Posts tagged " Real Estate "

Big news from RE/MAX Hallmark Realty

October 30th, 2017 Posted by In the media No Comment yet

RE/MAX Hallmark was already the biggest (and best!) RE/MAX franchise in the GTA, and today it’s even bigger (and better)! Ken McLachlan, Broker of Record/Owner, just announced the addition of RE/MAX First Real Estate into the RE/MAX Hallmark family, effective immediately.

RE/MAX First has over 130 realtors in four offices across Durham region, in Pickering, Ajax, Whitby and Brooklin. In the company’s 25 year history, under the leadership of Broker/Owners Ron Gordon and Brian O’Donoghue, RE/MAX First grew to become a dominant leader in the Durham region. This new chapter not only positions them for more growth, but also equips RE/MAX Hallmark REALTORS to seamlessly represent our clients in the Durham region, and makes us the market leader east of Toronto.

Basically, this gives me four new offices that I can use, all the administrative support we need, and opens up a huge new network of REALTOR colleagues who will make buying and selling easier for my clients. So, if you need a REALTOR in Durham, be sure to give me a call!


‘Tis the Season

December 20th, 2016 Posted by Blog No Comment yet

It’s funny how as the year ‘winds down’, the season winds up at the same time, eh? December is ridiculously busy – especially in my house, where we have two birthdays to squeeze in amongst all the other action. At work, it’s staff parties; at school, it’s various performances; and then it’s the fun with family and friends!

Usually, real estate slows down a bit – yes, even in Toronto! – and that seems to be happening. It manifests as an even more acute shortage of listings, and will probably get worse during the last half of December, when some listings get taken off the market (many are likely to be re-listed in the New Year). Of course, while we may not see many new listings, a lot of existing listings will remain available (although sometimes with limited hours). If you are looking to make a purchase, don’t stop now: this might be your chance to negotiate a good deal….

29 Kintyre Ave – excellent income property **SOLD**

September 14th, 2016 Posted by SOLD!! No Comment yet

exterior2-modThere’s an old joke in the real estate business: Nobody gets rich selling real estate (i.e. being a Realtor); people get rich by buying real estate. Now, of course that’s not literally true; lots of Realtors are super successful. The point is that the better play in real estate is as a buyer and long term investor.

Income properties can be a fantastic investment, one I encourage all of my clients to consider. Whether you are a first time buyer looking for extra income to help cover a mortgage, or strictly an investor (i.e. you won’t ever live in the property), you should think about it. Besides the obvious benefit of the income (especially after you retire), in the Toronto market every property owner gets significant capital appreciation, year after year.

Here’s a great opportunity for you: 29 Kintyre Ave, near Broadview Ave and Queen St E, is a large, detached property with three income-generating units. There’s a great 2nd/3rd floor apartment that could be one or two bedrooms, depending upon configuration, with an absolutely fabulous rooftop deck that faces south and gives a sunny view of the area and all the way to the downtown skyline. It really is top notch. The main floor flat is a cozy one bedroom with an eat-in kitchen and a sunny, south-facing walk-out to a porch. The basement unit is a super cute one bedroom, really one of the nicer ones I’ve seen.

You can’t beat the location. Riverside is exploding with new shops, restaurants and condo developments (which means plenty of local foot traffic, which is great for any neighbourhood). Both the Queen St 501 and King St 504 streetcars are a block away. Plus, one could walk up to Dundas to catch the 505 downtown; it goes all the way to Dundas West subway station.

Access to the DVP is right around the corner, and the Gardiner isn’t much further. You can pop down into the Don Valley for a nature walk/run/ride; stroll the local strip; or hike over to Leslieville. It’s no surprise that the walk score is 94, and the transit score is 95 – both “paradise”-like scores!

UPDATE – After one week on the market we generated multiple offers and sold the property to some very happy buyers! 🙂

Summer 2016 Market Review

September 13th, 2016 Posted by Market Review No Comment yet

I’ll admit it: sometimes, I get tired of repeating myself! The Toronto real estate market has risen so consistently – relentlessly, even – over the past few years that these monthly reports are not nearly as exciting to write as they once were.

