundry room with a sink, two storage lockers and parking spots provide storage for the unit, while $1,973 monthly pays for water and recreational facilities.

The Agent’s Take: “It was a very nice building built in the ’80s by Cadillac Fairview and it’s been kept up very well,” agent Elli Davis notes. “The building offers amenities, valet parking, doorman, pool and party room.”

Residents tend to stay long-term, making units highly coveted. “There are five suites per floor and all range 2,000 to 2,200 square feet and three face east and two west; all different plans, but all generous sizes,” Ms. Davis notes.

“This faced west and it was about 2,100 square feet, and it appealed to someone coming out of a home.”

Market Watch Report: April 2015

POSTED ON May 5th  - POSTED IN Featured News, Market Watch

Record Sales in April 2015

May 5, 2015 – Toronto Real Estate Board President Paul Etherington announced that Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 11,303 sales in April 2015. This was the highest sales result on record for the month of April and represented a 17 per cent increase in comparison to April 2014. While sales increased strongly on a year-over-year basis, new listings were up over the same period by a more moderate five per cent.

“The record April result clearly points to the fact that a growing number of GTA households view ownership housing as a high quality, long-term investment. This is evidenced by the strong sales growth we have experienced in Toronto and surrounding regions for all major home types. First time buyers and existing homeowners remain very active in today’s market,” said Mr. Etherington.

The overall average selling price, which accounts for all homes reported sold by GTA REALTORS® in April 2015, was up by 10 per cent year-over-year to $635,932. The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) Composite Benchmark, which estimates the price of a benchmark home with the same attributes from one period to the next, was up by 8.4 per cent over the same period. The fact that average price growth outpaced growth for the MLS® HPI Composite Benchmark, suggests that a greater share of higher-end homes changed hands this year compared to last.

Irrespective of the indicator used, price growth in the GTA was strongest for low-rise home types. However, the better supplied condominium apartment segment also remained healthy with price growth above the rate of inflation.

“Demand for ownership housing was very high relative to the number of homes available for sale in April. This situation is not expected to change markedly as we move through the remainder of 2015. Until we experience a sustained period in which listings grow at a faster pace than sales, annual rates of home price growth will remain strong,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Director of Market Analysis.

Market Watch Report April 2015

In Toronto, Bidding Wars Enter New Territory

POSTED ON April 8th  - POSTED IN Elli's Archives, Featured News

I was recently interviewed by Carolyn Ireland of the Globe and Mail about the bidding wars over detached homes that have been causing a stir in Toronto real estate.

By: Carolyn Ireland
Globe and Mail

Elli Davis, an agent with Royal LePage Real Estate Services Ltd., was decrying the lack of listings a couple of weeks ago, but the opening days of March have brought new properties.

“It’s really explbidding wars globe and mailoded,” she says.

On just one day this week she listed a house at 36 Binscarth Rd. in Rosedale, a condo unit at the Prince Arthur in Yorkville, and a house at 221 Coldstream Ave. in Bedford Park.

During the agents’ open house on Binscarth, she was monitoring the offers that were arriving for 3 Delavan Ave., which was listed for $1.875-million in Forest Hill.

“I’ve got two registered offers – no three – no it looks like four,” she said, scrolling through her inbox just before noon.

The night before, Ms. Davis received 11 offers for a single-family house at 96 Major St. The location near the University of Toronto drew lots of interested people, she says.

The house, listed with an asking price of $625,000, sold for $768,888, or $143,888 above asking.

Click here to read the Full Article



Market Watch Report: March 2015

POSTED ON April 7th  - POSTED IN Featured News, Toronto Real Estate News

Sales and Price Up Year-Over-Year in March 2015

Toronto Real Estate Board President Paul Etherington announced that Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 8,940 sales in March 2015. This result represented an 11 per cent increase compared to March 2014. Sales were up for most major home types, both in the City of Toronto and the surrounding regions. New listings were also up, but by a lesser 5.5 per cent, indicating tighter market conditions.

