Summer Market Stays Hot in Toronto

Toronto Real Estate Board President Paul Etherington announced mid-month figures for August 2014 that point to continued strength in the GTA housing market. There were 3,504 sales reported through the TorontoMLS system during the first 14 days of August. This result was up by 7.6 per cent compared to the same period in August 2013.

“Sales were up strongly for all major home types across the GTA through the first two weeks of August. This means that many different types of buyers were active in the marketplace, including first-time buyers purchasing newly listed condominium apartments and existing homeowners changing their housing situation to meet their current needs,” said Mr. Etherington.

Tight market conditions, especially for detached and semi-detached houses, drove strong price growth in the first half of August. The overall average selling price was up by 9.4 per cent year-over-year to $538,530. The strongest price growth was experienced in the detached market segment, with the average detached price up by 12.3 per cent year-over-year.

“During the first 14 days of August, the number of home sales grew at a faster pace year-over-year compared to the number of homes listed for sale. This means that competition between buyers increased relative to the same period last year, which explains the continuation of very strong average price growth in the GTA,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Director of Market Analysis.

August 18, 2014 in Toronto Real Estate Market, Toronto Real Estate Update | Permalink

July Sale for Toronto Up 10%

Toronto Real Estate Board President Paul Etherington reported strong year-over-year growth for July 2014 sales and the average selling price. Sales reported by TREB Members through the TorontoMLS system were up by 10% to 9,198. This was the second-best July result on record.

“The second half of 2014 started where the first half left off, with very strong demand for the diversity of affordable home ownership options in the Greater Toronto Area. Sales were up strongly for most major home types and market conditions actually tightened, with sales growth outpacing listings growth. The result was average price growth well-above the rate of inflation,” said Mr. Etherington.

The average selling price for July 2014 sales was $550,700 – up by 7.5 per cent compared to July 2013. The strongest rate of price growth was reported for the detached market segment in the City of Toronto, with a year-over-year change of 11 per cent. The better-supplied condominium apartment segment experienced average price growth of 5.3 per cent for the GTA as a whole.

“Strong demand for ownership housing will underpin robust average price increases for the remainder of 2014. In fact, the pace of price growth that we have experienced over the past year will continue until growth in listings outpaces growth in sales for a sustained period of time,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Senior Manager of Market Analysis.

See Toronto Real Estate Board's Market Watch Report »

August 7, 2014 in Toronto Real Estate Market, Toronto Real Estate Trends, Toronto Real Estate Update | Permalink

Hot Summer Market for Toronto

Toronto Real Estate Board President Paul Etherington announced that Toronto MLS® home sales through the first 14 days of July 2014 were up by 11.6% year-over-year to 3,891. New listings were also up compared to the same period in 2013, but by a lesser annual rate of 9.7%.

“There are two key takeaways from the July mid-month results. First, given the continuation of strong sales growth, it is clear that buyers are still attracted to affordable home ownership options in the GTA. Second, if new listings growth begins to outpace sales growth, we could start to see an improvement in the overall supply of homes for sale. This would be a relief for some buyers who have been hard pressed to find a home that meets their needs in this tight market,” said Mr. Etherington.

The average selling price for sales reported during the first two weeks of July 2014 was $549,174. This result was up by eight per cent compared to the same period in 2013. The strongest rates of price growth were reported for semi-detached houses and townhouses in the City of Toronto.

“Annual average price growth remains in the high single-digits or low double-digits for many home types across the GTA. It is possible that we could see more choice for buyers in the second half of 2014 in the form of increased new listings. A sustained increase in choice for buyers could serve to gradually ease the pace of price growth in some market segments,” said Jason Mercer, the Toronto Real Estate Board’s Senior Manager of Market Analysis.

July 17, 2014 in Toronto Real Estate Board, Toronto Real Estate Market, Toronto Real Estate Update | Permalink

Toronto Sales Up 15% - Prices Up 7.4%

Stepping into his role as President of the Toronto Real Estate Board, Paul Etherington announced a strong increase in residential sales reported through the Toronto MLS system in June. Sales were up by 15.4 per cent year-over-year to 10,180 transactions. New listings were also up compared to the same period in 2013, but by a lesser annual rate. This means that competition between buyers increased in June.

