Toronto Real Estate Market Toronto Real Estate Trends

Surprise, surprise here we are back in a really strong market. I am cautiously optimistic that we are pulling out of the Global recession and real estate consumers in Toronto certainly seem to agree. Although the weather wasn’t spectacular it has been a great summer for Toronto real estate agents and their clients.

It has gone against conventional economic wisdom, but in August 2009 according to TREB’s August Market Watch Toronto Real Estate Agents reported 8,035 sales, which is up 27% over August 2008. The average price rose 6% to $ 387,921 compared to the same month in 2008. Toronto real estate came through this past year relatively unscathed. People haven’t earned the standard 8%-10% annual increase in property value that they had gotten use to over the past decade, but as of right now Toronto property values have increased by just less than half of a percent over the last 8 months according to TREB reports. The total number of transactions has gone up two percent to 58,421 compared to the first 8 months of 2008.

As a pat on the back for all REALTORS we are being given some credit in helping the economy recover. Along with the transactions in Real Estate our business leads to home buyers’ spending money on lots of other things like mortgage and legal services, moving expenditures, renovations, appliances and furnishings for a home.

I was starting to really enjoy being in a more balanced market, it is great to be able to negotiate one on one with someone. Something that I learned over this past year is that people can truly make money in bad times and good. I had several clients buy over this past year and they are all really happy that they did, they may have taken a slight loss on the sell side, but they made up for it on the discounted purchase, now they are getting to tell their friends about their Trump-like instincts. It is always good to hear people excited about real estate.

While TREB reported a modest increase in overall property prices for Toronto some neighbourhoods have been trading significantly above their 2008 prices. One area that comes to mind is Leslieville. I have been hearing the first time buyer ghost stories about homes that sold with 15 offers and other frightening rumours like that. I am always mindful about clients getting involved in multiple offers and overpaying due to the pressure. I believe that you need a very sound strategy heading into those situations and know what your top offer is well before the presentation time. Every house has a certain value where it goes from a great house to a bad investment. I am keen on having clients come back to me several years after they purchase and being able to make some money when they sell.

With these situations becoming realty you also need to be cautious about buying into an area that is bubbling. Your average renovated semi-detached home in Leslieville has gone from $ 350K-$ 450K up to $ 530K plus in the worst economy the world has seen in 70 years. That is a little concerning to me. Not because I don’t think Leslieville is a good area or a great investment, it just means that I am very cautious about multiple offers and over paying into an area that hasn’t really proven itself yet. Someone was just shot and killed at Dundas and Jones a few weeks ago. If you are willing to spend $ 650K maybe you can find an area that has proven itself a bit more.

Evan Sage is a real estate agent Toronto who instills in his clients the confidence to make the right purchase or sale decision. He achieves this by demonstrating a superior knowledge of real estate Toronto and by providing a wealth of free resources on his website evansage.com to educate buyers and sellers in Toronto.

Along with the weather, the real estate market seems to be getting better.

Stale homes which have stayed the course through the sleet and snow are now hanging sold signs on the front lawns. These properties that have sat for 6 months are now selling in multiple offers. It is almost like a spoiled child syndrome. No one wants to play with it until another child indicates that they like it.

It is not just rumours that properties are selling in multiple offers. I have been involved in two recently and have talked to many colleagues who are finding the same thing. One agent had 11 offers registered on a place in midtown Toronto. That means there are now at least 10 unsatisfied people who are ready to jump on the next ‘right thing’ in Toronto.

We are not seeing the builders or flippers out in droves but they are starting to come out of hibernation. What does this mean? If they get started up again we will definitely see the return of central core Toronto real estate, especially if they can get access to this low interest money.

We were never too far down in prices in the central core, 5%-8%. The media mainly focused on properties that were grossly overpriced in the first place. People overvalue their homes in both good and bad economies.

Are these buyers all just optimistic suckers? Or are they the last of the people who will be getting the “good deals”? The economy seems too fragile right now to set stand in one camp or the other.

I must say that I am not so naive as to think we are in the clear, but I am certainly enjoying the sun while it is shining.

There doesn’t seem to be imminent doom but the fall out of GM and Chrysler has yet to be seen. These are good reasons to keep your money invested in bricks and mortar. People will always need shelter to buy or rent.

I will continue to say that right now is a great time to sell, especially if you are moving laterally, moving up or diversifying your portfolio of real estate.

If the market keeps trucking along like it has this spring Toronto proper seems like it will tighten up, if you look hard there are still some really good prices on properties right now.

Another cause to applaud is the government’s reluctance to change Canada’s immigration policies. Immigration has been a staple when it comes to the health of Toronto’s real estate. Of the 250,000 permanent landed new-Canadians 60% of them move to the GTA. That is exactly what we need to keep stimulating our housing market.

Canada has embraced immigrants in good times as well as bad and has been rewarded with the newcomers strengthening the country’s economy. A lot of newcomers generally are more inclined to own homes. People from Hong Kong, China and India all put a very high importance on home ownership. Quite often their first order of business is to buy a home.

Toronto real estate seems to be in a very healthy space right now. The whole World’s economy seems to be fragile but at least it appears that we are moving in the right direction.

Evan Sage is an award winning Toronto real estate agent. Evan instills in his clients the confidence to make the right purchase or sale decision. He achieves this by demonstrating a superior knowledge of Toronto real estate and by providing a wealth of free resources on his website evansage.com to educate buyers and sellers in Toronto.
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