“Home sales increased compared to last year as the cost of home ownership remained affordable, with lower interest rates going a long way to mitigate the effect of rising home prices. However, a substantial amount of pent-up demand remains in place, especially as it relates to low-rise market segments. This suggests that strong competition between buyers, which has fuelled strong price growth so far this year, will continue to be experienced throughout the spring,” said Mr. Etherington.

In March, the average selling price for all reported transactions was $613,933 – up 10 per cent year-over-year. The MLS® HPI Composite Index, which tracks benchmark homes with the same attributes from one period to the next, was up by 7.9 per cent. Average price growth was strongest for detached homes in the City of Toronto, at 15.9 per cent. Over the same period the detached MLS® HPI in the ‘416’ area code increased 7.8 per cent.

Click here to read the full Market Watch Report March 2015

Market Watch Report: February 2015

POSTED ON March 4th  - POSTED IN Featured News, Toronto Real Estate News


Robust Sales and Price Growth in February


Toronto Real Estate Board President Paul Etherington announced that Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 6,338 home sales through the TorontoMLS system in February 2015. This result represented a substantial 11.3 per cent year-over-year increase compared to February 2014. Large annual increases in transactions were noted for most major home types, in the City of Toronto and surrounding GTA regions.

“Even with the record low temperatures last month, we still saw an increase in the number of people purchasing homes in the GTA. This speaks to the importance households place on home ownership and the fact that buyers continue to view ownership housing as a quality long-term investment in which they can live,” said Mr. Etherington.

The overall supply of homes for sale, as measured by the count of active listings at the end of February 2015, was down by 8.7 per cent compared to the same count in February 2014. This means that market conditions became tighter, leading to more competition between buyers.

The overall average selling price for February 2015 home sales was $596,163– up by 7.8 per cent compared to the average for February 2014. Driving this increase was the detached market segment. In the City of Toronto, the average detached selling price moved above $1 million dollars for the first time in a calendar month.

“The strong year-over-year price growth we experienced in February points to the robust demand for ownership housing in the GTA, coupled with a constrained supply of homes for sale in some market segments, especially where low-rise home types like singles, semis and townhouses are concerned,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Director of Market Analysis.


Detailed Market Watch Report for February 2015

A Lack of Listings Leads to Lively Bidding for Toronto Homes

POSTED ON March 3rd  - POSTED IN Featured News, Toronto Real Estate News

Elli was one of the Toronto agents interviewed by Carolyn Ireland about the shortage of listings and how this has affected the real estate market and property prices. In recent years Toronto has seen a steady flow of condos available for sale but the inventory in detached homes has been low, which has helped fuel edge-of-your-seat bidding wars. What does the future have in store?


Published in The Globe and Mail
By Carolyn Ireland, February 19, 2015

Lively bidding for a small house in Leslieville last week caused a buzz around the neighbourhood when the house sold for $96,000 above the asking price of $499,000.

One neighbour on Berkshire Avenue looked around at his own nearly identical bungalow and called listing agent Christopher Stevenson to pepper him with questions about the sale down the street at number 21. By the end of the conversation, the owner at number 75 had decided to enlist Mr. Stevenson to sell his house too.

Mr. Stevenson, an agent with Sutton Group-Associates Realty Inc., says lower interest rates and a few high-profile sales have combined to bring a little bit of fresh vitality to the Toronto market. Still, lots of properties are changing hands without frenzied bidding wars and agents say new listings are trickling out slowly.

lack of listings globe and mail


The Toronto Real Estate Board reported this week that sales jumped nearly 15 per cent in the first two weeks of February in the Greater Toronto Area compared with the same period in 2014. The average price climbed 10.3 per cent but new listings edged up only 3.5 per cent in the first half of the month compared with the same period last year.

Bidding contests such as the one for the semi-detached bungalow at 21 Berkshire Ave. have contributed to the price gains. Listed with an asking price of $499,000, it sold one week later on the night set for reviewing offers, for $595,000, after about 75 showings.

The sellers received four strong offers, Mr. Stevenson says, but the winning bid was far ahead of the others. He learned from the buyers’ agent that the couple had lost out on nine or 10 properties in past bidding wars.

