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Multiple-Offers Are Still Very Much A Part Of The Toronto Real Estate Landscape

Multiple-Offers Are Still Very Much A Part Of The Toronto Real Estate Landscape Photo

We’re in the 2nd week of the fall real estate market now, and anyone who’s been following along knows that in the past 4.5 months (ever since the Liberals announced their “16-Point Fair Housing Plan” in April) we’ve seen a decline in the number of sales and, perhaps more notably, a decline in average sale prices.

Q:  Do these declines mean that there’s now room for price negotiation on every single property that comes on the market?
A:  Nope.

In fact… plenty of houses are selling for 100% of the list price. And an even larger number of houses are selling for more than the list price!

Despite all the talk of a “buyer’s market”, there are still plenty of buyers out there willing to pay full price for the right property, or even compete with other buyers and pay more than the list price if need be.

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Buy In The Summer And Then Sell In The Fall?

Buy In The Summer And Then Sell In The Fall? Photo

“Should I stay or should I go?”

The classic 1982 Clash song (which I fondly remember being a highlight on the dancefloor at the Dance Cave, circa ’99-’01) is a fitting soundtrack for anyone considering a move in the current Toronto real estate market.

While buying is nowhere near as stressful as it was in the first four months of the year, selling is a different story. We’re in a transitioning market now and selling your home isn’t as simple a process these days.

This change in the market has many buyers and sellers confused about how to proceed.

I’ve got a number of clients right now who are hesitantly contemplating a “move-up” purchase into something larger than their current space.

While they’re tickled by the fact that they aren’t shopping for a home in the same feeding-frenzy market we saw in January – April, the prospect of having to sell their home in this more relaxed market has them second-guessing whether or not now is the right time to make a move.

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Point-By-Point: Ontario’s Fair Housing Plan

Ontario's Fair Housing Plan: Point-By-Point Photo

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Today, Premier Kathleen Wynne finally announced changes to real estate in Ontario in an attempt to increase supply and address affordability.

No doubt, there’s going to be some confusion about the effects of the changes. Keep in mind though, the fundamentals of a healthy market have not changed.

Take a look at the plan below, point-by-point. If you’ve got any questions just give me a shout.

There are 16 proposed measures:

  1. A 15-per-cent non-resident speculation tax to be imposed on buyers in the Greater Golden Horseshoe area who are not citizens, permanent residents or Canadian corporations.
  2. Expanded rent control that will apply to all private rental units in Ontario, including those built after 1991, which are currently excluded.
  3. Updates to the Residential Tenancies Act to include a standard lease agreement, tighter provisions for “landlord’s own use” evictions, and technical changes to the Landlord-Tenant Board meant to make the process fairer, as well as other changes.
  4. A program to leverage the value of surplus provincial land assets across the province to develop a mix of market-price housing and affordable housing.
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Deposit Cheque: Don’t Show Up Empty-Handed!

Deposit Cheque: Don't Show Up Empty-Handed! Photo

Early in my real estate career, I was working with a young couple looking to purchase a loft in the city’s west end.

Back then, just like now, most properties were receiving multiple offers and selling for above the asking price.

And just like now, listing agents were requesting that all potential buyers show up on the offer date with a certified deposit cheque in hand.

I don’t recall the specifics now, but on the first offer we did together those clients of mine were not able to obtain a deposit cheque prior to submitting the offer.

Of the five offers that were submitted that night, my clients had the highest price.

The property should’ve been theirs…

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It Sold For HOW Much? WTF!

I’ve been a realtor for over 10 years now, and I can honestly say that I’ve never seen as many WTF sale prices as I saw last week.

It’s not unusual for a house to sell for stupid money in this city (it is Toronto after all), but last week was notable because it happened so many times!

All over the city, almost every day, houses and condos were selling for unprecedented figures.

“Unprecedented” is the key word here, but I’m not sure it really does justice to what we saw last week.

A few examples…

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Is It A Bad Idea To List Immediately After Labour Day?

Is It A Bad Idea To List Immediately After Labour Day? Photo

Summer doesn’t officially end until the Autumnal Equinox in the 3rd week of September, but we all know it really ends the day after Labour Day.

