Good morning everyone;
The Toronto real estate story continues in much the same manner: i.e. slower sales yet slightly higher prices.
In the Market (news release)
GTA REALTORS® RELEASE MID-MONTH RESALE HOUSING FIGURES (Click here for specific figures)
TORONTO, February 19, 2013 – Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 2,823 sales through the TorontoMLS system during the first 14 days of February. This result represented a decline of 8.3 per cent compared to the same period in 2012.
“The number of transactions was lower for most home types in comparison to last year, but so too was the number of new listings. This means that market conditions remained quite tight, especially for low-rise home types. The result was continued price growth over last year,” said Toronto Real Estate Board President Ann Hannah.
The average selling price for TorontoMLS transactions in the first half of February was $509,061 – up by four per cent in comparison to the same time last year.
“The annual rate of price growth so far in February has been in line with expectations for 2013. The average selling price in the GTA will continue to grow this year but at a slower pace compared to 2012. The basis of this price growth will be the low-rise segment of the market, for which months of inventory and therefore choice for buyers remains very low,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Senior Manager of Market Analysis.
Last week I had mentioned that two of my friends and clients (Jeff and Kirsti) were featured on the HGTV series “Income Property” Below is the link to their episode. With only slight bias, I can say that it was one of the episodes yet. Tv Gold!
Toronto house hunters leaving the sidelines as a softer market beckons
CAROLYN IRELAND The Globe and Mail / Published Thursday, Feb. 14 2013, 12:32 PM EST / Last updated Thursday, Feb. 14 2013, 12:36 PM EST
For the owners of a stylish townhouse in Toronto’s east end, last weekend’s blizzard really did offer up the prospect of snowmaggedon.
The “lofthouse” is in a boutique building converted from an old church. This type of property is imbued with character in the form of stained glass windows and soaring ceilings, but that means it also appeals to a smaller tranche of buyers than the traditional three-bedroom semi-detached, explains real estate agent Geoffrey Grace. When the sellers looked at the forecast and saw 30 centimetres of snow on the way, they wondered if they would attract any traffic to the “open house” planned for that weekend.
But Mr. Grace, an agent with ReMax Hallmark Realty Ltd., reassured them. People who wander into an open house on a beautiful summer’s day are likely just out for a walk around the neighbourhood, he figures.
“When you’ve got eight people coming through in a snowstorm, you know they’re serious buyers,” Mr. Grace says.
Saturday turned out to be mostly sunny and the committed house hunters were not put off by climbing over snow banks.
Mr. Grace figures about a dozen came through. Despite the perils of snowstorms, Mr. Grace says listings are so slim at this time of year that sellers who are considering selling would do well to get a sign on the lawn pronto.
Agents say this every year but many sellers don’t want to listen because they want to wait until the flowers are out in May or so that they can time their move for the summer.
The talk of a buyer’s market that set the tone in the fall doesn’t really apply in the opening weeks of the year, says Mr. Grace. The buyers who didn’t purchase last fall are looking, and they are joined by the new crop of spring buyers. Meanwhile, listings remain low.
“Bidding wars are back with a vengeance,” says Mr. Grace.
This week he represented the bidders for a bungalow in East York. The eye-catching asking price of $329,000 attracted 15 bids on offer night. Mr. Grace’s clients were not the buyers and he is still (as of Feb. 14), waiting to learn the final selling price.
Still, Mr. Grace didn’t set an offer date for the townhouse, which has an asking price of $719,900.
Real estate agents are more judicious about setting offer dates in the current, unpredictable market because only properties that appeal to the broadest segment of the market are likely to draw multiple offers.
Mr. Grace says he is working with some buyers who are frustrated by the dearth of listings. They are also surprised at how much they have to pay for even a starter home if they are moving in from out of town or moving up from a condo.
Mr. Grace says the neophyte house hunters have to compete against more seasoned prospective buyers who started their search last year. The veterans likely have their mortgage financing lined up, they’ve been through home inspections and they may have lost a couple of bidding wars.
“They’re the A-plus of buyers,” he says, and they are the ones most likely to sign a deal in the current market.
Personal Business Note: I am currently working with several buyers and it is indeed tough to find a solid home. If we do come across an attractive property it is almost certainly “stalled for offers” and competing situations arise.
3 weeks ago I presented an offer on behalf of a young couple purchasing their first home. There was a “Presentation Night” – Great News – We were the only offer on the table! Despite this and a strong offer submission we were not successful that night. The sellers did not want to budge far from their asking price (they were expecting an over asking sale price).
After more than a week of conversations with the listing agent we were finally able to get a deal done. Everyone gave in a bit to firm up the deal.
Jeff and Kirsti – Income Property Link
Interest Rates – Economic Outlook (Click for the Bank of Canada Summary Report)
The overall recovery for Europe the US and to a lesser extent Canada is occurring at a slower pace than originally projected by the Federal Government.
As such analysts do not expect any interest rate changes for the next little while.
The Bank of Canada’s next interest rate announcement is March 6th / 2013. Again no change is expected.
To see the interest rate announcement schedule click the link below
AGFINELIVING.com Web Site
Have you checked out our new website lately? www.agfineliving.com
We are constantly improving it’s functionality and appeal.
Buyer’s – Many useful Tools and links to get the info you need. E.g Mortgage Calculator’s / Land Transfer Tax / Calculators and Title Insurance Overview and so much more. / Investment Tools and Now Neighbourhood Overviews (Central right now but will be expanding in a few weeks to include east and west with History and type of Housing Components)
We are still shaping the site so please visit and feel free to provide feedback.
Have a wonderful and safe weekend, Anthony