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Top 10 communities with a go station

Whether it be the high Toronto real estate prices, the chaotic energy of the city or the need for a larger home with a yard, there are many reasons why some Toronto residents trade the convenience of living in the city with living in a smaller community, despite having to commute into the city for work. With Toronto home prices as high as they have been and with the introduction of higher interest rates bringing down the average sale price of many of the GTA communities that saw substantial gains during the pandemic, now could be a good time to consider making a move to one of the top 10 communities in the GTA with a GO station listed below. Purchasing a home in a community that has a GO station isn’t only beneficial to you if you work in Toronto and need to commute, it is also a selling feature that attracts potential buyers should you decide to sell in the future.

Below is a list of the top 10 communities in the GTA that have a GO station (in no particular order):

#1 Oakville

Oakville real estate

Oakville is one of the most desirable and affluent communities outside of the City of Toronto. It is home to many executives who commute into Toronto’s Financial District for work. Many professionals choose Oakville as their home due to its good schools, access to the waterfront and reasonable commute time to Toronto via the GO train.

Below are the average sale prices for all property types in Oakville at the time of this blog (August 2022)

Detached $2,035,091

Semi-detached $1,090,045

Townhomes $1,101,040

Condo apartments $938,359

Condo townhomes $829,093

#2 Port Credit

Top 10 communities in the GTA with GO stations

Port credit is known for its stunning waterfront which was rated as number one in the GTA. This family-friendly community consists of a wide range of demographics, including professionals who work in the Financial District and families who are looking for a quieter lifestyle versus living closer to downtown Toronto. Port Credit is home to the Port Credit Yacht club and is a lively spot during the summer months when the weather is nice. The Port Credit GO Train station makes it convenient for professionals to commute to and from work on a daily basis.

Below are the average sale prices for all property types in Mississauga which Port Credit is a part of. The pricing is based on prices at the time of this blog (August 2022)

Detached $1,589,123

Semi-detached $982,556

Townhomes $1,005,494

Condo apartments $628,116

Condo townhomes $798,552

#3 Unionville

Unionville real estate

Unionville, located in the City of Markham, is one of the most charming communities just north of Toronto. Unionville has a historical main street that consists of many different shops, cafes and restaurants just steps from Toogood Pond where many children and families skate during the winter months. Along with its large beautiful homes and one of the top golf courses in the GTA,  Unionville is a  popular community for those who are looking for a family friendly community not far from the city.

Below are the average sale prices for all property types in Unionville/City of Markham at the time of this blog (August 2022)

Detached $1,708,333

Semi-detached $1,182,644

Townhomes $1,155,546

Condo apartments $707,776

Condo townhomes $875,375

#4 Markham Village

Top 10 communities in the GTA with GO stations

Similarly to Unionville, Markham Village is the older area of the City of Markham and also includes its very own main street, which, like Unionville, includes many different shops, cafes, restaurants and bars. The area consists of large lots which has resulted in builders tearing down many of the older and dated homes and building new larger luxury homes. The Go station located on Main Street Markham makes it convenient for those who need to commute to Toronto for work. Markham Village is a great community for families who are looking for a place to live with a true small town community vibe.

Below are the average sale prices for all property types in Markham Village/City of Markham at the time of this blog (August 2022)

Detached $1,708,333

Semi-detached $1,182,644

Townhomes $1,155,546

Condo apartments $707,776

Condo townhome $875,375

#5 Vaughan

Top 10 communities in the GTA with GO stations

The City of Vaughan is one of the fastest growing communities in the GTA and includes several small communities within it such as Maple, Kleinburg and Woodbridge. The area consists of both residential homes as well as some newer low-rise and high-rise condo buildings. Vaughan is a desirable community among families and professionals who commute to work as there is easy access to highways such as the 407 (east & west) and 400 (north & south), and it also has its own GO station.

Below are the average sale prices for all property types in Vaughan at the time of this blog (August 2022)

Detached $1,697,375

Semi-detached $1,116,357

Townhomes $1,080,793

Condo apartments $690,996

Condo townhome $931,602

#6 Aurora 

Top 10 communities in the GTA with GO stations

Aurora was once a small town but has grown substantially over the years. Although the photo above highlights the beautiful farm land and landscape you will find in the surrounding areas of Aurora, the main area of Aurora where most residents live is made up of residential homes of all sizes. Aurora is also home to large estate size lots in communities with winding tree-lined streets that provide a a good amount of privacy. Aurora has become a popular community for those who commute to work and who appreciate living in a community filled with beautiful homes with spacious lots.