Every year, the Tuesday after Labour Day sees the kids go back to school, the white clothes go back into the closet, and the real estate market come back to life after the August slow-down.

A whole slew of new listings hit the market during that first week after Labour Day, and plenty of eager sellers (and realtors) are excited to get the ball rolling.

In my opinion though, it’s a good idea to consider waiting until the following week to list your home for sale.

The goal is to expose the property to as many buyers as possible, but a good chunk of the buyer pool is distracted at this time of year.

There’s so much happening in people’s lives during that first week after Labour Day, that there’s a good chance many of the new listings are going to slip-by unnoticed.

  • People are busy getting back into the swing of things at work.
  • Anyone working in a seasonal industry is likely focused on transitioning over to their fall market.
  • People are coping with the fact that summer’s over and the cold & rainy weather is just around the corner (ugh).
  • And then of course there are the families that have small children…

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Understanding Your 2016 Property Assessment Notice From MPAC

Understanding Your 2016 Property Value Assessment From MPAC Photo

Back in April, MPAC started mailing out their 2016 property assessment notices to property owners across the province of Ontario. If you don’t have yours yet – keep checking the mail; they should all be out by the fall.

I’ve spoken to a number of clients recently about their assessments, and most are asking the same two questions:

  1. The assessed value is significantly less than what we know our property is worth. Is this normal?
  2. The assessed value has increased since the previous assessment. Does the municipality increase my property taxes by the same rate?

These are both excellent questions! Below are my answers.

The market value of your property is very likely going to be higher than MPAC’s assessed value.

While some assessments in the City of Toronto do come-in fairly close to market value, MPAC’s numbers are usually quite a bit lower than what the property would sell for on the open market. Sometimes the difference is quite significant!

It’s not uncommon to see MPAC’s assessed value be hundreds-of-thousands-of-dollars less than the current market value (depending of course on price point, location, etc.).

MPAC relies on a number of factors when doing their assessments, but apparently recent comparable sale prices don’t weigh heavily in the process!

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Liberty Village, Givins/Shaw, And A Lesson In School Catchment Changes

Liberty Village, Givins/Shaw, And A Lesson In School Catchments Photo

 

How would you feel if you purchased a home in a particular neighbourhood specifically because of the school catchment, only to find later that your child would actually be going to a different (arguably less desirable) school?

That’s basically what’s happened to a bunch of young families who live in Liberty Village.

Up until April of this year it was understood that Liberty Village was part of the Givins/Shaw catchment.

About halfway through the month though, a letter went out informing everyone of a proposed redistricting. My family got the notice because we live in the catchment (my oldest daughter is starting kindergarten at Givins/Shaw in September, and her younger sister will be following suit in another couple of years).

The letter contained a poorly detailed map showing where the new boundaries would be; the map was vague and had a lot of people unsure of whether or not they’d be affected.

None of us got any real answers until the public meeting that was held a couple of weeks later in early May.

I was at that meeting, and what it all boils down to is this:

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What A Difference A Season Makes

What A Difference A Season Makes Photo

More than once over the course of these past few months, I’ve seen a house come on the market and sell for significantly more than what it was unsuccessfully listed at back in the fall/winter.

You could argue that this makes sense – that in a rising market a house should sell for more now than it would’ve 6 months ago.

Maybe, maybe not. (More on that towards the end of this blog post).

Regardless, it’s interesting to see such a scenario play out in real time with one specific property.

Here’s a breakdown of what happened with one of the houses I’m referring to:

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Did There Really Need To Be 15 Offers?

Did There Really Need To Be 15 Offers? Photo

I was involved in a multiple-offer scenario last week, on a condo townhouse in the east end.

The property had a helluva view, and there was no doubt that it was going to attract plenty of interest and receive a bunch of offers.

“A bunch” ended up being an understatement.

There were 15 offers. FIFTEEN!

The property sold for 125% of the list price (it was listed at $409,000 and sold for $510,000).

With so many offers and such a high sale-to-list price ratio, you have to ask yourself, “Did they really need to under-list the property by that much?”

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