“Home buyers in the Greater Toronto Area are confident in their ability to purchase and affordably pay for a home. Generally speaking, buyers feel that ownership housing will be a good investment over the long term. This is why we continued to see increases in home sales in June for all major home types across the GTA. Given the degree of pent-up demand in the market today, I would expect to see sales growth continue through the summer,” said Mr. Etherington.

The average selling price for June transactions was $568,953, representing an increase of 7.4 per cent compared to June 2013. The strongest price increase for the GTA as a whole was for semi-detached houses, with the average price up by 9.7 per cent year-over-year. The pace of price growth for condominium apartments was also strong at 6.8 per cent.

“With less than two months of inventory in many parts of the GTA, it makes sense that we continued to experience very strong price growth in June. This is especially the case for low-rise home types like singles, semis and townhouses. Strong price growth for these home types will continue through the remainder of 2014. Despite higher inventory levels, the condominium apartment market segment has benefitted from enough buyer interest to result in above-inflation price growth,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Senior Manager of Market Analysis.

See Toronto Real Estate Board's Market Watch Report »

July 6, 2014 in Toronto Real Estate Board, Toronto Real Estate Market, Toronto Real Estate Update | Permalink

Home sales and new listings up

Toronto Real Estate Board President Dianne Usher announced that both sales and new listings were up substantially during the first 14 days of June 2014 compared to the same period in 2013.

“If the first two weeks of June are any indication, we may be seeing a turnaround in the supply of homes for sale in the Greater Toronto Area. New listings were up on a year-over-year basis for most major home types in the City of Toronto and surrounding regions. However, sales growth outpaced growth in new listings, which suggests that there is still a lot of pent-up demand yet to be satisfied, so sellers’ market conditions will likely remain in place for the remainder of 2014,” said Ms. Usher.

Sales reported through the TorontoMLS system during the first two weeks of June amounted to 4,938 – up by 11.3 per cent in comparison to 2013. New listings were up over the same period by 7.8 per cent to 8,825.

The average selling price for June mid-month transactions was $582,100, which represented an increase of 8.6 per cent compared to the average of $535,865 in 2013.

“Average selling prices were up across the GTA for low-rise home types like singles, semis and townhouses as well as for condominium apartments. This is no surprise given that the number of transactions was up compared to 2013 by a greater rate than the number of new listings, which suggests that competition between buyers arguably increased,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Senior Manager of Market Analysis.

June 17, 2014 in Toronto Real Estate Market, Toronto Real Estate Trends, Toronto Real Estate Update | Permalink

Toronto Home Sales Up 11.4% in May

Toronto Real Estate Board President Dianne Usher announced that both the number of home sales through the TorontoMLS system and the average selling price were up strongly in May compared to a year ago.

Total Toronto MLS sales for May 2014 amounted to 11,079 – a new high for the month of May. This result was up by 11.4 per cent compared to 9,946 sales reported in May 2013. The average selling price for these sales was $585,204, representing an 8.3 per cent year-over-year increase compared to the average price of $540,544 in May 2013.

“We are now at the peak of the spring market when we generally see the greatest number of sales and the highest average selling prices. Based on the May statistics, buyers have been more active this spring compared to last year. Despite strong price growth so far in 2014, many households remain comfortable with the monthly mortgage payments associated with the purchase of a home, as borrowing costs have remained at or near record lows over the past few months,” said Ms. Usher.

Average selling prices varied across the Greater Toronto Area, depending on geography and home type. A detached home in the City of Toronto sold, on average, for $943,055. In the surrounding GTA regions, the average detached price was $648,439. The average price for condominium apartments was $401,809 in the City of Toronto and $307, 307 in the surrounding regions.

“The listings situation in the GTA did not improve this past May. With listings down and sales up compared to last year, competition between buyers increased. The result was price growth well-above the rate of inflation, especially for singles, semis and townhomes,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Senior Manager of Market Analysis.

“It is also important to point out that even though the condo apartment market segment remains comparatively well-supplied, as new project completions have generally led to an uptick in listings, we have seen enough buyer interest to prompt strong condo price growth as well,” continued Mercer.