Below are the average sale prices for all property types in Aurora at the time of this blog (August 2022)

Detached $1,625,138

Semi-detached $908,000

Townhomes $987,375

Condo apartments $718,650

Condo townhome $1,116,500

#7 King City

Top 10 communities in the GTA with GO stations

King City is known for its small town vibe, historical homes, large lots and stylish new construction subdivisions. The area has a main street down Keele Street which includes a variety of local shops, restaurants and other businesses. The King City community consists of a variety home types including heritage homes around King Road and Keele Street, large lots with custom homes and bungalows as well as new construction subdivisions that cater to a range of home buyers including first time buyers. For those who are looking for a quieter lifestyle than living in the busy city and who are willing to commute to work, King City might be a good option to consider.

Below are the average sale prices for all property types in the King Township at the time of this blog (August 2022)

Detached $1,912,794

Townhomes $1,108,000

Condo apartments $632,500

#8 Stouffville

Top 10 communities in the GTA with GO stations

Once known for mostly farm land and an older community with a small main street, Stouffville has changed drastically over the last decade and a half. These days, you will find new construction subdivisions that are either brand new or approximately fifteen years old along with an older part of town with homes that have existed for quite some time. Main Street Stouffville has many different shops and businesses along with several restaurants. Although it has grown over the years, it still has a small town vibe to it. Many residents commute to Toronto for work via the GO Train.

Below are the average sale prices for all property types in Stouffville at the time of this blog (August 2022)

Detached $1,414,811

Semi-detached $988,375

Townhomes $956,669

Condo townhome $588,000

#9 Pickering

Top 10 communities in the GTA with GO stations

Twenty years ago you wouldn’t hear about professionals from the city flocking to Pickering. However, Pickering has drastically changed over the years and has a lot to offer those who are looking for a larger home with a larger lot in an area not too far from Toronto. These days you will find many executives who have chosen to call Pickering home. With its beautiful waterfront, sense of community and more, it’s a popular community for those who are looking for more of a suburban vibe while still being close to the city. The Go station and easy access to Highway 401 makes it convenient for those who commute into the city for work.

Below are the average sale prices for all property types in Pickering at the time of this blog (August 2022)

Detached $1,270,758

Semi-detached $902,714

Townhomes $859,336

Condo apartments $609,845

Condo townhome $727,042

#10 Whitby

Top 10 communities in the GTA with GO stations

Whitby is home to several large corporations such as BMW, Sony Canada and others which employ many of the local residents.  Like Pickering, Whitby has its own beautiful waterfront and also a historical main street with Heritage buildings. There are a variety of home styles in the area and the pricing is typically more affordable when compared to other communities in the east end of the GTA such as Picking and Markham.

Detached $1,100,690

Semi-detached $857,500

Townhomes $849,250

Condo apartments $681,667

Condo townhome $706,500

With so many great options in the GTA to consider, I’m confident that you will be able to find the right home for you. To assist you with your search, I’ve included the GO system map below which shows all of their stops in the GTA.

Top 10 communities in the GTA with GO stations

Credit: GO Transit

If you are thinking of making a move out of the city to one of these great communities or any other great community in the GTA and have questions about selling, buying or the market in general, feel free to contact me at any time as I am happy to answer your questions for you.

*All sale prices above are based on July 2022 stats which are released in August 2022.

 

 

How to win a bidding war in Toronto

With Toronto being one of the hottest real estate markets with a level of demand that the supply can’t seem to keep up with, there’s no surprise that buyers often end up in a bidding war against other buyers.

I often tell my buyer clients that buying a home in Toronto is a process, one that involves more than just one attempt at finding the right house for them and sometimes involves some disappointment when one gets away.

How to win a bidding war in Toronto

Unfortunately, the Toronto real estate market is heartless; it doesn’t care about your feelings or your dreams, and it most definitely doesn’t care about how many homes you’ve missed out on. Most of the time, the only thing that Toronto real estate cares about is how much money you will pay for it.

Although offer price is usually the driving force when it comes to selecting the winning bid in a multiple offer situation, there are other deciding factors that come into play and which can work in your favour when putting together your offer.

As a full time Toronto real estate agent, I’ve had plenty experience with assisting both seller and buyer clients over the years. This has allowed me to view the deal from both sides of the table and to pick up on tactics and strategies that have resulted in a winning bid. I’ve also had the opportunity to see what doesn’t work.

How to win a bidding war in Toronto

Below, I’ve provided some of the strategies that have worked for my clients in the past in order to hopefully help you if you’re ever involved with a bidding war in the future.

Strategies:

Submitting a “Bully Offer” – This strategy typically only works if you are willing to pay an amount well above the list price and possibly slightly higher than market value. You essentially should be submitting an offer that the seller would be foolish to refuse. This offer would need to be completely clean and not include any conditions and with a limited number of clauses. This offer should also include the seller’s desired closing date.

Submitting a personalized letter with a photo – Although some may disagree with this strategy, I have seen personal letters work for both my buyer clients as well as for buyers submitting offers on my listings. I’ve personally been in situations where my seller clients were ready to take a lower offer price for their home simply because they liked the offer with the letter from the buyers as it felt more personal. It probably wouldn’t have been the wisest financial decision to accept a lower offer price due to a nicely written letter but it does go to show you that a personalized letter has the potential to sway a seller’s decision as to which offer to accept.

