By: Sunny Freeman, The Canadian Press
Posted by brandonsun.com
TORONTO – An early bout of spring weather helped Canadian home sales pick up in February following two months of declines, defying predictions the market is starting to cool.
“The Canadian housing market remains buoyant, with an unseasonably mild winter likely adding some further juice to the mix,” said BMO deputy chief economist Douglas Porter. The Canadian Real Estate Association said Thursday that home sales rose 1.4 per cent in February, gaining back one third of the month-over month decline in January.
Compared with a year ago, actual home sales rose 8.6 per cent to 36,937 homes sold over CREA’s Multiple Listing Service. CREA noted the market remained balanced as both home sales and the number of newly listed homes increased 1.9 per cent, reaching their highest level since May 2010. The increase in supply should help keep the market balanced going forward and home price growth in check.“A rebound in new listings in Toronto and Montreal, Canada’s two most active markets, offset a retreat in new listings in Vancouver, Canada’s third-largest market,” CREA said in a release Vancouver is the most rapidly cooling market in Canada, with February sales down 18 per cent from heated levels a year ago. Last February, a boom in sales of multimillion-dollar properties was driven by foreign buyers, particularly from Asia, scooping up properties in specific areas, such as multicultural Richmond and ritzy West Vancouver.
That also served to skew the national average home price higher — a replay of which was not expected this year, said Gregory Klump, CREA’s chief economist. “February’s data bear this out, but other factors are now keeping the national average price aloft. The main one is the housing market in Toronto, where a tight balance between supply and demand continues to drive some of the strongest home price gains in the country, particularly for single detached properties.”
A preference in recent months for single family homes, which are typically more expensive than condos, has helped to buoy the national average home price. The national average price for homes sold in February was $372,763, up two per cent from its reading for the same month last year. Average home prices in Vancouver are still double the national average at $806,094. But the Toronto market has now taken over as the country’s driver of growth, with sales up 12.2 per cent and home prices up 10.6 per cent year over year in February to $454,470.
One Toronto bungalow that recently made headlines sold for $421,800 over the asking price, with the winning bid coming from a university student with funding from her parents in China. As more buyers get priced out of some of the hottest markets, some are questioning whether — like the Vancouver market at its height last year —an influx of foreign investment is driving up the value of Toronto homes.
But Toronto real estate agent Elli Davis said while many of her listings receive multiple offers — some from foreign investors — she doesn’t believe foreign bids are responsible for the run-up in prices.
“(Foreign investment) has been common for years,” said the 29-year industry veteran, adding that most of her buyers are from Toronto.
“It doesn’t matter who it is, if someone wants to pay more than someone else, that’s just how the market is.”
Industry watchers, who are closely monitoring home prices, have suggested Canada’s real estate market, which has been fuelled by low mortgage rates since the recession, will soon cool off — but many predict a so-called “soft landing.”
Others have called for a more drastic decline in sales and home prices, saying that the market is overheated, creating a housing bubble that could soon burst. But BMO’s Porter said that the modest two per cent increase in home prices hardly justifies predictions of a devastating housing crash. “Could it just be possible that with a high percentage of Canadian analysts and media outlets located in Toronto, that the perception of Canada’s housing market is being deeply influenced by the strength in the local market?” Porter wondered.
On a weighted basis, which gives each region, regardless of size, an equal weighting, prices were up even more — at 4.6 per cent year-over-year, a jump that will “raise eyebrows in Ottawa,” said CIBC economist Avery Shenfeld. “Policy-makers are growing more concerned about the risks of an overshoot in home prices (and related mortgage debt) that would set Canada up for a harder landing down the road,” he said.
“That increases the odds of a policy response at some point this year if home price momentum continues, with measures aimed directly at housing and mortgages rather than rate hikes being the likely weapon under consideration.” Ottawa has stepped in with tighter lending standards three times in the past three years in order to reduce the risk of overborrowing from those most vulnerable to a rise in interest rates.
