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Posts tagged " Realtor "

‘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.

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March 2016 Market Review

April 6th, 2016 Posted by Market Review No Comment yet

March 2016 was another busy month in Toronto real estate. TREB reported 10,326 sales for the month, up 16. 2% over March 2015 sales. Net new listings declined 3.7%, to 14,864 and total active listings dropped (more…)

58 Brookmount Rd – gorgeous 3 bed semi backs onto parkette **SOLD**

January 11th, 2016 Posted by SOLD!! No Comment yet

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The Beach Triangle is a fantastic pocket of classic, Toronto-style homes, just west of Woodbine Ave at Queen St E in the Beach. The area was mostly built around 1910-1920, with brick detached and semi-detached homes that have stood the test of time. Most of the homes have been renovated in this post-racetrack era, and values have appreciated significantly since the 1990s.

Number 58 Brookmount Rd is a fine example of Beach Triangle stock. It starts with a Beach-style porch – I love that! Inside, the hardwood floors are among the best I’ve ever seen in a Beach house. The kitchen is renovated with a pass-through to the gorgeous dining room and a walk-out to the west-facing deck. Upstairs, the main bathroom is fully renovated with a tub and a separate shower. The front and back bedrooms are much larger than average for the area (and the middle room is good, too). All in all, it’s very spacious.

Downstairs, the basement is fully finished with a rec room, separate bedroom/office, a three-piece bath, a wet bar and storage both in the utility room and under the stairs.

The back deck steps down to a nice yard with a gate to the parking spot off the back lane. Beyond the lane is the Jeff Sloan Playground, a great little neighbourhood ‘secret’. 😉 It really doesn’t get much better – I love this house!

Queen St East is just two blocks down the street. There you’ll find the streetcar (or walk two blocks eastwards to Woodbine Ave for the bus up to the subway), plus restaurants, coffee shops, groceries – all the local amenities you need. Walk a few more minutes west and you’re at Woodbine Park; you could also head east to Kew Gardens or go straight south to Ashbridges Bay – all are just about a 10 minutes away. And, if you are driving, the Gardiner Expressway is just a few minutes away.

This great house was snapped up before hitting the MLS. Don’t miss out on opportunities like this – call or email me today and get on my list!

December 2015 Market Review

January 6th, 2016 Posted by Market Review No Comment yet

A strong December sales pace capped a record-setting sales year in the Toronto real estate market. With 4,945 sales reported to TREB last month (up 11.9% over the 4,418 reported for December 2014), the total for the year hit 101,299 – 9.2% more than 2014, and breaking the 100,000 mark for the first time.

New listings for the month actually increased to 4,783, up 8.4% over 4,413 in December 2014. However, total available listings declined. Continued low supply meant continued competition among buyers, which again pushed prices up. The average sale was $609,110, up 9.5% over December 2014, and pushed the average price for the whole year to 622,217, up 9.8% over the 2014 year-long average. (TREB’s HPI increased by 10% year-over-year, which would generally indicate strong demand for all housing types.)

Condo sales in the 416 also showed strength, increasing 12.5% over December 2014. Perhaps due to better supply (compared to low-rise housing), perhaps simply due to the distribution of sales, average price increased only 3.2%, keeping condo pricing ($400,088 in the 416 and just $325,036 in the 905) well within range for first-timers.

January is just getting started, but based on my client list and conversations with other agents it sounds like we are in for another busy year. The ongoing shortage of new listings has created a near-constant state of pent-up demand – i.e. there are buyers out there, and they are looking to buy ASAP. That means we’ll see competition among serious buyers and upward pressure on prices through 2016.

Plus, interest rates are low and may even go lower this year, as the BoC tries to stimulate the economy, so buying power will remain at historic highs. That provides some relief to buyers trying to keep up with the price increases, but it won’t last forever… we think! It’ll last a couple more years, though, so that will continue to be a feature of the real estate landscape for the foreseeable future.