Submitting an offer with the desired closing date – One small way to help increase the odds of your offer being accepted is by matching the seller’s desired closing date. This is a very minor thing and likely won’t be the only thing that makes or breaks the deal, but if you can match the desired losing date, you will be that much closer to having your offer accepted.

Submit a clean offer – If you are up against other offers, the last thing you want to do is submit an offer with a bunch of conditions, reps and warranties and clauses. I realize this can be scary and you must make a decision that you feel comfortable and confident with but you may need to remove any home inspection or financing conditions or clauses you were planning on including. Based on years of experience with dealing with bidding wars, I can guarantee that the odds of your conditional offer being accepted are extremely low. However, if you are considering removing any conditions, make sure you are in a financial position to deal with any unexpected surprises that you may run into down the road.

Make sure your i’s are dotted and t’s are crossed – I often receive incomplete offers with missing information, sometimes important information such as the names of the parties to the agreement along with other very important information. Make sure all sections of the offer are filled out fully and accurately. The last thing you want to be doing is submitting an incomplete offer in a bidding war as this will not only result in the sellers potentially feeling uneasy with your offer, it may even result in you missing out on the home.

Don’t expect more than one chance – For some reason, some buyers and agents think that they will be guaranteed a chance to improve their offer after it has been submitted. This is not always the case as the seller is not required to provide additional opportunities for buyers to improve their offers. Do not go into a bidding war expecting a second, third or fourth chance to improve your offer as you may not get it.

Make sure to check in with the listing agent – Many agents simply submit an offer on offer night and wait to receive a yes or no answer. If you are working with an experienced and reputable Toronto real estate agent, they won’t stop at simply submitting your offer. Once your agent has submitted your offer, they should be checking in with the listing agent in order to see how your offer is doing compared to the others and to see if there is any way that you can make your offer stronger, whether that be financially or otherwise.

At the end of the day, bidding wars are complex and each one is different from the other depending on the different parties involved, including the the sellers, buyers and agents. A good real estate agent will be able to guide you through the process and help ensure that your offer stands out from the competition as much as possible while protecting your rights and working in your best interest throughout the process.

Are you thinking about making a move or do you have questions about the current market?

Contact me any time with your real estate questions or to discuss your real estate plans. I’m happy to help and to answer any questions you may have.

What is a pre-list home inspection?

You may or may not have heard the term “pre-list home inspection” before and wondered what it is and what it’s used for if you don’t already know.

A pre-list home inspection is an inspection that the listing agent typically arranges for their seller client prior to the property being listed for sale on MLS. By completing a pre-list home inspection, listing agents are able to provide such inspections to potential buyers and their agent when an inquiry is made regarding the condition of the home.

Toronto real estate (home inspections)

As long as your home doesn’t have any major issues, a pre-list home inspection often adds comfort to buyers, especially when they are involved in a multiple offer situation and likely won’t be able to submit an offer with a home inspection condition included.

A home inspection typically includes important information regarding different aspects and areas of the home and often includes details regarding the condition of following below as well as other items:

  • Foundation (limited)
  • Roof (limited)
  • Chimney
  • Decks & landscaping
  • Windows
  • Doors
  • Electrical (limited)
  • Plumbing (limited)
  • Heating & cooling systems (limited)
  • Bylaw related / safety issues
  • Moisture damage (typically available at an additional cost)

It is important to know that home inspectors are somewhat limited in regards to how deep they can dig into each section of the home. They mostly base their report on what is visible to the naked eye when looking over the different areas of your home.

It is also important to know that it’s extremely rare to receive a report that is squeaky clean without any issues at all, even in a newer home. Many sellers get nervous when they see a report that says there are issues with their home, even if they are minor issues. By completing a pre-list home inspection, you will have the opportunity to address the issues prior to listing your home for sale if you should wish to. Once the issues have been addressed, the home inspector will usually provide you with an updated report which reflects the repairs being completed. Over the years that I have been working in the real estate industry, I haven’t once seen a report completely free from any issues.

What is a pre list home inspection

Now that you know what a pre-list home inspection is, make sure you speak to your agent about this option prior to listing your home for sale.

If you aren’t currently working with another agent and have questions about the market or selling your home, contact me any time. I’m always happy to answer your questions and concerns and to assist you with achieving your specific real estate objectives.

Toronto real estate market (July 2022)

For the fourth consecutive month the Toronto and area resale housing market produced declining sales and lower average sale prices. The housing market peaked in February for average sale prices, in March for monthly reported sales. In February the average sale price for the greater Toronto area came in at an incredible (and unsustainable) $1,334,000. Sales in March hit 10,881, which was not a record. The record for March sales was achieved in 2021 when an unbelievable 15,627 homes of all types were reported sold.

