Toronto Real Estate Market: The View From My Desk!

iStock_000003106942XSmallDaily I try to make sense of the Real Estate market. I read all the Google Alerts and RSS Feeds that appear that focus on the Housing Market. I talk to other Sales persons and the front of desk staff at the office, monitoring the showings and the activity at weekend Open Houses. The media will tell you that the “Real Estate Bubble” is about to burst. How many times have you heard that in the last 5 years?

Making sense of any market is difficult at the best of times but because of the lag time in reporting sales that are firm or sold conditionally, a chrystal ball can come in very handy….

Here is what I have noticed:

  • There are a lot more houses on the market for sale.
  • Showings have subsided but Open Houses are still quite busy.
  • The number of sales has decreased leaving a lot more listings for buyers and hence a lack of urgency.
  • Where move-up Buyers would have offered before selling, they are now holding back till their own property sells.
  • The houses that are moving first have the most amenities: Parking, Schools, Garages, High-end Finishes etc.
  • Sellers have to be calm, price realistically and manage their expectations.
  • Sales are still happening, fewer with multiple offers, but they are happening.
  • People are confused about the HST and think wrongly, that it is payable on resale housing. It is only payable on the services used during the sale of resale housing.

The difference in Today’s market is this:

  • There was a shortage of listings in the market place from October 2009 till February 2010 contributing to a pent up demand this Spring.
  • There is a strong “Baby Boom” affect. A lot of Today’s Sellers are changing their lifestyles moving to apartments or to their Country properties. They are responsible for the spike in listings…
  • Today’s Buyers are “surfers”, used to surfing Television, the Internet and Open Houses. They don’t want to see property by appointment but surf Open Houses on the weekends…

What does it all mean?

  • More listings, giving Buyers more choice.
  • Patience is needed if you are a  Seller or Agent.
  • Buyers need to get their “ducks in a row” in terms of financing and deposits.
  • Pricing can only be based on the value of the home, not the plans that you have for the money after you sell…

The reality is that most Spring markets are similar and that a market is a market: Prices go up and down, activity changes slowly at times and quickly at others… first and foremost your house is a HOME where you, your family and friends enjoy company, entertain and share your hobbies.

At the end of your life will you be thinking about the money you made in Real Estate or the great times you had in the home that you loved.

I am sure you have some thoughts so feel free to comment…

9 Responses

  1. Lise Smitt

    Richard every night on CTV they have real estate agents on talking about the housing market I always
    wonder why you don’t do it.. seeing what you are saying here… it would be great to hear what you have
    to say about everything that is going on…

    A lot of information again today that is very helpful
    will we ever see you on CTV or any other tv Station.

  2. Wilf Mandel

    Thanks Richard.
    Well done, balanced piece soon (after July 1) to be seen in the local press, and high time.
    I’ve said it before and it bears repeating acclamation to your “-elect” position at TREB was no accident, rather well deserved.

  3. Rosanna Rocca

    Excellent information Richard. Puts everything into perspective. I am forwarding this on to some of my sellers. Thank you.

  4. Ronald Finkle

    Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.George Carlin

  5. Betty Bart

    Great article. I have been saying the same thing, in different words for a few months now. Be patient. It will happen. Sellers need to get their reality for pricing in order. Prices go up. Interest rates go up. Summer market approaches. We just have to see and get through this hiccup of the HST and then we will be on our way again.

  6. Don Edmunds

    Hi Richard.
    Came across your blog today and I also can’t agree more. Out in the Durham region it is the same. Keep educating the people, that’s all we can do!

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