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

NEWS

January 2018 Market Review

You may have heard that ‘sales were down’ in January, with the implication that that’s a bad thing. As anyone actively involved in the Toronto real estate market knows, the market is not ‘down’ at all. In fact, it’s crazy busy out there.

The first thing to note is that January 2017 set a record for sales activity with 5,155 sales. So, anything short of a new record would be down, right? I have said before that we don’t have to break records every month to have a great market, and this is another such example; 4,019 sales is decent. For comparison, January 2013 saw 4,375 sales – way below last year, and not much above this year. I’d say that January 2018 looks fine.

The next thing is that January is a relatively slow month, compared to May or October, so fluctuations can be exaggerated. Having 22% fewer sales sounds dramatic, but it’s only about a thousand sales – easily made up at any point throughout the rest of the year.

The good news that I see in the January 2018 stats is the big increase in supply. At the same time last year there were only 5,034 listings on the TorontoMLS. This year we had 11,894, which gave buyers more choice. Looking again at 2013, there were 14,231 active listings in January of that year, so supply could easily go up and still be below past levels. If this year’s increased supply can be maintained – and improved upon – throughout the year we could see a more moderate market, which would be a nice change….

Speaking of moderation, the average sale price dipped by about 4.1%, to $736,783. However, TREB’s weighted average was UP 5.2%, reflecting the number of sales of condos compared to houses i.e. more condos (which are cheaper than houses) sold. Moderation in the price of single family detached (the most expensive type, and the only one that saw a price decline), combined with price increases in other housing types, shows that the market has naturally adapted to high prices for detached houses. I doubt that government intervention had anything to do with that…. 😉

The condo market is nuts these days. Not only did my own condo listing get swamped (over 130 showings in a week, and 11 offers on ‘offer night’), but showing condos to other clients is a gong show. Getting appointments is sometimes tricky, and it seems there’s always at least one other agent poking around the same unit, meaning we sometimes have to wait to get in to see a place. The activity is reflected in the average sale price going up 15.1% last month, despite fewer sales. The condo market remains an attractive segment.

This week precedes a long weekend (Family Day), so we probably won’t see much action, but I expect the market to keep chugging along next week and for the rest of the spring market. If you want/need to buy or sell, feel free to get in touch. 🙂

 

1113-231 Fort York Blvd **SOLD!!**

Update: We had over 130 showings booked for this great starter condo, and generated 11 offers! The property sold ‘firm’ on offer night. The condo market is hot!

***

The amount of development around Fort York in recent years has been amazing. Not only have loads of great condos gone up, but the area is also benefiting from other projects. For example, there’s a new Fort York Visitor Centre, and most of us have heard about the new Bentway skating trail that runs under the Gardiner Expressway.

Number 231 Fort York Blvd (‘Atlantis Aquarius’) is right across the street from all that action. Unit 1113 is a well laid-out one bedroom unit with a cute little balcony and a great view. (As the western-most building of the project, it has an unobstructed west-facing view of the city, the waterfront and the lake off in the distance.) Features include laminate wood flooring in the living/dining room, stainless steel appliances and a breakfast bar – great for casual eating or entertaining. The unit comes with an owned parking spot, and extra rental parking spots are sometimes available, too.

The building has some great amenities, including a games room, mulit-purpose room, and the Oasis Club – the fitness room, salt water pool, large Jacuzzi, etc. It all makes for comfortable living. And if you want to get out for a run or a bike ride, Coronation Park and the waterfront trail are right across the street.

It’s a short walk to the streetcar (board at Fleet Street, just down at the corner with Fort York Blvd), or the bus; they’ll take you to Union Station or Bathurst Station – and points in between. Or, pop down to the Lake Shore to hit the Gardiner. There are lots of transportation options from here!

This great little spot is perfect for the first time buyer(s) or small investor. Judging by the showing action so far, it’s a hot commodity! If you are interested, or know somebody who might be, don’t hesitate to call me.

 

 

December 2017/Year End Market Review

The Toronto real estate market survived a roller-coaster-like year in 2017. The first quarter (Q1) saw wicked price increases, followed by a hard rebound in prices in Q2, which in turn was followed by a period of relative calm in Q3, then a surge in sales activity in Q4. When the dust settled, the December year-over-year average sale price was up just about 0.7%, but the average price for the year 2017 ended up 12.7% higher than 2016, at $822,681.

Most of that annual gain happened in Q1. That’s when super-tight supply squeezed buyers into making very aggressive bids. Then, the Ontario government gave the market a kick in the teeth with their ‘Fair’ Housing Plan (an Orwellian use of language, as seems to be the style these days…), which scared buyers to the sidelines with speculative talk about ‘foreign buyers’ – the Boogie Man in the Liberals’ pitch. As the TREB report says: “Research from TREB, the provincial government and Statistics Canada showed that foreign home buying was not a major driver of sales in the GTA.” Still, they needed a reason to Do Something, and foreign buyers fit the bill. When buyers retreated, prices plopped back down to where they started the year, and we were into a bit more of a balanced market.

That balance started to shift back towards the sellers’ favour in December. I think that the year-end surge was fuelled by two things: 1) buyers realised that foreign buyers were not behind the steady rise in GTA prices, and the new tax wouldn’t really change anything long-term (after a period of adjustment); and 2) more government intervention, this time in the form of new federal ‘stress test’ rules for buyers in 2018, meant that many folks wanted to get their purchase locked in before those new rules kicked in.

Basically, the wild volatility throughout the year was largely due to government intervention in the market. As mentioned, we’ll see more of that this year, but hopefully less, and with less of a destabilising effect.

TREB also noted that in the second half of 2017, the buyer market shifted away from the most expensive housing type – fully detached homes – to semis, towns and condos. Clearly, the market has the capacity to offer buyers options, which naturally mitigates the need for government intervention, but whaddya do…? Sales activity in the detached segment was down 13.4%, and the average sale price was down 2.1%, to $1,250,235. At the other end of the spectrum, while condo sales volume in the 416 dipped 8.8% in December, the average price was up 14.1%, to $532,700.

So, what does 2018 have in store for us? Life goes on, in spite of policy changes, and lots of folks plan to move for various reasons, so I figure there will be lots of sales this year. The 2017 end-of-year available listing volume sat at 12,926, way up from just 4,746 at the end of 2016. If that can be maintained we might be able to settle in to a ‘liquid’ marketplace that offers buyers choice. There’s no structural shortage of buyers – they just get shooed away by governments from time to time – so more supply will allow more buyers to succeed. With some luck, price appreciation will be lower, which is more sustainable long-term.

What are your plans this year? Feel free to get in touch with me to talk about that! 😉

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

Phone

Business: 416.699.9292
Fax: 416.699.8576
Mobile: 416.508.9513

 

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