In July the average sale price came in at $1,074,754, a 19 percent decline compared to February’s peak. It should be noted that July’s average sale price was still 1.2 percent higher than July 2021’s average sale price of $1,061,724. Sales in July were more than 47 percent lower than a year ago. There were 4,912 properties reported sold throughout the greater Toronto region. Last year 9,339 homes were sold. Compared to the 10,881 properties reported sold in March, sales in July have declined by almost 55 percent.

There is no mystery as to why the market has changed so dramatically in such a very short time period. The housing market, not only in Toronto and surrounding areas, but universally in North America, was supercharged by pandemic forces (the need for space and safety and the ability to work remotely) and historically cheap money. Money is no longer cheap and with society returning to a form of normalcy, the housing landscape is, compared to February and March and all of 2021, unrecognizable. The Bank of Canada’s benchmark rate is currently 2.5 percent. In March it was only 0.25 percent. In only four months it has increased by 900 percent! Mortgage interest rates have correspondingly also increased (although not as dramatically) from approximately 2 percent in March to close to 6 percent today. With the inflation rate in Canada at about 8 percent, it is anticipated that when the Bank of Canada meets in September, another rate hike is expected.

Toronto real estate market (July 2022)

Contrary to the commonly accepted view, the declining average sale prices that the market is experiencing are not making housing in the greater Toronto area any more affordable. In fact, rising financing costs are making buying a home in Toronto less affordable. A recent Ratehub study has indicated that with the stress tests and the higher borrowing costs, a buyer in Canada needs $18,000.00 more in household income per year to buy the average priced house than they would have required in February when the average sale price was $1,334,000. That number is even higher in cities like Toronto and Vancouver.

Two market sectors in the City of Toronto are, to some degree, operating contrary to overall market conditions. Firstly, condominium apartments. Notwithstanding declining average sale prices, condominium apartments continue to sell for strong prices. Overall condominium apartment prices were 7 percent higher than last July – 12 percent higher in the 905 region and 4.3 percent in the City of Toronto. The explanation is obvious. In an increasingly unaffordable housing market, condominium apartments remain the most affordable housing type. In July the average sale price of all condominium apartments sold was $719,000, somewhat higher at $744,000 in the City of Toronto.

Secondly, the City of Toronto’s eastern districts. In July all properties in Toronto’s eastern districts sold in only 15 days and for 102 percent of their asking price. The overall market saw properties selling at 99 percent of their asking price. Also, all eastern district properties sold after only 15 days on the market. This compares very favorably with the 20 days it took properties to sell in the overall Toronto and region marketplace. The explanation for this market phenomenon is less clear. It isn’t price. The average price for all properties sold came in at $1,014,000, marginally less than the overall average sale price of $1,019,000 for all City of Toronto properties reported sold. It would appear that the eastern districts, particularly Riverdale, Leslieville, and the Beaches, are viewed as more desirable than other parts of the City by buyers.

Looking forward we should anticipate that this cycle of declines in sales and average sale prices to continue, however not as dramatically as the declines we have experienced since February and March. Until inflation stabilizes and the Bank of Canada stops increasing its benchmark rate the prevailing housing landscape will remain unchanged.

Have questions about the market, selling or buying?

Contact me any time. I’m happy to answer any questions you may have.

Prepared by Chris Kapches, LLB, President and CEO, Broker, Chestnut Park® Real Estate Limited, Brokerage.

Why didn't I get any offers?

You put in a lot of work to declutter your home and prepare it for showings, you hired a realtor, your realtor staged your place and put together some great marketing materials and you had a week of showings, offer night comes along and you are excited to see how many offers you receive, but, you don’t receive any offers on offer night. You are probably scratching your head wondering how this could have happened.

Although the strategy of listing a property for below market value and holding off offers for a week until your set offer date arrives typically works very well, there are several reasons why it may not work. Below are 5 reasons why you may not have received any offers on your offer night.

1) Priced Incorrectly 

Once you have decided to work with a licensed, full-time, Toronto real estate agent, your agent should spend the time to look into the recent sales that have taken place in your neighbourhood. This will allow them to determine certain trends such as the average sale price for your area, average number of days on market along with other valuable market statistics that will assist with selling your home for the most amount of money in the least amount of time. If your real estate agent determines that homes in your area are listing for lower than their market value and are setting offer dates to review any and all offers, they may suggest doing the same with your property. Should you and your real estate agent come to an agreement to use this approach, it is crucial that your property is listed at the right price. By listing your property too high or too low, you may scare off potential buyers. If your agent is experienced, they should be able to determine the appropriate list price that isn’t too low or too high.

