Toronto real estate: In the depths of a twitchy market

Toronto’s real estate market has remained twitchy through October as buyers seem willing to wrestle for some properties but not others.

A semi-detached house in High Park north of Bloor sold recently for $129,100 above the asking price of $799,900.

“I think that’s a boat full of money for a semi,” says real estate agent Pro Sarbadhikari of Sutton Group Realty Systems Inc., who sold the house at 165 Pacific Ave. for $929,000. Still, Mr. Sarbadhikari had expected the property to attract more than the two bids it received.

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The semi-detached house is within walking distance of the Bloor subway line. It’s renovated but the bathroom needs updating and the furnace is quite old, he says. It also has the added benefit of parking – but the private drive allows right-of-way for two other houses.

“Some people liked it; some people couldn’t understand it,” he says of the arrangement.

Mr. Sarbadhikari says the parking situation may have held back the bidding a bit. He says a couple of nearby properties had offer dates around the same time so buyers weren’t as pressed to compete. “There’s more material out there.”

The shifting dynamic means some move-up buyers are considering taking the bold move of selling their existing house – even before they’ve got the new one lined up. Conventional wisdom throughout the sellers’ market of recent years has been that move-up buyers should have a place to move to or risk being caught with no place to go. This trap has been part of the reason the inventory of listings has remained tight for years.

Mr. Sarbadhikari received a call last week from the owner of a semi who is planning to list a High Park property soon. When some semis are selling above $900,000, making the leap to a detached house for $1.2-million or $1.3-million doesn’t seem unreasonable, he says.

“Psychologically we’ve hit some great barriers,” he says of the numbers. And that encourages more listings. “If the momentum’s still out there in the market, people put them out there.”

Data from the Toronto Real Estate Board shows that real estate sales in the Greater Toronto Area jumped 12.2 per cent in the first half of October compared with the same period in 2013. During the same period, new listings increased 5.9 per cent compared with the same two weeks last year.

Mr. Sarbadhikari thinks that listings will start to dwindle again when winter sets in. “Sell now, buy later is going to be fairly short-lived.”

And he observes that some houses are not receiving bids by the deadline set for submitting offers. Mr. Sarbadhikari points to two properties which sold recently on nearby Willard Avenue in Bloor West Village. One was so close to the subway that residents could feel the rumble. The owners of that one didn’t get the price they wanted on offer night so they relisted the house at a higher price – $1,029,000. They ended up selling for $940,000, near the original asking price, he says.

The other house, listed at $1.1-million, sold for $1,210,000 on the offer night.

Real estate agent Ira Jelinek of Harvey Kalles Real Estate Ltd. says he’s heard from other agents that the market is sluggish but he hasn’t experienced the slowdown. “I’ve been really busy – doing showings and getting listings. I think it’s hit and miss.”

Mr. Jelinek has a client who saw a beautiful corner condo unit on Elizabeth Street near Bay and Dundas. The client wanted to put in an offer above the asking price of $299,000. Comparable units in the building had sold in the $370,000 range. Mr. Jelinek called the listing agent on the offer day and found out that seven offers were already on the table. “We’re not even bothering,” he says.

Mr. Jelinek got a taste of what many house hunters are feeling when he recently went to purchase a home for himself. He lost out on a house by $5,000 when he bid on a property on Oriole Parkway, north of Eglinton. The asking price was $970,000 so Mr. Jelinek offered $965,000. Another bidder stepped up with the full asking price.

The house previously had been listed for $929,000 and offers were held back, the agent says. The house sold on offer night but the buyer didn’t show up the next day with the deposit cheque and the deal fell apart.

That’s a very rare occurrence, says Mr. Jelinek, adding the buyer must have had second thoughts.

When he wasn’t successful in purchasing that house, Mr. Jelinek was able to strike a deal on a 1970s-era townhouse in Yorkville.

The house was originally listed with an asking price of $1.55-million but it didn’t sell on offer night. The price was reduced to $1.38-million and Mr. Jelinek got it for $1.245-million. He plans to renovate the three-bedroom house inside and out. “In the seventies, they did box and cool. It looks cool today. We’re going to modernize the outside to make it look like it’s brand new.”

He now has a better understanding of what his clients suffer when they have to choose a neighbourhood, then decide how much to spend and how much to invest in renovating.

“I help my clients do that all the time,” he says with a laugh but he found it more challenging to narrow down all of the options for himself. But negotiating instead of competing is a great feeling, he says. “I think that’s healthy and I think that’s normal.”

