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Done Deals: Opening Bid Shuts Down Competition

POSTED ON January 18th  - POSTED IN Done Deals, Elli's Archives, Featured News

Done Deals: Opening Bid Shuts Down Competition                                                          26 McNairn Avenue

Done Deals: Older Condo North of Yorkville Offers Plenty of Privacy

POSTED ON January 10th  - POSTED IN Done Deals, Elli's Archives, Featured News

Done Deals: Older Condo North of Yorkville Offers Plenty of Privacy           2-photo-web-1680x1050-360406

Sydnia Yu

Special to the Globe and Mail

Published Thursday December 8, 2016

225 DAVENPORT ROAD, No. 101, TORONTO

ASKING PRICE: $699,000

SELLING PRICE: $675,000

PREVIOUS SELLING PRICE: $481,000 (2006); $200,000 (1992)

TAXES: $3,357 (2015)

DAYS ON THE MARKET: 48

LISTING AGENT: Elli Davis, Royal LePage Real Estate Services Ltd.

The Action: Just a few blocks north of Yorkville, the Dakota residence often has a few vacancies. Although this one-bedroom-plus-den unit was among the smaller set, it had private outdoor space, so it was visited by 30 buyers and sold for $675,000.

What They Got: On the ground floor of a nearly 30-year-old mid-rise is this over 1,100-square-foot suite with a private patio, laundry facilities, storage locker and parking, plus monthly fees of $1,183 toward utilities, a gym, recreation room and rooftop deck.

The layout is fairly modern with a living area against a wall of windows, a central dining space and U-shaped kitchen behind a granite-topped peninsula and breakfast bar.

Private quarters entail a den and master bedroom with a walk-in closet and four-piece ensuite, which is the larger of two bathrooms.

The Agent’s Take: “[The building] is about a five-minute walk to Bloor Street and Yorkville, so it’s very well located to shops, subway and all that Toronto has to offer midtown,” agent Elli Davis states.

“It’s an older building, built in the eighties, so it’s not as glamourous as some of the new ones, but the price is very reasonable compared with the new ones.”

Plus, older suites such as this offers more space than newer counterparts, inside and out. “They don’t make one-bedrooms very often any more that are that size,” Ms. Davis notes. “It has a magnificent patio because it’s on the main floor, where you can barbecue, garden and be outdoors like in a house, yet have the condo lifestyle.”

Done Deals: Three Way Bidding War for a King’s Landing Suite

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

Done Deals: Three Way Bidding War for a King’s Landing Suite            460 Queens Quay West

Sydnia Yu

Special to the Globe and Mail

Published Thursday, November 3, 2016

460 QUEENS QUAY W., No. 502E, TORONTO

ASKING PRICE: $1,048,000

SELLING PRICE: $1,111,880

TAXES: $5,225 (2015)

DAYS ON THE MARKET: Five

LISTING AGENT: Elli Davis, Royal LePage Real Estate Services Ltd.

The Action: There aren’t often many opportunities to buy at the King’s Landing building, so this two-bedroom-plus-solarium suite drew in more than a dozen visitors within a few days this summer. It sold in under a week in a three-way bidding war.

What They Got: On the south side of a 30-year-old mid-rise – with optimal views of Lake Ontario – is this 1,672-square-foot unit with a balcony accessible from both bedrooms and a sunroom with a curved glass ceiling.

Set further back from the windows is an open living room, a dining area and renovated kitchen behind pocket doors, as well as two full bathrooms, laundry and storage facilities.

The unit comes with parking and monthly fees of $1,211 to cover water, security and amenities, such as a pool and tennis court.

The Agent’s Take: “King’s Landing is a very nice building built in the eighties and was very innovative for its time facing the waterfront,” agent Elli Davis says. “A lot of downsizers have bought in there and don’t move, and there’s a lot of downtown [professionals] who … like the access to the island airport and Financial District.”

Done Deals: Market Galleria Suite Offers Easy Downtown Access

POSTED ON September 27th  - POSTED IN Done Deals, Elli's Archives, Featured News

Done Deals: Market Galleria Suite Offers Easy Downtown Access             71 Front St East

Sydnia Yu

Special to the Globe and Mail

Published Thursday, September 8, 2016

71 FRONT STREET EAST, No. 306, TORONTO

ASKING PRICE: $525,000

SELLING PRICE: $520,000

PREVIOUS SELLING PRICE: $227,000 (1999); $159,500 (1997); $147,000 (1996)

TAXES: $3,279 (2015)

DAYS ON THE MARKET: 35

LISTING AGENT: Elli Davis, Royal LePage Real Estate Services Ltd.