Toronto property values

 

2) Timing 

Historically speaking, some months such as December, January and August are some of the slowest months in real estate. If you are listing your home during one of these months, the odds of you not receiving any offers is increased. Buyers are typically busy with the seasonal holidays or vacationing during these months which means there are less eyes that will see your property once it hits MLS. In addition to this, even during other months, you need to keep in mind the statutory holidays and long weekends as you will want to work around these in order to ensure that you get as many potential buyers though your home as possible. Unless your local market it extremely hot, just like Toronto was a couple of years ago when properties sold any time of year for well over their list price, most properties don’t show as well as during the cold grey winter months as they do during the spring/early summer and early fall months. This can play a part in a buyer’s decision to put an offer on your home or not.

 

Toronto real estate market

3) Needed Repairs

Whether it be a list of needed repairs in your pre-list home inspection that is provided to potential buyers, or it’s visible needed repairs that potential buyers see during their showing, depending on the buyers, any needed repairs that aren’t already addressed may scare off potential buyers. It’s important to address as many issues with your home as feasibly possible prior to listing your home for sale.

Selling Toronto real estate

4) New Competition

Even if your home is in top showing condition and you have done everything necessary to ensure your home attracts as many buyers as possible, if a comparable home comes to market which is perceived to be more desirable at a similar price with the same offer date, you may miss out on receiving offers on your offer date. Should this scenario happen, you may want to discuss your options with your agent, including the possibility of changing your offer date.

 

Why didn't I get any offers?

5) Announcements

As we have all witnessed over the last couple of months, announcements such as interest rate hikes can play a large part in dictating the amount of demand there is. Announcements such as rate hikes and government announcements relating to new policies that affect the market can create uncertainty and make buyers second guess making a purchase. Should there be a big announcement soon after you list your home for sale, there is a good chance that the amount of demand may be put on pause until there is more certainty.

Toronto real estate market news

Above are just some of the reasons why you may not receive an offer on your offer night. With the help of an experienced Toronto real estate agent, you should be able to come up with a solution to this hurdle and sell your home.

If you aren’t currently working with an agent and have questions about the market, selling your home or any other real estate questions, contact me any time. I’m always happy to answer your questions and concerns and to assist you with achieving your specific real estate objectives.

*This is not intended to solicit individuals currently under contract with another real estate agent or real estate brokerage.

Toronto real estate market (June 2022)

Not unexpectedly June produced a substantial negative variance when compared to the numbers that the Toronto and Region residential resale market produced in June of 2021. Rising mortgage interest rates have over the last three months caused sales to drop fairly precipitously, and although sales prices are off from their high of February of this year, they remain higher than average sale prices achieved last June.

In June 6,474 properties were reported sold, a 41 percent decline from the 11,053 properties reported sold last June. The average sale price came in at $1,146,254, more than 5 percent higher than the average sale price of $1,088,991 achieved last June. Having said that, a review of what’s been happening since February, both as to sales and average sale price, gives a more accurate description of where the Toronto and Region residential sales market is going.

In February 9,044 properties were reported sold achieving an eye-popping sale price of $1,334,142. One could safely say that February was the height of the pandemic, liquidity-induced resale market. March produced more sales (10,902) but could not sustain the unprecedented average price. March’s average sale price dropped to $1,299,468. Higher mortgage interest rates kicked in April and since then both sales and average sales prices have declined dramatically.

Toronto real estate market (June 2022)

As the above-noted chart indicates, since February the average sale price has declined by $185,000, or 14 percent, and since March, sales have declined by more than 40 percent. These declines can be charted in direct relationship to the increase in mortgage interest rates. Although declines in both sales and average sale prices will continue as the Bank of Canada raises its benchmark rate in its effort to fight inflation, those declines will be more moderate going forward, unless the Bank of Canada raises rates so high that it tips the Canadian economy into recession.

Interestingly, June’s numbers continue to demonstrate that the demand in the Toronto and Region resale market has not dissipated with rising mortgage interest rates. In June, all properties (on average) sold in just 15 days, only 2 days more than the 13 days it took last year. (This number may not be entirely accurate since it does not reflect properties that were listed and cancelled, then re-listed at a lower price). Also, all properties reported across the region sold for 100 percent of their asking (also not an entirely accurate number) and in the City of Toronto at 101 percent of their asking price.

Regardless of the precise accuracy of these numbers they clearly demonstrate that there are many buyers in the marketplace searching to buy homes. As more immigrants settle in the greater Toronto area the demand will continue to grow and create the same market pressures that manifested themselves before and during the pandemic. They won’t be fully apparent until the Bank of Canada has inflation under some control and mortgage interests rates stop rising.

It should be noted that whereas during the pandemic (not that it is no longer with us) properties in Toronto’s 905 region sold faster and at higher prices than homes in the City of Toronto. That pattern has been reserved. As health and travel restrictions have eased, buyers are no longer looking for the space and safety that ground-level properties in the 905 offered. In June every housing type in the City of Toronto – detached, semi-detached, townhouse, and condominium apartments – achieved average sale prices substantially higher than corresponding counterparts in the 905 regions. Secondary markets – markets within 200 kilometers from Toronto – are similarly experiencing downturns both in average sale prices and sales.