Like last year, I’m combining July and August here. I started doing that because the summer is usually quieter than the spring and fall markets. As it happened, that wasn’t quite the case this year. I had expected July to be busy, but it exceeded expectations with 9,989 transactions – yet another monthly sales record. One wouldn’t have thought that likely given the on-going supply shortage….

Once again, while sales volume was up (1.8%), the number of new listings was down 7.4%, from 14,625 to 13,542. The total number of active listings fell from 16,673 to 11,346, a drop of 31.9%. Strong demand driving increased sales volume amidst fewer houses for sale is a recipe for frustration, isn’t it?

These market conditions caused the average sale price (across all types) to surge 16.6%, to $709,825. Note that it was below the June average of $746,546, which is typical. The market stays super tight (low supply and lots of buyers), but with a different mix of house types: fewer of the top-priced detached and semis, and a higher ratio of less expensive condos, which brings the average down.

On the topic of condos, sales in the 416 increased by a somewhat lower 9.8%, edging the average price up by just 8.2%, to $427,074.

August was even more impressive. Sales shot up 23.5% over August 2015, to a new record of 9,813 transactions. Much has been made of the point that there were two more business days in August 2016 over last August, but the fact remains that the number of active listings was down 37.7% to just 9,949 while sales continued to surge. The average sale price was up 17.7% over August 2015, to $710,410 (about the same as July, for much the same reasons).

Condo sales in the 416 jumped 33.5%, driving up the average price by 9.8%, to $446,612, which was also up over the previous month. In short, condo sales in Toronto are hot these days.

The fall market is upon us, and the number of listings seems to be increasing. That’s good for buyers, who get more selection, but also good for sellers, as the overall increase in activity correlates to higher prices. It ain’t easy navigating the Toronto real estate market, but I’m here to help. Call me any time!

Toronto Community Housing sales update

May 11th, 2016 Posted by Buying opportunity, Toronto Community Housing Corporation No Comment yet

**UPDATE** May 30.2016 – TCHC currently has no houses on the market.


October 2015 Market Review

November 9th, 2015 Posted by Market Review No Comment yet

TREB reported 8,804 sales through the Toronto MLS in October, 3.4% more sales than October 2014, setting another monthly sales record. By now it should come as no surprise to anybody that new records are set almost every month. The economy is strong and the population of Toronto continues to grow, two factors that will obviously contribute to demand for housing.

That demand is faced with tight supply. Both new listings (-0.4% to 13,339) and total available listings (-7.5% to 16,180) declined last month. Although we usually see a surge in listings for the fall market, that just hasn’t happened to the degree we used to see pre-recession.

For example, TREB’s Market Watch for October, 2007 showed 13,363 new listings for the month, and 20,626 total available listings (which, by the way, was down from 24,367 in October 2006, 22,875 in October 2005 and 23,353 in October 2004 – all well above today’s inventory). That’s a decline of 20% compared to 2007, and that seriously reduces choice for buyers – and increases the likelihood that buyers will have to compete for a house, which in turn drives up prices.

The average sale price in the 416 increased 7.3 per cent over October of last year, to $630,876. TREB’s HPI, which is designed to properly weight sales by type (because a fully detached house will usually sell for more than a semi-detached) was up 10.3%. Strong sales means serious price increases.

The condo market continues to chug along. Sales in the 416 were up by 9.7% over the previous year; average price increased by 4.2%.

The fall market is still underway, and will go (as much as it can, given the shortage of listings) probably through November. There’s still time to get your house on the market, and if you are a buyer there’s a decent chance you will find what you are looking for before the end of the year.


Street Profile: Bastedo Ave

March 2nd, 2015 Posted by Street Profile No Comment yet

Over the years I have completed five transactions on Bastedo Ave, near Coxwell/Danforth. That’s tied for the most I have sold on any street! Each sale had its own story: a first time buyer, an estate sale, and various move-up/move-on situations. Some of the buyers chose Bastedo because of the great value in those houses, the friendly nature of the neighbourhood, and the proximity to the Coxwell subway station, but whatever the reasons, everybody seems to have ended up very happy on Bastedo Ave.

