Toronto September 2018 Market Report: Thinking like a Buyer

Toronto September 2018 Market Report: Thinking like a Buyer

Fall market started in Toronto with sales on the rise again. In September 2018 TREB Realtors reported 6,455 sales through TREB’s MLS® System, which makes this year’s sales 1.9 per cent higher than last year in September.

Townhouses were the most popular segment with sales up by 8.5 per cent. Sales of detached and semi-detached homes rose by 2.7 per cent in both segments. For the first time in a while, condo sales went down by 3.2 per cent.

New listings were also down by 3.1 per cent, putting Toronto inventory at risk. Active listings were slightly up by 5.6 per cent.

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With low inventory come rising prices. The average price in September 2018 was $796,786, which was 2.9 per cent more than in September 2017. Condo apartments had the biggest jump in average price by 10 per cent. Semi-detached homes and townhouses rose by 5.3 and 4.1 per cent respectively. The only segment in negative numbers was detached homes with a 0.6 per cent drop in year-over-year comparison.

Richard Silver, Sales Representative, SVP-Sales

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September was active in our office but with the Jewish High Holidays, and wrangling between the City and the Province about the number of Alderman in the upcoming election, it is not remarkable that increases were lower than anticipated. Activity and prices are up minimally and there is a wave of new listings coming to the market.

That being said we still are still in a “Demand greater than Supply conundrum”, with market-priced properties selling over asking and overpriced properties sitting.

You cannot underprice in today’s market but if you listen to your neighbours rather than the specialists, you can get caught up in a race to achieve the highest price in the neighbourhood.

However, if you look at the listing to sales data, you will see that the listings that achieved the highest prices were at market value or just under when they listed and the ones that have sat, started at a higher than the market price.

Being successful requires extraordinary marketing based on proper comparables and ‘thinking like a buyer when you are the seller”. How would a buyer review your property and your asking price? Be self-critical and listen to the experts. Do your due diligence and ask for references rather than a list of sales. Did the REALTOR do what they said they would do? Were they well served? Were contingencies covered, researched and disclosed to avoid issues? All are very important in the process.

Jim Burtnick, Broker, SVP-Sales

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The old adage of “Location, Location, Location” could not be more telling of the market we are currently in. Demand (Buyers) are far outstripping Supply (MLS listings available for sale) in the best neighbourhoods in the City.

If you want to buy a home, you want the neighbourhoods with the best schools, low crime rates, the convenience of local amenities, walkability, parks, shopping and restaurants. While there are over 500 communities that the Toronto Real Estate Board covers, only a select few neighbourhoods have all these combined features. Neighbourhoods such as Cabbagetown, Summerhill, Lawrence Park, Davisville and Leaside (to name a few), you are experiencing multiple offers (more buyers than sellers).

Remember this adage because as either a Buyer or Seller, you will be grateful that you own your real estate here as these areas will always be the most sought-after and the ones to fluctuate the least during the overall economic cycles we will inevitably experience.

My other thought is that there are so many people currently living in too much house. TREB did a study that revealed that there are over 5,000,000 empty bedrooms in the GTA every night! Think of all the couples in homes where the kids have grown up and left and there are two people living in a house with 3, 4, 5 bedrooms, yet only using 1 bedroom. If we could get these longtime homeowners to “right-size” to homes more suitable in size for the actual space they use, we could put a significant dent in our demand problem.

Rizwan Malik, Sales Representative, SVP-Sales

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The fall market isn’t exactly up, up and away but more slow and steady. Listings are up and with that so is activity, however, most buyers are still struggling because of the stress-test. In turn this also impacts sellers as they are left with getting less for their properties.

We are also seeing a disconnect in activity between freehold and condominiums, both of these market segments are operating independently. Due to their price point, condos are attracting more interest and buyers and this is causing huge spikes in pricing. This is especially true of areas that are just outside the city where condominiums used to struggle a little but now due to interest they are starting to thrive!

I predict that things will continue as they are until we see some loosening of the lending policies. We will have to wait and see what the government decides and how these changes, if any, will influence buyers and sellers.

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