Category Archives: Market Reports

Reality check, halfway through 2017

GTA Weekly 20170629

York, Toronto and Peel lead the GTA

We’ve been focusing for a few years on the remarkable price increases of homes in the 905. The reasons were clear: buyers were finding a greater supply of low-rise homes, within commuting distance and at lower prices. In general, the percentage price increases have been greater outside the City of Toronto. It makes perfect sense, since buyers can get more house for their money, when they travel further afield.

The chart above shows weekly average price movements during the first half of 2017. York Region kept its top position in this chart, and at the midpoint of 2017 the York prices are up almost 14% over the past six months. Toronto and Peel region have shown similar gains over this period. Meanwhile, average prices in Halton and Durham regions (which peaked dramatically during the spring) are now back at their January levels.

Beyond the GTA

Cities like Hamilton, Guelph, and Barrie have been getting more attention this year, from Toronto millennials looking for affordable urban settings. As agents, we’ve gotten used to checking the GO schedules along the various train corridors, and the EQAO scores for schools in far-flung school districts, as part of our daily routines. It’s increasingly clear that the Toronto megacity is evolving into a regional cluster of communities.

Babies, babies

Demographics tells the key story here. Millennials were called the “Baby-Boom Echo” generation. Economists were fascinated as this group delayed car purchases, household formations, and home buying plans. It’s becoming clear that this generation is finally asserting its priorities. Millennials may not do things like their predecessors, but they will figure out how to manage housing, transportation, and kids – in their own ways.

Advice from baby boomers?

In a rapidly changing market, you need smart, timely advice, whether you’re a buyer or a seller. As experienced baby-boomer agents, we’re pretty smart about this stuff.

We relish challenges, we like to share, and we’re available to help… You can email us, or ask for James and Joanne at 416-483-8000.

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“Buy the house, not the price”

Reverting to the norm?Toronto Sale Prices 20170605

The average prices for May 2017 are in, and the results are getting a lot of attention. Buyers seem to be lining up into two camps – the “wait-and-see” school, and the “fortune-favours-the-bold” group. Sellers, meanwhile, are understandably confused.

Is it still a sellers’ market?

Yes. There are many more buyers than sellers, and homes are selling quickly, usually over asking. The average selling price of all GTA homes was $863,910 in May, about 15% up over last May. In many neighbourhoods, detached and semi-detached homes were getting sale prices between 25% and 30% higher than last spring.

Sellers are not all of the same mind. Some genuinely need to sell at this time, while others will have been attracted by the notion of cashing out. This diversity of motives can be confusing. Asking prices are also all over the map. On any given street, one house can be priced drastically under its likely selling price; while another comparable house can come out the same week priced hundreds of thousands of dollars higher. Buyers (and their agents) then have to unravel the conflicting narratives and determine where the likely values are.

Should I buy or should I wait?

This question never gets old. If you have a good reason to buy, and you have a budget set, then yes, buy. Don’t buy just any old thing that comes up in your price range, but buy the home that makes sense for you. If the only homes you want are priced out of your range, then do some soul-searching. Can you alter your criteria? Will your purchasing power increase significantly, or will your needs change in a few years?

If you’re buying a property to live in, think long and hard about how well a home can serve your needs for at least three to five years. “Buy the home and not the price.” It’s not all about price in this market. A qualified home buyer can have choices, and (especially if you’re a first-time buyer) you may need to talk with an experienced Realtor to fully evaluate your options.

If you’re buying a property primarily as an investment, then your criteria will be drastically different and you will be seeking financial and tax advice.

Expert advice – at your fingertips

In a rapidly changing market, you need smart, timely advice, whether you’re a buyer or a seller.

We relish challenges, we like to share, and we’re available to help… You can email us, or ask for James and Joanne at 416-483-8000.

Keeping a cool head

Toronto home prices March 2017

If you thought 2016 was a roller-coaster year, 2017 is shaping up to be more of the same. Given the already high prices in Toronto, it’s natural that the lower prices in surrounding communities have drawn off a lot of the traffic, and news reports have now caught up to the boom in 905 and the other parts of southern Ontario.

Our chart (above) shows that the first two months’ of sale prices have already eclipsed the peak moments of 2016. Our dotted-line “projection” suddenly looks highly unlikely. If there are any winners, it may be the older home owners on fixed incomes who now have a chance to make a windfall gain.

For buyers today, the main thing is to keep a cool head and do some serious thinking about what really matters. For many millennials, the imperatives of starting a family are becoming a top priority. Where can they find space to live, commute, and bring up children?

If you’re a buyer, you need to be prepared. With your mortgage pre-approval and a strong understanding of the market, you’ll be able to make smart decisions. You may not win on your first time bidding, but the best-prepared buyers have a strong edge in this market.

If you’re a potential seller, things look easier. But you still need a real estate agent who puts your needs first, ahead of just making an easy sale.

In a rapidly changing market, you need smart, timely advice, whether you’re a buyer or a seller. We’re available to help… You can email us, or ask for James and Joanne at 416-483-8000.

The surprising fall market

toronto-home-sales-20161020

In real estate, the fall market is often seen as the poor cousin to the spring. In reality, it’s an important part of prime time, about 16 busy weeks of buying and selling.

