RE/MAX Hallmark Realty Ltd., Brokerage | Direct: 416.508.9513 | Office 416.699.9292

NEWS

February 2017 Market Review

Sometimes I feel like I could just copy-paste last month’s review, update a few numbers and be done! The Toronto market has been reliably consistent for years and years: prices go up. Sometimes the supply goes down and sometimes… well, it always seems to be down these days. 🙁

With the consistently strong demand for Toronto real estate, sales volume in February was up 5.7% to 8,014 transactions (7,583 in Feb ’16). There were just 9,834 new listings, down 12.5% (11,234 in Feb ’16). By the end of the month, only 5,400 listings were left on the market. At the end of Feb ’16 there were 10,902; that’s a drop of 50.5%. With supply dropping by half, it’s no wonder that prices continue to surge. The average sale price (for all housing types) leapt 27.7%, to $875,983.

Do you know anybody who is still dumping on the condo market? Tell ’em that sales in the 416 were up 14%, and prices climbed 18.2%. That’s getting up around low-rise rates of increase…. On the bright side, the average condo price for the month was $515,424, far below the average house price.

There are always multiple factors affecting markets – supply and demand, interest rates, land transfer taxes, the job market, foreign buyers, etc. – but the biggest, most obvious challenge these days is supply (which you know I’ve been on about for a while now). There are lots of qualified buyers ‘out there’, and they are fighting like mad to get the home they need in the neighbourhood they want… and sometimes the neighbourhood they didn’t know they wanted until they got priced out of one or two others! I see it every day, and there’s no getting around it. We need more listings, but there’s no easy solution to that.

This city needs more low-rise housing, better transit and improved infrastructure – I know, *news flash*, eh? Fortunately, there are always people who can cash out of the Toronto market and move to another city. There are lots of good reasons to do that, and I happen to know a couple of people who are doing that this year. Stay tuned! 🙂

January 2017 Market Review

January marked a tremendous start to the 2017 Toronto real estate market. Sales volume was up 11.8% over January 2016 – which had been up 8.2% over 2015. New listings last month were down 17.6%, to 7,338, while the total number of available listings dropped 49.5%, to just 5,034 by the end of the month. That made for some intense sales pressure. Accordingly, the average selling price was up 22.3%, to $770,745 (for all housing types). That’s on top of the 14.1% price increase recorded last January. Even TREB’s HPI, which tries to smooth out the average by taking into account differences among housing types, increased 21.8%. Last January, that number was up a more moderate 10.7%.

The number of properties on the market last month was less than half what it was just two years ago: in January 2016 TREB reported 9,966 available listings; in 2015 it was 11,600. The bottom line is that the Toronto market continues to be defined by the scarcity of listings. All this while the population continued to grow….

It’s no wonder that the once-maligned condo market has firmed up – it’s doing its best to take up the slack. Condo sales in the 416 surged 26.8% last month (after increasing 11.6% last January), driving the average selling price to $471,409, up by 13.1% year-over-year (up 8.6% last January). Condos (if you can get one…) remain a good purchase, for occupying and/or as an investment.*

Although this example isn’t necessarily typical, it illustrates how dramatic the competition is currently: a house in Scarborough that sold in December and closed in January, just resold (just a couple of weeks later) for $150k more. That’s nuts. With so few houses on the market, the usual battle over homes has intensified, but I’d like to think that things will calm down a bit as the spring market generates more listings. Although we typically see more buyers at this time of year, the current – apparently desperate – mood may subside. One can hope, anyway….

Still, if you have a house to sell, let’s get it on the market ASAP!

*If your primary residence has significantly increased in value since you bought, and you have no intention of moving any time soon, you might want to consider drawing on some of that capital to buy an investment property that will both increase in value, and generate income down the road.

2016 Market Review – and a look ahead at 2017

2016 was a big year in Toronto real estate. For the second year in a row, TREB reported a record number of sales. Despite the volume of available listings shrinking, the number of sales hit 113,133 units, an 11.8% increase over 2015. The natural consequence of that is higher prices.

December was a prime example. Available listings were down 48.1%, to just 4,746 (from 9,137 in December, 2015), which TREB noted was the lowest inventory in 15 years. The number of sales reported to TREB in December was up 8.6% to 5,338 (from 4,917). Those tight market conditions drove up the average sale price 20% year-over-year, to $730,472 (from $608,714).