See the Toronto Real Estate Board's Market Watch Report for May »

June 4, 2014 in Toronto Real Estate Board, Toronto Real Estate Market, Toronto Real Estate Update | Permalink

Calling their fluff

How to spot the home stagers’ tricks at work

When you go house hunting in downtown Toronto, you’ll struck by a disturbing similarity in what you see. The furniture at many resale homes looks suspiciously fresh and new, the art hanging on the walls seems all-too-familiar and the rooms are just soooo squeaky clean. After looking at a few of houses, you’ll start to recognize the signs that a home stager has been at work. Let’s face it, how many of us have furniture that matches perfectly? You can tell as soon as you walk into a staged home that this is something that belongs in an interior design shop, not your average family’s home.

Remember: no matter how beautifully decorated a home may be, its true value hinges on practical considerations — how much space it offers, the neighborhood, how many bedrooms and bathrooms it has.

Here’s how to make sure you don’t get taken in by a stager’s tricks:

Beware of old panes

The best tipoff that a home stager has been at work is a beautifully decorated home with old windows. Why? Because a complete set of new windows is expensive — think $10,000 or so — and most stagers won’t bother to put them in. But if the windows are old, you have to wonder what other secrets the house may be hiding.

Measure, measure

Stagers are notorious for making small rooms look larger by renting undersized couches, tables and chairs. Imagine the shock the new owners must have felt when they tried to move in their own furniture. To make sure you don’t have a nasty surprise, pack a tape measure and write down the dimensions of all key rooms.

Avoid showrooms

The showrooms in many new condo developments use pint-sized furniture, large mirrors and other space-expanding tricks to make the units appear larger than they are. If you’re looking at something in a new complex, ask to look at another suite that hasn’t been done up. You’ll get a feel for what the home will look like with regular furniture and appliances.

View it live

Most real estate agents insist that viewing the house when it’s empty gives you time to examine it at leisure. But a better option is to view it around suppertime when the owners are present. When someone’s in the place, you get a better sense of the house. Is there enough counter space for the dinner dishes? Does the kitchen feel spacious with two or three people in it? You can imagine what it would be like to live there yourself.

Come out of the closet

Stagers often empty out closets to make them look larger than they really are and give the illusion of plentiful storage space. Be aware of the trick and make sure you know exactly how much storage space you’re getting. Ever wonder where all the jackets, shoes and coats are in the homes ypu see because they certainly aren’t in the closets. Ask to see other storage areas. Tune out the noise

Any good stager tries to create a relaxed, elegant mood. Jazz on the stereo, a roaring fire in the hearth, fresh flowers and homey scents are just some of the tricks you’ll encounter. The only defense? Close your eyes and imagine the same room with kids yelling and yesterday’s newspaper spread out on the floor. Reality may not be as pretty as the staged version, but it’s a much better guide to value.

June 2, 2014 | Permalink

Toronto Home Sales Up 19.6%

Toronto Real Estate Board President Dianne Usher announced that “Sales reported by Greater Toronto REALTORS® were up strongly during the first two weeks of May in comparison to the same time last year. However, new listings were down slightly over the same period, which means competition between buyers continued to increase and price growth remained very strong.”

There were 5,185 sales reported through the TorontoMLS system during the first two weeks of May 2014. This result was up by 19.6 per cent in comparison to the first 14 days of May 2013. Sales increased for low rise home types, including single-detached and semi-detached homes and townhouses, as well as for condominium apartments.

The growth in sales was also widespread geographically, with the number of transactions up in the City of Toronto and surrounding regions.

The average selling price for the first two weeks of May was $590,132 – up 8.9 per cent compared to the average of $542,074 reported for transactions during the same period in May 2013.

Price growth was strongest for detached homes in the City of Toronto, where demand remained very strong relative to the short supply of listings. While the condominium apartment market segment remained well-supplied, there was enough demand to prompt above-inflation price growth.

“While tight market conditions continue to prompt strong year-over-year increases in the average selling price, it is important to point out that the monthly cost of home ownership – mortgage principal and interest, property taxes and utilities – has not trended upward as strongly. Strong price growth has been mitigated to a large degree by low borrowing costs,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Senior Manager of Market Analysis

May 20, 2014 in Toronto Real Estate Board, Toronto Real Estate Market, Toronto Real Estate Update | Permalink

 

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