Some Toronto home prices have already reached new highs in September and October, surpassing the marks set in April or May. For most practical purposes, we can assume that typical prices (and levels of competition) are about the same now as they have been throughout 2016.

Tighter lending criteria came into effect on October 17th, forcing some purchasers to rethink their options. But in Toronto and the 905 area, the large number of qualified home buyers easily outnumbers the supply of homes coming onto the market.

It’s hard to call this a “shortage” of listings. What’s happening is that while more properties are being listed, they are getting snapped up in record numbers. The result is that there is very little available selection at any point in time.

If you’re a buyer, you need a coherent strategy. Working with your agent, you need to build a real-time model of the actual market activity in your chosen area. You need to know the sold prices, the numbers of offers being presented, how high the bidding is likely to go. With your mortgage pre-approval and a strong understanding of the market, you’ll be able to make a smart offer on a property that meets your own criteria. You may not win on your first time bidding, but the best-prepared buyers have a strong edge in this market.

In a rapidly changing market, you need smart, timely advice, whether you’re a buyer or a seller. We’re available to help… You can email us, or ask for James and Joanne at 416-483-8000.

Snapshot of the Fall Market

Toronto home sales

Toronto’s fall housing market started right after Labour Day. By early October, the weekly price averages were on a par with those from last May and June.

It looks like a record number of properties are changing hands this year… and yet we still see many areas where there is a “shortage of product.” This housing market is driven by growing demand from buyers.

How much are prices rising, and where?

In September, the number of detached homes sold was virtually unchanged from last year, and sale prices for those rose about 11%. The number of resale condos that sold was up over 5%, and prices for those still went up, more than 5% over last year. Prices for all types of housing rose just as sharply in the 905 areas, as they did in the City of Toronto.

Strategies for buyers

Buyers need to have a game plan. Unless you have an unlimited budget, you’ll need a strategy to get the best possible property that your financing will allow. You need a team on your side, including smart agents who can help you create and carry out your campaign!

That’s where we come in… If you’re ready to start your home-buying campaign, let’s have a conversation! You can email us, or ask for James and Joanne at 416-483-8000.

GTA Market Update – Sept. 12, 2015

Toronto home prices 2015

Watch the dotted line
No, this is not an optical trick! Each month, as we update this chart, our first instinct is to look at the latest price point (the black line). While this is useful to know, our dotted line (in gray)  actually packs a lot of data…

We call it “projected.” The dotted line is actually made up of two components – the shape, and the placement. The shape comes from a calculation of month-to-month changes in the Toronto market, going back about 20 years. The placement is more art than science: In January, we position our dotted line to represent approximately what an average yearly increase would represent for the coming year. Historically, this works out to around 6% for the GTA.

Seasonal behaviour is real
We like the dotted line because it represents a confirmed behaviour: home prices really do fluctuate during the twelve-month period, in a predictable way. At the same time, each calendar year is a bit different, and the dotted line helps us to spot those trends.

This year’s trend sticks out a mile! In early 2015, the average home price in Toronto and the 905 area shot up by $100,000. In August it was down again, by around $50,000. By October, the dotted line is saying, that number could be up another $30,000. The black line suggests that could be the full $50,000 again. We’ll know soon enough.

The right time to sell
There will be a shortage of listings this fall. Do you know someone who may be ready to sell their home this year? We’d like to hear from you. With our expert marketing, that home will get sold quickly and for the highest price! You can email us, or call James and Joanne at 416-483-8000.

GTA Market Update – July 8, 2015

Toronto Home prices June 2015

Two things that stand out…
There are two interesting facts buried in the latest Toronto home sale figures: First, the majority of houses in these figures are outside the City of Toronto. Second, the price increases throughout the 905 region are actually steeper than those in the City.

Price increases highest in York Region
Our real estate board’s composite price index for the City of Toronto is up 6.58% (year over year) for June 2015.  Peel Region is up 8.62% and Halton Region is up 8.99%. Higher still, Durham Region is up 12.35%, and York Region is up 12.83%. Even when you isolate the figures for detached houses only, the price increase for the City is still lower than those for the surrounding regions.

Most houses are in the suburbs
About two thirds of the low-rise family homes sold in the GTA this year are in the 905 area. This proportion is reversed for high-rise condos: about two thirds of the apartments sold are in the City of Toronto (but the proportion of condos in the 905 has been increasing.)

Demand is regional
These statistics show that the demand for housing is not limited to the trendy downtown areas; it affects the entire GTA. Reports from cities including Hamilton and Kitchener-Waterloo suggest that increased demand for housing is being felt in those centres also.

Toronto is a global city
Thanks primarily to immigration, Toronto and the GTA are known in every part of the world. Our quality of life is a magnet that will underpin the region’s growth for years to come.

Every home is unique
The value of your home is intensely local. A small semi on a downtown street may well be worth as much as a five-bedroom detached with a pool further out in the GTA. Houses on one block are often worth more than the ones on the next street over, because of real or perceived differences in location or style. Buyers make decisions based on their needs and wishes.

The right time to sell
The numbers point to a continuing sellers’ market. Do you know someone who may be ready to sell their home this year? We’d like to hear from you. With our expert marketing, that home will get sold quickly and for the highest price! You can email us, or call James and Joanne at 416-483-8000.