By Connie Adair
3900 Yonge Street #504 (Yonge Street and York Mills Road)
- Asking price: $829,000
- Sold for: $810,000
- Taxes: $5,765 (2011)
- Monthly fee: $1,836
- Bedrooms: 3
- Bathrooms: 3
- Time on the market: four days
The balcony faces east over Hoggs Hollow, offering a treed view for the occupants of this three-bedroom, three-bathroom suite.
The approximately 2,027-square-foot suite has a combination living and dining room, a powder room and an eat-in kitchen. The master suite has a walk-in closet and a four-piece ensuite bathroom.
The suite also has an additional four-piece bathroom.
There is one parking space included.
Building amenities include a concierge, an indoor pool, a sauna, a party room, an exercise room and parking for visitors. It’s close to transit and has easy access to Highway 401.
Listing Broker: Royal LePage Real Estate Services (Elli Davis)
Posted in National Post, Feb 16, 2012
The Royal LePage 2011 Awards Gala was held at Le Parc banquet hall this year. It was a lively evening of dancing, music and merriment…and, of course, a celebration of the achievements of some of Ontario’s top real estate agents!
Elli was honoured with the awards for #10 National Team, and #8 Ontario Top Team, as well as #10 National Chairman’s Club.
Toronto Home Magazine featured one of Elli’s listings in their Winter Issue. A stunning suite at 110 Bloor Street West was chosen for its beautiful interior design and architecture. William Mockler and Stuart Watson, of Drawing Room Architect Inc., turned a dark, outdated suite into a modern space, with clean, contemporary design. Read “The Big Picture”.
Elli’s advice column in the recently published Toronto Life Real Estate Magazine offers some great insight to those considering buying or selling a home in today’s market.
619 Avenue Road #1402, Toronto
- ASKING PRICE: $635,000
- SELLING PRICE: $600,000
- TAXES: $4,867 (2011)
- DAYS ON THE MARKET: three
- LISTING AGENT: Elli Davis, Royal LePage Real Estate Services Ltd.
More than a dozen buyers booked appointments to view this one-bedroom corner suite in the Lonsdale high-rise in Forest Hill across from Upper Canada College.
What They Got:
A few years ago, a 40-year-old rental building was converted to house upscale condominiums, including this 1,338 square-foot suite, which is just one of four units on the 14th floor.
Designer finishes include hardwood floors and pot lights in the principal rooms and carpeting in the bedroom off the foyer, in addition to granite counters, mirrored backsplashes and stainless steel appliances in the galley kitchen.
Floor-to-ceiling windows facing north and east illuminate the open living room and adjacent dining area.
A three-piece bathroom and en suite laundry facilities are part of the package, as well as a locker and parking spot.
There is a monthly fee of $1,149, including heating costs and recent renovation of the lobby, elevators and gym. Residents can also use a heated outdoor pool, car wash facilities and 24-hour concierge services.
The Agent’s Take:
“It was an oversized one-bedroom with over 1,300 square feet that had a beautiful view of Upper Canada College and Forest Hill,” says agent Elli Davis. “The building offers much larger units, so this is actually small for the building.”
The unit also benefits from having a sought-after address. “It’s in a luxury building that offers great amenities with valet parking,” says Ms. Davis. “It has easy access to downtown, right between Forest Hill Village and Yonge and St. Clair, so it’s really nicely located.”
From Friday’s Globe and Mail, Jan 19, 2012.
By Connie Adair
410 Roxton Road (Harbord Street and Ossington Avenue)
- Asking price: $625,000
- Sold for: $630,000
- Taxes: 3,437 (2011)
- Bedrooms: 4
- Bathrooms: 2
- Time on the market: seven days
In the trendy Bickford Park area, this home is zoned residential/commercial and can be used to run your business from home, says listing agent Elli Davis. “ Have a business on the first floor and live on the second and third floors.”
The main floor has a living room, a dining room and a walkout to the yard from the pantry. A full kitchen is on the second floor, as is the master bedroom, a four-piece bathroom and a family room. The third floor has two bedrooms and a walkout to a rooftop deck that has a city view. A three-piece bathroom, a sauna and a walkout to the yard are on the lower level.