One last thing: mortgage approvals. The rules on that are tightening up again. If you are a buyer (or need to renew an existing mortgage) make sure that you have a fulsome conversation with your mortgage professional BEFORE you go out shopping for a house. Nobody needs a nasty pre-approval fail to ruin their purchase plans. 🙂

May 2015 Market Review

June 8th, 2015 Posted by Market Review No Comment yet

May was another busy month in the Toronto real estate market. Sales volume was up 6.3% to 11,706 transactions (over 11,013 in May, 2014). At the same time, new listings slipped by 0.8%, and total active listings shrank by 10.1% to 18,585, down from 20,679 last May. This familiar combination resulted in another increase in the average sale price. The May average (for all types) of $649,599 was up 11% year-over-year.

The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) Composite Benchmark, which does a more detailed comparison (e.g. adjusting for number of bedrooms, finished vs. unfinished basement, etc.) was up a slightly more moderate 8.9%.

Of on-going interest to me (if only because it serves to prove the doom-sayers wrong) the condo market in the 416 saw sales increase by 12.9%, and average price increase by 5.5%, to $422,947. That market continues to appeal to buyers, who by now realize that it can be a competitive segment, too.

As has been the case for several years now, the main issue is that lack of supply. There are plenty of buyers. The economy is stable, and likely improving: it cranked out about 59,000 jobs in May, keeping the unemployment rate at 6.8%. (For perspective, the unemployment rate in May, 1996 when I graduated from U of T was 9.7%! Things today look downright cheery by comparison.) Also, with rates low and staying that way for some time to come – likely a couple of years – purchasing power among buyers will remain strong. That will continue to drive sales – meaning that a buy now is better than a buy in 6-12 months….

March 2015 Market Review

April 21st, 2015 Posted by Market Review No Comment yet

As usual, real estate is much in the news these days. With the oil market correction, the media (and a few others) jumped all over the idea that the real estate market would – obviously! – experience a crash of some sort. The only question seemed to be how big.

Well, with oil seemingly stabilized in the $50-$60 range, the worst of the ‘oil shock’ could be behind us (although I’m not claiming to have a crystal ball…). And, with the exception of a couple of markets in Albert (which are not Toronto), real estate has once again defied the doom-sayers.

Toronto, as usual, showed its strength. According to TREB’s stats for March, 2015, sales volume (number of sales) was up 11%, to 8,940 transactions. New listings edged up 5.5%, but they remain short of demand. The result was a 10% year-over-year increase in the average sale price, to $613,933.

Since averages can sometimes give a bit of a muddled picture, TREB also breaks down sales by type and weights that average. For example, the average price of a detached house was up 15.9%; that has a strong lifting effect on the over-all average for the Board. Balanced against the other housing types, the Index showed a 7.9% increase across the Board (7.8% in the 416).

Still, a roughly 8% increase over last year is hard to keep up with. If you already own real estate, it’s great, but for first-timers it can be hard. That could be why we are starting to see more interest in areas not famous for their hot real estate prices. We know that Leslieville, Riverdale, Swansea and High Park are always going to draw top dollar. But these days we’re seeing hot competition in neighbourhoods like Birch Cliff Heights and Ionview (in Scarborough). There are still areas around town where one can get a great house at a great price.

There are countless people who want to live downtown and are willing to live in small spaces – and Toronto needs them to keep the core vibrant. I don’t want to take anything away from that, and I hope that this apparent shift happening among condo developers, who are starting to offer slightly larger units, is real. But there are loads of other folks who want a low-rise home. You folks shouldn’t be scared away by the average price increases, and don’t be intimidated by the nay-sayers. Real estate markets absolutely do go through corrections from time to time, but there’s no reason to think that Toronto is about to go down the tubes. This is too fantastic a city for that! 😉 The relentless strength of the Toronto real estate market is a testament to the value offered here. Expect prices to continue trending upwards in coming years.

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.