“I think they decided ‘enough fooling around’ and they made sure they got it.”

Mr. Stevenson plans to contact the agents of the three parties who lost out on the house and let them know that a similar house is coming.

He says 75 Berkshire Ave. is “the same but different.” The floor plan has been altered in a slightly different way because the owner at number 75 kept the original layout of the kitchen and living room and combined two bedrooms into one. At number 21, one bedroom was also enlarged and opened up.

Mr. Stevenson says he wasn’t surprised that 21 Berkshire sold for more than the asking price but he was anticipating a selling price closer to $550,000 or maybe as high as $565,000.

He chose the $499,000 asking price because he figured that price might also draw people who are looking at condos.

“I think that keeping under $500,000 was key,” he says.

The sellers had purchased the house for $429,000 a couple of years ago. They invested about $11,000 in a small renovation on the main floor.

“You can imagine how happy they were,” he says of the outcome.

Mr. Stevenson plans to list number 75 at $499,000 as well. He will also set an offer date seven days after it arrives on the market on Monday. He says he’s not varying the strategy because there are still potential buyers out there who were drawn to the first house.

“The seller liked it, obviously, because it worked.”

He says the sale at number 21 seemed to stir some optimism in other potential sellers and also investors who wanted to know about the potential for rental income in such a house.

Numbers reported by the Canadian Real Estate Association this week show that confidence is faltering in several real estate markets across Canada. Sales in Calgary, Edmonton and Saskatoon tumbled more than 20 per cent in January compared with January of 2014. Activity is slow in Ottawa, Montreal and the rest of Quebec.

Douglas Porter, chief economist with the Bank of Montreal, says the Canadian housing market is cooling notably – even outside of Alberta where the volatility in energy prices has caused a sudden reversal of fortune.

Toronto and Vancouver are resisting those headwinds, with rising sales and prices in both cities in January, notes Mr. Porter.

“We suspect that with borrowing costs still plumbing the depths and many provincial economies holding up, any housing correction will be a specific regional affair,” he says.

Mr. Stevenson is sensing a lifting in the bidding war ennui that seemed to settle over the Greater Toronto Area market in the dwindling days of 2014. Some house hunters felt priced out of the market altogether and wanted to save up some more cash.

“There are some discouraged people,” he says.

Since the Bank of Canada’s surprise rate cut in January, however, he has noticed a renewed vigour on offer nights.

“I think the interest rate announcement put a little bit of spark back in people.”

Still, another Leslieville house on a nearby street was listed around the same time with an asking price of $649,000. It didn’t sell on offer night and was quickly taken off the market and relisted for $675,000.

“I think they listed too high for the offer date approach,” Mr. Stevenson says.

Elli Davis, an agent with Royal LePage Real Estate Services Ltd., says she would be glad to see new listings pick up.

“I’m used to having much more to sell.”

Real estate agents who find more of their listings among the single-family houses of popular Toronto neighbourhoods say new properties are scarce. Ms. Davis sells mostly in the mid-to-upper tiers of central Toronto.

“My phones are not as busy as usual,” she says.

But a swell in inventory may be coming: over the Family Day weekend, Ms. Davis signed up three additional properties. She’s preparing to list a small house in Rosedale and a three-storey in Forest Hill with asking prices just below $2-million. The third is a condo unit in Yorkville that will have an asking price of $1.795-million. All will arrive on the market within a couple of weeks.

One unit that she had listed near Yonge and St. Clair did not move in the fall. Ms. Davis took it off the market for a while, had it painted and staged, and it sold within a week when it was listed again in January.

She adds that many of the older condos being sold this winter are on the market because an owner is moving into a retirement home.

“That’s a demographic that’s very busy right now.”

At the same time, the buyers are often couples who are selling a big house and downsizing to a condo.

In one case, she sold a condo in the Governor’s Hill building near Yonge and York Mills within a week in the depths of January. The 3,000-square-foot unit sold for the full asking price of $1,629,000, she says. Ms. Davis says older buildings such as Governor’s Hill are sought-after because they offer large units and buyers often consider they are getting better value for their money than they do in a newer building.