The Action: On the block next to the historic St. Lawrence Market, this two-bedroom suite at the Market Galleria was toured by about 20 buyers and transferred over to new owners once a $520,000 deal was inked this summer.

What They Got: At the centre of a mixed-use mid-rise built in the 1980s is an atrium visible from private suites, such as this 1,441-square-foot unit with the additional bonus of a south-facing balcony off the master suite.

For entertaining, there is an open principal room, while cooking and cleaning takes place in the tiled kitchen, two full bathrooms and laundry closet.

Parking comes with the unit, along with monthly fees of $1,269 for the cost of water, gym, guest suites and rooftop deck, plus a redecorated lobby and new elevators.

The Agent’s Take: “It has a very good layout with a generous living and dining room, open concept kitchen, two bedrooms and two full washrooms,” says agent Elli Davis.

“It’s very difficult to find something in this price range that offers that in this city today.”

The building is also anchored by popular bars, Jack Astor’s and Jersey Giant. “The building is partially offices and partially residential, which overlooks the atrium full of foliage, which is quite unique,” Ms. Davis adds.

“Plus, it has easy access to the Theatre District and Financial District, you can walk everywhere.”

Neo-Georgian Mansion Stands the Test of Time – Globe and Mail Home of the Week: 32 Castle Frank Road

POSTED ON August 10th  - POSTED IN Elli's Archives, Featured News

Will You Build One Like That For Me?
Neo-Georgian Mansion Stands the Test of Time32 Castle Frank Road
Globe & Mail Resale Home of the Week:
32 Castle Frank Road

Asking Price: $9.28 million
Taxes: $46,018.52 (2016)
Lot Size: 123.5 by 340 feet
Agents: Janet Lindsay, Chestnut Park Real Estate Ltd., Elli Davis, Royal LePage Real Estate Serviced Ltd.

Article by: Carolyn Ireland

Rosedale lore has it that businessman Gerald Strathy admired a particularly beautiful mansion built at the top of the Don Valley. The architect was the renowned Eustace Bird, who designated such landmark buildings such as 2 King Street East and the Sunbeam Incandescent Lamp Factory on Dufferin Street during his career.

The stately red brick house Mr. Strathy admired at 5 Hawthorn Gardens was the architect’s own home.

Mr. Strathy approached Mr. Bird with a request along the lines of, “Will you build one like that for me?” The Strathy house was positioned a little further along the same ridge at 32 Castle Frank Road and completed in 1912. Most of the neo-Georgian architectural details remain today.

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Done Deals: Forest Hill Tudor Sells Quickly After Handful of Showings

POSTED ON April 22nd  - POSTED IN Done Deals, Elli's Archives, Featured News

Forest Hill Tudor Sells Quickly After Handful of Showings

Sydnia Yu18 Ava Road

Special to the Globe and Mail

Published April 22, 2016

18 AVA ROAD, TORONTO

ASKING PRICE: $2,285,000

SELLING PRICE: $2,250,000

PREVIOUS SELLING PRICE: $550,000 (1994)

TAXES: $10,933 (2015)

DAYS ON THE MARKET: One

LISTING AND CO-OP AGENT: Elli Davis, Royal LePage Real Estate Services Ltd.

The Action: Winter promotions for this brick-and-stone Tudor with an unfinished basement quickly resulted in a handful of showings from eager buyers, including casual house hunters who decided this was the first, and only, property they would visit and ultimately, the one to place an offer on.

What They Got: At the intersection of two residential streets is a 50-by-90-foot lot for this detached, three storey house with a mix of old and new characteristics, from a wood-burning fireplace in the living room to a remodeled kitchen with granite counters, stainless steel appliances and hardwood floors.

For privacy, there is a third-floor office, four bathrooms and five upper bedrooms, including three on the second floor with private or semi-ensuite bathrooms.

To entertain outdoors, there is a fenced backyard off the dining room and a deck above the double garage.

The Agent’s Take: “The appeal was the location and the schools,” agent Elli Davis says. “[Plus] it was a corner lot – a little smaller than the traditional 50-by-100 [foot] plus lot in the area – so the envelop of the house was somewhat smaller than other houses, but it was fine for the buyer.”

Though updates are needed, it is a solid base to work with. “It’s a traditional Tudor house in Forest Hill with a very charming interior with a fireplace, wood trims, leaded glass and all the nice older features that come with these kinds of homes,” Ms. Davis says. “It has a double garage, which is a very good feature and not too common.”

