Tag Archives: houses

“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.


The surprising fall market


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.

Moore Park 5-bedroom centre hall home, $1,395,000

This stately 1920’s home in Toronto’s #1-ranked family neighbourhood has been sensitively updated by the current owners. It’s located on an unusually wide lot, with a double garage and a deep private garden.
Go to http://www.308stclairavee.com for details, or click on the photo to see the Virtual Tour – we have some great photos of the staircase and the stained glass!