The 17×89-foot lot has parking for one car and is close to restaurants, parks, the library and bike routes. It’s also within walking distance of the TTC and the Ossington subway.
Listing Broker: Royal LePage Real Estate Services (Elli Davis)
Posted in National Post, Jan 23, 2012
39 WELLS HILL AVENUE, TORONTO
- Asking price: $950,000
- Selling price: $1,375,000
- Previous selling price: $460,000 (1997)
- Taxes: $6,641 (2011)
- Time on the market: 7 days
Residential properties in the Casa Loma area rarely come on the market, so it was a good bet there’d be some interest in this three-storey home. But to ensure a quick sale, the home was listed with a price under $1-million. The strategy worked better than anticipated, resulting in over 60 private showings in addition to two open house events and 15 offers.
What They Got:
In the 1930s, this detached brick house was built on a 35- by-101-ft lot that currently faces a quiet, treed street nearby St. Clair West station, Sir Winston Churchill Park and schools, as well as shops, restaurants and a 24-hour supermarket.
Traditional attributes include leaded glass windows, hardwood floors and multiple fireplaces in areas like the formal living and dining rooms.
For casual lounging, there is a sunroom, a breakfast area off the kitchen and a second floor library.
Three out of four bathrooms are on the top two floors, which each have two bedrooms. One on the second floor has a deck and the other features an updated four-piece bathroom and sitting area, while the third floor bedrooms have walk-in closets.
The one-bedroom basement apartment has kitchen and laundry facilities, a bathroom and a separate entrance.
A driveway and garage offers private parking.
The Agent’s Take:
“The attraction there was the Casa Loma neighbourhood and the fact it was detached with parking,” agent Elli Davis said. “They call these kinds of houses Arts and Crafts houses – with the original trim – but it had some updates.”
Listing Agent: Elli Davis, Royal LePage Real Estate Services Ltd.
Posted in The Globe and mail, Jan. 11
I placed #4 in Canada for Royal Le Page nationally out of 14,300
Sales Representatives and #1 in Toronto.
Thank you for helping me achieve these titles!
It is the time of year when we hustle along, bundled up to become barely recognizable in scarves, toques and bulky coats. Winter’s winds are blowing, Toronto has seen its first snowfall of the year and the daylight hours feel so few and precious. Our homes become beacons of light, warmth and friendship during these months.
We at the Elli Davis Team would like to wish you and your family a safe and happy holiday season, and a joyful and prosperous 2011! May your home be the heart that beats at the centre of your life!
Once again, thank you for your continued support over the past year, and we look forward to working with you in the future!
Distinctive Women Magazine featured Elli in their latest issue of their Profiles of Distinction! This publication spotlights business women from a range of industries with their inspirational stories of success. It was made available in Friday’s edition of the Globe and Mail, but you can read more here:
“Placing that sold sign is my favourite thing to do!”
– Elli Davis for Distinctive Women Magazine
For nearly 30 years, Royal LePage’s Elli Davis has surpassed the competition. At the forefront of an extremely competitive field, her adaptability, staunch work ethic and polished negotiating skills have consistently placed her in real estate’s upper echelon. “I am success oriented and I love my career because of the unique aspects and challenges that come with it,” explains Elli. “That is what continues to drive me.”
Specializing in houses and condominiums in Toronto’s core, Elli’s extensive experience has armed her with a comprehensive understanding of the local market. Passing that knowledge along to her clients, she and her outstanding team provide unparalleled service, dedication and expertise.
Elli’s commitment to quality care has led to countless repeat clients and innumerable referrals. “I thrive on helping people and that’s what keeps me motivated,” she says. Elli passionately supports her community, contributing to Royal LePage’s Shelter Foundation. “When you are part of a community it is very important to give back to it,” she explains.
Published in Distinctive Women Magazine, Sept 30, 2011.