Located just three blocks east of Coxwell Ave, and running south from Danforth, Bastedo Ave offers an eclectic mix of 2 and 3-bedroom semis (some with parking, many without), a smattering of fully detached houses, and some newer town homes at the bottom of the street. Although the street lacks the nearly-complete tree canopy that we find on many streets just a few blocks further south, there are plenty of young-to-middle aged trees, meaning there’s a good chance of a thickening canopy over the coming years. (By the way, you can tap in to the City’s tree planting program. I posted a story about that earlier this year.)

One of the biggest draws to Bastedo Ave, and many of the streets around it, is ‘The Danforth’, well-known for the great selection of restaurants, pubs, cafes and services available there – pretty much everything! (That stretch of the street is covered by the Danforth Mosaic Business Improvement Area – check out their web site for a list of businesses and activities.) Having a walkable neighbourhood has always been important in Toronto, but seems to be getting even more so as the city increases in density. Danforth offers that local walking lifestyle, while offering quick access to the subway, which is always a huge advantage.

Walking distance to Monarch Park, Bastedo Ave is even closer to East Lynn Park, home to the local farmers’ market. The local public school is Earl Haig (JK to Gr.8); the high school is Monarch Park C.I. If you want to head down to the Beach you can hop on the Coxwell 22 bus and be there in minutes, and if you are driving, you have ready access to the DVP (straight up Coxwell to O’Connor, followed by a short drive over to Don Mills Ave) and the Lakeshore-Gardiner-QEW at the bottom of Coxwell. All in all, the location offers a few decent ‘escape routes’ from the city.

Here’s what one of my clients had to say about life on Bastedo Ave:

“I purchased my first home 10 years ago. I looked at many homes throughout Toronto but it was the cute, bright, semi on Bastedo that caught my eye. The house was affordable (I was single at the time), on a nice tree-lined street and close to the subway. In those 10 years, lots changed. The I became we. Then baby made three, and we had even more reasons to love Bastedo with the parks, drop-in centres and library just around the corner. However, with all that Bastedo has to offer, my favourite part has to be the neighbours. It’s a diverse group of individuals who really care about one another and have pride of ownership.”

From a Realtor’s perspective, Bastedo offers a great mix of affordability and lifestyle. It’s a great street (and area) for the first-time buyer, and perfect for those who want to live car-free. If you haven’t yet considered Bastedo Ave, you should! If you are in the market, contact me for more info and let’s go check it out.


January 2015 Market Review

February 10th, 2015 Posted by Market Review No Comment yet

Despite yet another growing wave of media fear-mongering about the Toronto real estate market, January was yet another strong month both for volume and prices. The number of sales was up 6.1% over January 2014, to 4,355 transactions; that strong activity helped drive the average sale price up 4.9%, to $552,575.

The more interesting news was that the number of new listings was up by 9.1%, to 9,596 (from 8,762 in the same month last year). At the same time, the total number of available listings (i.e. new in January, plus what was already on the market) was down by 2.5%, from 11,903 to 11,600. This shows that sellers are confident that it’s a good time to put their property on the market (again, despite what one might hear about ‘the best time to buy’, which correlates to ‘the worst time to sell’), and buyers are happily snapping them up.

As for the rest of the year, we all keep hearing concerns about the Canadian economy, and how lower oil prices are bad for us and will lead to all sorts of troubles. However, I hope you’ll recall that in 2009, when oil dipped below $40/barrel, a big threat to the post-recession economy was the threat of rising oil prices (amidst fears it could hit … $80!), because of the impact on consumers’ pocket books. How can it be that rising oil prices were bad five years ago, and falling oil prices are bad now? Sure, the actual price matters as much as the direction (it’s about $57/barrel now, more than the 2008-09 low). I’m just pointing out that there’s always a wicked spin on the news. Obviously, more money in our pockets now means more spending all across the economy, which is a huge stimulant to economic growth. That’s the bigger picture, and more relevant here in Toronto.