The number of new listings coming to market will also have a substantial impact on both sales and average sale prices. In June 16,347 new listings came to market. This compares favourably with the 16,193 that came to market last year. However, due to declining sales, we enter July with 16,093 properties available to buyers, 42.5 percent more than June last year. If this continues buyers will have more choice, sale prices will be negotiated in the buyers’ favour, and more properties will languish on the market until they are sold or the listings cancelled.

Early indications in July are that the slide in sales and average sale prices will continue. Buyers are waiting to see how high the Bank of Canada will raise rates, and as a result how much lower prices will drop.

Have questions about the market, selling or buying?

Contact me any time. I’m happy to answer any questions you may have.

Prepared by Chris Kapches, LLB, President and CEO, Broker, Chestnut Park® Real Estate Limited, Brokerage.

Should I allow open houses?

Some common thoughts that may go through your head once you’ve decided to list your home for sale and have considered holding an open house are:

  • Do I really want strangers walking through my home?
  • Are people going to make a mess of my home?
  • Will my belongings be safe?
  • Should I even have an open house?

These are all common and valid concerns, I mean, who really likes the idea of random people walking through their home and looking at all of their belongings.

Unfortunately, the reality is, if you want to sell your home for the most amount of money in the least amount of time, your home will require as much exposure as possible. Allowing open houses ensures that you have covered every base when it comes to marketing your home for sale, even if doing so makes you feel a little uneasy. By allowing open houses, you are not only allowing potential buyers through your home but you are also allowing word of mouth marketing to take place among people who have visited your home and their friends and network.

Should I allow open houses?

Now, as much as the thought of allowing open houses may be stressful, your realtor should take several steps to make the process as comfortable and successful for you as possible. An experienced realtor will often take the following steps below when conducting an open house at your home to ensure your home is secure, tidy and well marketed:

Massive open house signage in your surrounding area 

We all see open house signs while driving around the city on the weekend, but how many signs should your realtor put out? The answer is as many as possible. In order to ensure your home receives the attention it deserves and requires to sell, you need to make sure your home stands out from the competition. Putting out more signs than the average open house does just that.

Open house online & print marketing 

An experienced agent will go above and beyond simply setting up open house signs to market your open house event. It’s important that you spread the word about your open house far and wide and to as many potential buyers as possible. There are a variety of ways of achieving this with the use of online and print marketing methods such as open house invites, flyers, online social media ads, evites  and other creative advertising methods.

“Please remove shoes” signage and requests 

A good agent will set up a “Please remove shoes” sign at the front entrance of your home and request all visitors to remove their shoes upon entering. This helps with reducing any potential mess or damage to your floors.

Sanitizing station 

As I write this blog, we are still dealing with the affects of covid19 and people are much more attentive to their hand hygiene than they were prior to the pandemic. Your realtor will likely set up a sanitization station near the front entrance of your home and ask visitors to sanitize their hands prior to viewing your home.

Limit Touching 

As mentioned above, due to covid19, many sellers don’t like the idea of random people coming into their home and touching everything. With that being said, buyers will want to view as much of your home as possible. How else will they know if they can fit their attire into your primary bedroom closet? Your agent will likely ask visitors to limit the touching of surfaces while in the home and will assist by opening doors and closets for visitors as needed.

Keep an eye on visitors 

During all open houses, your agent will ask visitors to sign in to keep track of who visits your home and will also keep an eye on visitors during their visit. Keep in mind that there may be times when your agent won’t be able to watch each and every visitor at the same time as they view different areas of your home. It is important to remove and or store any valuable items prior to allowing open houses or showings.

I’ve personally seen some agents install wireless wifi security cameras throughout the interior of the home while showing properties to my clients. Although this may be tempting to do, it often distracts potential buyers from focusing on your home’s beautiful features as they are too busy with the thought of being watched and listened to. Remember, you want to make visitors feel as comfortable while they are in your home and help them visualize themselves living there, you want them to feel at home.

Prepare the home before doors open 

Your agent will come to your home prior to your open house beginning to ensure that all of the lights are turned on and that the rest of your home is in perfect showing condition. It’s important to make sure you put away all dirty dishes, laundry, pet toys and food as well as any other clutter prior to the open house.

Should I have open houses?

Although the thought of having an open house may be a little intimidating, with the help of an experienced realtor, the process should really be quite straight forward. By not holding open houses, you are limiting your exposure to potential buyers could very likely limit your final sale price and possibly extend the number of days that your home has to be listed for.

Are you thinking about listing your home or do you have questions about the current market?