 

Done Deals: Bedford Park House Sells for $210,000 Over Asking

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

Done Deals: Bedford Park House Sells for $210,000 Over Asking301 Old Orchard Grove

Sydnia Yu

Special to the Globe and Mail

Published Thursday April 7, 2016

301 OLD ORCHARD GROVE, TORONTO

ASKING PRICE: $1,150,000

SELLING PRICE: $1,360,000

PREVIOUS SELLING PRICE: $714,000 (2009)

TAXES: $5,251 (2015)

DAYS ON THE MARKET: Two

LISTING AGENT: Elli Davis, Royal LePage Real Estate Services Ltd.

The Action: Just one street east of shops and eateries along Avenue Road, this Bedford Park residence with a mutual driveway was staged to enhance its appearance for photographs, private showings and an open house event. The open house was derailed after a pre-emptive offer set off a two-way bidding war at the end of January.

What They Got: This brick residence on a fenced 26-by-105-foot lot has classic features throughout, such as a front living room with a wood-burning fireplace and a formal dining room with French doors to a south-facing deck, which is also accessible from an updated galley kitchen.

Full bathrooms serve three bedrooms and a recreation room on the upper and lower levels respectively.

The Agent’s Take: “The proximity to Avenue Road was very important,” agent Elli Davis says. “The area is so sought after and there were very few listings, so that equals a very busy market.”

Older homes such as this are solid choices for many buyers. “It was a typical two-storey, but it showed very well. It had a renovated kitchen, washrooms and nice backyard,” Ms. Davis states. “So it had the older charm and newer interior, which appealed to many people.”

GTA Home Sales on Pace for Another Record Breaking Year: Toronto Star

POSTED ON April 6th  - POSTED IN Elli's Archives, Featured News

I was interviewed by Sunny Freeman of the Toronto Star about how the housing supply shortage is driving up real estate prices across the GTA. I discussed a recent sale that involved a “bully offer” and how these types of deals are shaping the landscape of the current real estate market in Toronto.

Hot Home Sales Setting Record Pace

By: Sunny Freeman

Toronto Star

Toronto real estate agent Elli Davis just closed a “bully offer” for $300,000 over a $2.65 million listing price, a type of deal she’s making more often in the busiest market she’s seen in nearly 30 years.

The increasingly competitive Greater Toronto Area real estate market is on pace for another year of record-breaking sales and double-digit price growth as buyers bid aggressively for the few houses on the market. Sales in the first quarter of 2016 rose 15.8 per cent from the opening three months of last year, according to the Toronto Real Estate Board.

Davis, a Royal Lepage agent in upscale central Toronto, said a lack of housing supply is pushing more buyers to make hard-to-resist deals days before the seller is slated to accept bids. These are also known as bully offers.

“There were no conditions and the owner said ‘thank you very much, I’ll take it,’” she said of the home that went for $300,000 over asking.

 

 

The 10,326 homes sold in March was a 16.2-per-cent increase from the year earlier and accounted for nearly half the 22,575 homes that changed hands in the first quarter.

The average selling price across all housing types in the Greater Toronto Area rose 12.1 per cent year-over-year in March to $688,181.

The market could have experienced even stronger sales growth if it were not constrained by a deficit of new listings, said Jason Mercer, TREB’s director of market analysis.

“That’s why we’re seeing strong increases in selling prices, yet on the other side, if we did see more listings come online, they’d be absorbed in short order because of pent-up demand,” he said.

“I think the first quarter certainly suggests that we could be on track for another record year and likely the only thing that could slow that down is if we continue to see a dip in listings.”

The number of new listings was down compared to the same period last year, meaning there were more buyers competing for fewer homes. The number of homes listed for sale in the first quarter fell to its lowest level for a first quarter in at least 12 years, according to an analysis by National Bank.

A competition among buyers for fewer homes often results in bidding wars that drive prices higher. In March, the average detached GTA home inched closer to the $1 million mark, sitting at $910,375.

Davis said she is astounded at the prices. Nearly half of the 23 agents’ open houses listed for Tuesday in Toronto’s central core were for properties valued between $3.5 million and $16.8 million, she said.

Toronto is a seller’s market, with sales-to-new-listing ratios hovering around 70 per cent — the highest ratio since the 2008-2009 recession, said Robert Kavcic, senior economist at BMO.

He doesn’t see this abating any time soon as strong job and population growth in the GTA will continue to drive demand, while few new detached homes are being built.

“This has been more of a sustained gradual increase in demand and no new supply coming on board, so this is probably going to persist longer than back in 2009.”