Either way, as I always say, the price of real estate in other cities really doesn’t affect prices in Toronto. Even during the global recession of ’08-’09 the Toronto market barely skipped a beat. The recent drop in oil prices will have an impact on real estate in Alberta, maybe a bit in BC, but the effects are unlikely to be hard felt here in Toronto. Yes, that could change – panic is infectious, especially when spread so eagerly by news peddlers – but it’s not something that I’m worried about. Toronto is, and always will be, a unique part of the Canadian real estate world. That’s not going to change any time soon!

November 2014 Market Review

December 8th, 2014 Posted by Market Review No Comment yet

The Toronto Real Estate Board has reported the November 2014 market stats. Sales volume was up over November 2013 by 2.6% , to 6,519 residential transactions. New listings were down 5.3% over the same period; only 8,789 new listings were posted last month. Total active listings were also down 8.5%, to 14,717. As I have written before, the Toronto real estate market really needs more than 20,000 active listings (22,000-24,000 is great) to maintain ‘liquidity’ (i.e. enough listings to allow folks to buy and sell without worrying about weak supply constraining them). Continued strong demand in the face of tight supply helped to drive up the average selling price by 7.4% to $577,936.

Of course, some of the current supply shortage is seasonal. We always see the number of active listings (and sales) dip after the fall market. It starts in November; then December and January are significantly slower due to a number of factors – weather and the busy holiday season being the big ones. The market is usually quite quiet over the last couple of weeks in December and the first week or two in January.

That said, there are always thousands of properties on the market, and plenty of interested buyers, so the market doesn’t go completely into hibernation. With Toronto being a large, busy and multicultural city, there’s just no stopping real estate! Folks buy and sell for myriad reasons – job change or transfer, lifestyle change, you name it. There will still be plenty of decent listings coming out over the winter months. Prices may seem to dip ever so slightly compared to the busy fall months, but they will still be up over the same period last year.

All in all, we are wrapping up another solid year for the Toronto real estate market. Through the end of November TREB has recorded 88,462 sales, up 6.6% over 2013. It’s reasonable at this point to expect in the range of 92,000-93,000 sales for the year. The record sales year (number of transactions) was 2007, when 93,193 were recorded. If we don’t match that this year, we’ll be a not-too-distant 2nd place. (2011 is currently in ‘second place’; 89,096 sales were reported that year. We’ll pass that any day now.) I’ll keep you posted. In the meantime, call me if you need any help with your real estate goals!

October 2014 Market Review

November 5th, 2014 Posted by Market Review No Comment yet

The Toronto Real Estate Board reported on the October 2014 market stats today. Sales volume was up over October 2013 by 7.7%, to 8,552 transactions. New listings were up only 3.4% over the same period, continuing the now long-standing issue of insufficient supply in the Toronto real estate market. Tight supply (along with an improving economy, decent job growth and an ever-increasing population) drove the average price up by 8.9% over October 2013.

That’s a significant number – higher than income growth (about 3% this year) plus inflation (about 2% year-over-year). It’s great for home owners: you are seeing real capital appreciation; not so great for buyers, for whom it’s getting a bit harder to keep up.

That said, averages are not the whole story. If you want to get into the market, but can’t afford a $650,000 semi near the subway, there’s no need to fret. Although there aren’t really any ‘cheap’ parts of Toronto, one can certainly find decent value in various areas around town. Everybody has to start somewhere, so buying a smaller house, or one somewhere outside your favourite neighbourhood, is perfectly reasonable.

Alternatively, the condo market continues to show strength (sales volume up 8.2%, average price up just 1.5% after a 9.2% increase last month), making that segment a good option, too.

If you’re not into the condo lifestyle, look for an income property! Those are also in high demand, but if you are willing to take on the responsibility, they offer a great way to afford the Toronto market. (Note that there are requirements, demands and liabilities associated with income properties, so we’d have to have an in-depth conversation about it. That said, I’m a big fan, and encourage you to think about it!)

November seems to be off to a busy start – lots of sales have been reported over the last few days. If you are hoping to sell in 2014, there’s still time; and, if you are a buyer, we’ll see quite a few more opportunities before things slow down in mid-December. Either way, call me today and we’ll get to work!