Contact me any time with your real estate questions or to request a free home evaluation to find out how much your home may be worth. I’m happy to help and to answer any real estate questions you may have.

Toronto real estate market (2022)

As forecast, the rising mortgage interest rates (not to mention other factors at play, like the war in the Ukraine, inflation, and ongoing supply chain problems) had a direct impact on the number of residential properties reported sold in April. At the end of April, the five-year fixed mortgage rate was 4.19 percent. In February the five-year rate was 2.79 percent, an increase of more than 50 percent in a mere two months. Coupled with the mortgage stress test that all borrowers must undergo when qualifying, it is not surprising that many buyers, particularly first-time buyers, have been forced out of the market. Those who qualify may have had to lower their price-point expectations.

One should not interpret the decline in sales as an indication that the Toronto and area residential resale market is softening or becoming more affordable. Properties sold at lightning speed in April and at strong prices. Prices were lower than the record achieved in February ($1,334,408), but still 15 percent higher than the average sale price of $1,090,414 delivered last year. This April the average sale price came in at $1,254,436, a 6 percent decline from February’s record number.

In April 8,008 properties were reported sold, down 41 percent from the 13,613 properties that changed hands last April. Sales reported in April 2021 remains the second highest monthly total on record, only behind the 15,613 reported in March of last year. It is important to note that since last April’s reported sales, no month has come close to April’s numbers. The best month after April last year was May, reporting 11,903 sales, and 10,939 properties reported sold in March of this year. Most months reported sales well under 10,000. This April’s sales are consistent with reported sales since the record peak early in 2021.

Days on market and sales to list prices are the litmus test of the strength or weakness in the market. April’s results clearly demonstrate the continued strength in the Toronto and area marketplace. In April all properties reported sold, including 2,173 condominium apartments, sold in only 11 days. Depending on housing type and location, properties were reported sold in even less time. For example, all detached properties throughout the greater Toronto area sold in only 10 days, while all semi-detached properties sold in only 9 days. Semi-detached properties in Toronto’s eastern districts continued to amaze, selling in only 7 days.

Toronto real estate market (2022)

Not only did all properties sell at the speed of light, but they did so at prices substantially higher than their asking price. All properties were (on average) sold at 107 percent of their asking price. In the City of Toronto, sales came in at 108 percent of their asking price, including condominium apartments. In Toronto’s eastern districts all properties sold at 113 percent of their asking price.

The clearest indication that the Toronto marketplace has not weakened and has not become more affordable is the performance of the condominium apartment sector. In April 2,173 condominium apartments were reported sold, 65 percent of them in the City of Toronto. The average sale price for all condominium apartments sold was $780,000. In the City of Toronto, the average selling price was $820,000, and in Toronto’s central districts, where 64 percent of all condominium apartment sales take place, the average sale price came in at an eye-popping $881,451. With average sale prices well above $1,000 per square foot, a buyer should expect substantially less than 800 square feet of living space for $881,451.

Rising mortgage interest rates should not cause market observers to lose focus on the fact that resale inventory levels remain historically low. In April months of inventory were only 0.9 for the entire greater Toronto area, and as in the case of days on market and sale to list price performance, even less depending on location and property type. Last year’s months of inventory were 1.3 months. With large numbers of immigrants making their homes in the greater Toronto area, the demand side of the market will continue. Almost 50 percent of more than 400,000 immigrants coming to Canada in 2021 relocated in Ontario and the greater Toronto area.

As we move into the late spring and summer months, and as interest rates continue to rise, we can anticipate negative variances compared to corresponding months in 2021. Notwithstanding these variances, and as this report has pointed out, the resale market will remain strong and as unaffordable as it has been since the beginning of the pandemic.

Have questions about the market, selling or buying?

Contact me any time. I’m happy to answer any questions you may have.

Prepared by Chris Kapches, LLB, President and CEO, Broker, Chestnut Park® Real Estate Limited, Brokerage.

Toronto real estate market (March 2022)

In the face of daunting obstacles, the Toronto and area residential resale market produced stellar results, albeit not the stratospheric results achieved during the same period last year. In the face of rising interest rates, the war in Ukraine and its global consequences, government legislation primarily directed against foreign buyers and investors, and a desperate lack of inventory, the Toronto and area market produced the third-best March and the second-best first quarter on record.

Any comparison with March 2021 is almost pointless. During the first quarter of 2021, the resale market was being driven by the frenzy of the pandemic, causing indiscriminate buying, particularly in suburban and secondary markets. Even without all the obstacles, the market is currently experiencing that level of activity was unsustainable.

In March, 10,955 properties were reported sold, almost 30 percent fewer than March of last year, but as indicated above, still the third-best March on record. As a clear demonstration of how strong the market was in March, the average sale price came in at $1,300,000, not far from the record price of $1,334,328 achieved just last month. March’s average sale price is almost 20 percent higher than the average sale price of $1,097,351 achieved last year.