Davis said the market is stronger now than it was coming out of the recession, adding she’s the busiest she’s been since 1989.

“We didn’t have a terrible winter, I think that helped, mortgage rates helped, and demand is high and supply is low,” she said.

“All those things together make a busy time.”

Real Estate Deals Happening at Warp Speed – Globe and Mail

POSTED ON March 28th  - POSTED IN Elli's Archives, Featured News

I was interviewed about the effects of Toronto’s red hot real estate market on buyers. the lightning fast pace of selling properties can lead to buyer’s remorse, or other situations, that can end up with a buyer backing out of the deal. Despite these bumps along the way, a successful sale can still be accomplished, as Carolyn Ireland reports.

By: Carolyn Irelandglobe and mail deals happening at warp speed

Globe and Mail

It’s a common refrain in the Toronto area that trading houses is done at such warp speed, buyers must just look at each other and say “what have we done?”

Actually they do.

Real estate agent Elli Davis recently sold a house for about $1.8-million soon after it hit the market.

“It was a nice offer, a very smooth offer – and then everything blew up,” says Ms. Davis of Royal LePage Real Estate Services Ltd.

The buyers seemed so shocked at their own bold decision that – within about 12 hours – they asked to be released from the deal. They didn’t have a problem with financing and there was nothing wrong with the house, Ms. Davis says.

“People sometimes move too quickly without thinking. They saw it, they liked it, they had second thoughts.”

Ms. Davis says the seller could have tried to hold the couple to the deal by threatening legal action, or the buyers could have fought for the return of their deposit, but a costly battle is an unhappy outcome for both sides.

She says it’s better if everyone can come to an arrangement. In this case, the buyers agreed to give up a chunk of the deposit. Then both parties signed a mutual release.

“They were smart. They lost a little money,” she says of the contrite couple.

Ms. Davis says the scenario would have been even more unfortunate if the deal had fallen apart weeks later or at closing. In this case, another buyer was waiting in the wings and they were able to make a deal.

The seller didn’t lose out financially but the whole episode was very stressful for all involved, she says. “It caused a lot of upset to a lot of people. People really have to be aware of what they’re doing. This is not like buying a dress and taking it back if you don’t like it.”

And there’s an update on another deal that soured: Last week, I wrote about a house in Oshawa that received 61 bids after it was listed with an asking price of $200,000 and an unvarnished description that included a warning to exercise extreme caution on the basement stairs. A few days later the top offer for $350,000 vaporized for reasons not made public. The house was quickly back on the market with the same asking price and a new offer date.

It turns out 37 parties showed up the second time around and the house sold for $327,000.

An agreement can go south for many reasons besides buyer’s remorse. Sometimes lenders won’t approve the financing or the appraiser won’t sign off on the transaction.

Meanwhile, Canadian homeowners who are struggling with a big mortgage, a home equity line of credit or other forms of debt may see another cut in interest rates soon.

The 2016 federal budget tabled by the Liberal government this week won’t provide fiscal stimulus in time to improve the dismal economic growth outlook for this year, in the opinion of Capital Economics.

Senior economist David Madani continues to predict that the Bank of Canada will still be under pressure to find ways to lift the economy. He expects a rate cut by the middle of the year.

“But with household debt already at record high levels, this task won’t be easy and has its own set of risks,” Mr. Madani says.

As for the coming weeks, agents are expecting the supply of listings to move from dire to tight, which is as good as can be expected in the Greater Toronto Area this decade. Many homeowners across all price ranges are decluttering now.

This week listings dwindled in anticipation of the Easter holidays. Many private schools in Ontario are also on March break. On Tuesday, Ms. Davis received a list of 10 properties inviting real estate agents to an open house. On some recent Tuesdays, the list numbered 60 or more.

Ms. Davis says she often chooses the quiet weeks to launch properties onto the market because there’s less competition. While people do travel, lots of potential buyers also stay in town, she points out “I’ve always been a contrarian. I like to put out listings when no one else thinks it’s a good idea.”

She says many properties are selling quickly with plenty of offers but others struggle for no apparent reason. Bullies – who show up with generous cheques in an effort to pre-empt the offer date – have become so ubiquitous that they’ve pretty much defeated the whole purpose of holding off offers to a set date and time, Ms. Davis says.

In hot markets such as Toronto’s, it’s common to hold off offers for a week so that more potential buyers have a chance to see the property. But bullies refuse to wait. Sellers can choose whether or not to look at the so-called pre-emptive bids.

She says she is often not setting a deadline these days in favour of saying “offers welcome any time.”