The average increase for the whole year was slightly lower, at 17.3%. However, the average sale price was basically the same, $729,922.

Note that the condo market, which not so long ago was reputed to be ‘over-built’ and primed to ‘crash’, has become the alternative of choice for an increasing number of buyers. Condo sales in the 416 were up 19.5% last month, with the average sale price up 16.6%. With an average sale price of $466,592 for a condo apartment, it’s easy to see why. (Condo townhouses are somewhat more expensive, at $569,864.) In fact, if anything, we may run into an ever-tightening condo market this year….

There’s no reason to expect anything different in 2017. Toronto is still a destination city, and the population keeps growing. CMHC is raising its premium on March 17th, so it will cost a bit more to buy if you can’t put 20% down (which means most first-time buyers), but that’s not likely to change overall market conditions. Mortgage rates may edge up a tiny bit, but they are super low these days and not expected to rise significantly in the next couple of years. That probably won’t be a factor in the Toronto market this year. The feds have tightened general mortgage qualification rules several times in recent years, and that does make it harder for first-time buyers, but I doubt that will affect the rate of sales and/or price increases. The bottom line is that the market is strong, and there’s no point waiting for a ‘correction’: get out there and buy.

And, yes, it’s easy to sell in this market, and harder than ever to buy. Still, more people are buying than in past years, so it’s not impossible! One has to get active, get out there and get shopping to find the right place. Don’t be put off by all the hoopla. Whatever you need, we’ll find it! 😉

SIMON MILBERRY

About

Buying and selling a home can be tough, especially in today’s challenging market.  But, it can also be fun – an exhilarating adventure. I understand both the joys and heartaches of finding (and getting) that perfect home. As a homeowner with a young family, I’ve been there and done that. I also have the professional know-how that years of working in the Toronto real estate market has developed.

Over the years (since 2001), I have represented clients in the purchase and sale of condos, starter homes, move-up houses, luxury homes and small businesses. (Although Commercial real estate is not my core business, I am usually working with one or two Commercial clients.) My knowledge and experience make the difference for my clients.

My clients are my focus, but a Realtor can’t get much done if he doesn’t develop strong professional and personal relationships within the industry. In today’s market, characterized as it is by very tight supply, I find that one of the most important aspects of my business is networking with other Realtors. I am constantly digging for opportunities for my clients. This results in off-MLS transactions that serve the needs of both the buyer and seller.

As a father of 3 boys and 1 little girl, I take a family-friendly approach to my business dealings. That means flexible appointments and easy scheduling; feel free to bring the kids! I endeavor to make the whole process as smooth and stress-free as possible.

Ultimately, the objective is to enhance your life by finding you a new home that suits your needs of today and into the future; and selling your existing asset for the most money and with the best terms possible. Together, we’ll develop and execute the right strategy for you and your specific needs.

Much of my business comes to me by referral, so I’m not limited to any geographical area.  My focus is on meeting the needs of my clients, wherever they may be. Call me today, and let’s get to work on your real estate goals.

Community

RE/MAX Hallmark is a big believer in giving back to the communities we serve, and I am happy to participate in three of our most important programs.

Every time I do a transaction – buy, sell or lease – I make a direct donation to theChildren’s Miracle Network. RE/MAX agents are leading donors to the CMN, having raised $52 million dollars in Canada alone since 1992. When you do your real estate business with me, we contribute to that growing total.

We do the same for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. Again, RE/MAX is a major sponsor of the CBCF, and makes it easy for us to contribute directly to the important work they do. A portion of every commission I make goes directly to the CBCF.

I also make a monthly donation to the breakfast program operated by the Toronto Foundation for Student Success. We all know how important a good brekky is – and how many kids wouldn’t get one if it weren’t for programs like the TFSS. With four kids of my own, this one is close to my heart.

You need an experienced, full-time professional Realtor – that’s key to a successful real estate transaction. However, I want you to know that, not only am I going to take care ofyou, but together we’ll help take care of others!

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Simon Milberry, Sales Representative at RE/MAX Hallmark Realty Ltd., Brokerage

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2237 QUEEN STREET EAST
TORONTO, Ontario M4E1G1

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Business: 416.699.9292
Fax: 416.699.8576
Mobile: 416.508.9513

 

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