Toronto real estate market (March 2022)

Given rising mortgage interest rates, it is not surprising that average sale prices have plateaued. The trend of constantly rising average sale prices is at an end and will stay steady until the current cycle of rising interest rates is at an end. Rising rates have the immediate effect of removing fringe buyers (often first-time buyers) from the market and lowering the price-point expectations of others.

If there was any doubt about the strength of the Toronto and area marketplace, two statistics dramatically prove the opposite. In March, all properties that hit the market (on average) sold in only 8 (unbelievable!) days. To emphasize this point, all 10,955 properties that sold in March were listed, marketed, negotiated, and sold in only 8 days. Even last year during Toronto’s strongest market in history, it took 10 days for all properties to be sold.

Not only did all properties sell in only 8 days, but they sold for an eye-popping 113 percent of their asking price, and this included 3,154 condominium apartments. In Toronto’s eastern trading districts all properties sold at 121 percent of their asking price. If a buyer were to go further east into the Durham region they would find that all properties that hit the market in March sold for 123 percent of their asking price. Semi-detached properties in Toronto’s eastern districts close to the central core continue to defy all market obstacles selling at almost 130 percent of their asking price. These statistics do not reflect a weakening market.

Despite the obstacles faced by the Toronto and area market, the growth in average sale prices was stronger in the 905 region as compared to growth in the City of Toronto. This continues the pattern that started during the pandemic, where less expensive homes offering more space were available.

Toronto real estate market (2022)

Overall prices in the City of Toronto increased by 15.8 percent and by almost 27 percent in the 905 region.

High-end luxury properties continue to sell well. In March 1,165 properties having a sale price of $2 Million or more were reported sold. Year-to-date 2,841 properties in this price category have been reported sold, 93 percent of these sales being detached properties in the City of Toronto and the 905 region. Last year only 982 properties were reported sold in this price category.

As the market moves into April, supply shortages continue to be a problem. In March a little over 20,000 new properties came to market, almost 12 percent fewer than the 22,747 that came to market last year. As we enter April, buyers’ choice remains limited. At month end there were 10,167 available properties for sale, down over 4 percent compared to the 10,603 available last year. Based on the pace of sales, there were only 0.9 months of inventory in the entire greater Toronto area. The supply was marginally better in the City of Toronto, primarily because of the availability of condominium apartments, coming in at 1.1 months of inventory. Given the population of the greater Toronto area (approximately 6.7 million) a healthy, balanced market requires at least 20,000 properties monthly on a continuous basis available to buyers.

Have questions about the market, selling or buying?

Contact me any time. I’m happy to answer any questions you may have.

Prepared by Chris Kapches, LLB, President and CEO, Broker, Chestnut Park® Real Estate Limited, Brokerage.

Toronto real estate market report

It’s now official, the most expensive city in Canada, at least from a housing perspective, is Toronto. February’s resale market performance pushed Toronto prices to new records, breaking records achieved only last month in January.

The reasons for this unbelievable increase in prices have been historically low interest rates, a lack of supply, continued growth in population (in 2021 the population of the greater Toronto area is estimated to be 6.4 million, which means that more than 1 in 6 Canadians live in the region) and the fact that there is now a prevailing view that a home is not merely bricks and mortar, where families live and grow, but the most important asset in the accumulation of wealth. The asset valuation affect at play is very similar to why people invest in the equities market, particularly when interest rates are exceptionally low, as they have been.

Toronto real estate market

In February 14,147 new properties came to market, a sharp improvement from the 7,979 properties that came to market in January, but almost 7 percent fewer than the 15,146 new listings that became available to buyers last year. Consequently, heading into March there were only 6,985 available properties in the entire greater Toronto area, 20 percent fewer than at the same time last year. These are critically low numbers. To put these numbers into perspective, the available inventory today is only about a third of what was available at the beginning of 1997. With 430,000 new immigrants expected in 2022, many of whom will end up in the greater Toronto area, there is no immediate relief expected.

Average sale prices continue to be higher in the city of Toronto as compared to the 905 region, but as has been the pattern since the beginning of the pandemic, the gap between the two is narrowing.

Toronto real estate marketIn a month that was full of new records, the time that available properties spent on the market before being reported sold can only be described as startling. In February all properties (on average) that hit the market were reported sold in only 9 days. Single digit time periods on the market have been the norm in some trading areas, but never for the entire greater Toronto area. There were 2,772 condominium apartments sold in the greater Toronto area, 1,842 of them in the city of Toronto. They all sold after spending only 11 days on market. There are no longer any meaningful superlatives to describe what is happening in the greater Toronto marketplace.

 

Have questions about the market, selling or buying?

Contact me any time. I’m happy to answer any questions you may have.

Prepared by Chris Kapches, LLB, President and CEO, Broker, Chestnut Park® Real Estate Limited, Brokerage.

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