Follow on Twitter: @CarolynIreland

Article source: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/home-and-garden/real-estate/toronto-real-estate-in-the-depths-of-a-twitchy-market/article21256484/?cmpid=rss1

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Vaughan Real Estate Agent, Ilan Joseph, Prepares Customers for the Autumn …

Vaughan, Canada, October 24, 2014 –(PR.com)– Vaughan real estate agent, Ilan Joseph predicts that this autumn, the real estate market is going to gain speed. According to recent statistics, the average price that homes sold for in August was approximately $546,303, an increase of 9% over last year. Moreover, detached homes sold for an average transaction price of $902,428.

Ilan Joseph believes the reason the real estate market was up in August was in preparation for the fall season. Since there are so many individuals fruitlessly looking for homes because of the intense competition, it only makes sense that they start the search early. One recent real estate story depicts a bidding war with 14 different people; it goes without saying that by the end of it the buyer paid well above the asking price.

What to Look Out For
Ilan Joseph and his team of real estate agents are warning potential buyers across the Greater Toronto Area that if they are looking to purchase a new home this fall they may be paying more than they expected. Largely due to the fact that there are more people looking to buy homes than there are homes available. Some sellers and realtors choose to hold off accepting offers until competition among homebuyers begins to drive up prices and creates bidding wars.

What Toronto’s Real Estate Market Looked LikeEarlier this Year
As mentioned, homes sold for significantly more this August than they did they did last year. In addition, the demand seen throughout the condo market had also surged this year with condo sales up to 6.5%, and condo prices averaging $370,899. Moreover, this July showed the second best record of house sales ever in the Greater Toronto Area. Over the first six-months of 2014, homes for sale in Vaughan and the rest of the Greater Toronto Area also rose 34% from last year.

About Ilan Joseph His Team
Ilan Joseph and his team offerreliable real estate services to home buyers looking for homes for sale in Vaughan or Toronto. When it comes to bidding wars, Ilan Joseph often advises his clients to just walk away. Although the real estate market may currently be competitive, Ilan Joseph and his team will do anything it takes to find you the best deal in these current market conditions. On the selling end, homeowners who are looking to sell their homes can contact Joseph Ilan for a free home evaluation as there really is no better time to sell your home.

Having the right team on your side to guide you through today’s competitive real estate market is invaluable. Ilan Joseph and his Team have all the right tools to your real estate goals are met with excellence. Buy, sell, or just explore at http://www.ilanjoseph.com/ or contact Ilan directly at:

Ilan Joseph (Vaughan Office)
1206 Centre Street
Vaughan, Ontario
L4J 3M9
Phone:
416.739.7200
Fax:
416.739.9367
Email:
ilan@ilanjoseph.com
Website:
www.ilanjoseph.com

Article source: http://www.pr.com/press-release/588490

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Toronto REALTORS(R) Highlighting Need for Land Transfer Tax Relief During …

TORONTO, ONTARIO–(Marketwired – Oct. 22, 2014) – With less than one week to go before Toronto voters select a new City Council, Toronto’s REALTORS® continued to raise concerns about the Toronto Land Transfer Tax with Mayoral candidates at TREB’s Annual General Meeting.

“TREB’s municipal election efforts are focused on where the candidates stand on the issues that are a priority to REALTORS® and their clients, especially the Land Transfer Tax. REALTORS® look forward to working with the next City Council to ensure that home buyers and owners are treated fairly,” said Paul Etherington, President of the Toronto Real Estate Board.

“With that in mind, TREB supports Councillor Ford’s commitment to reduce the Land Transfer Tax. We believe John Tory understands the problems with the Land Transfer Tax and we hope that he will articulate a plan to provide the relief from this tax that voters want. On the other hand, TREB does not support Olivia Chow’s proposal to increase the Land Transfer Tax. City Hall should be reducing its reliance on this unfair and hurtful tax, not increasing it,” continued Mr. Etherington.

Polling conducted by Ipsos Reid in May 2014, found that a majority (51%) of Torontonians are more likely to vote for Mayoral or Councillor candidates who support reducing or eliminating the Toronto Land Transfer Tax, while only 10 percent would be less likely.

“Toronto voters want municipal election candidates to commit to providing relief from the Land Transfer Tax. This tax costs the purchaser of an average Toronto home about $8,000, up front, on top of a similar amount for the provincial Land Transfer Tax. This is a huge cost that hits people when they can least afford it, like when they need to move because their family is growing or later in life as their lifestyle needs, and income, change. This is an important issue for many Torontonians, and we expect it will influence their voting decisions,” said Etherington.

Independent research has demonstrated that the Toronto Land Transfer Tax is having a negative impact on the City’s economy. A 2012 study conducted by the C.D. Howe Institute found that the Toronto Land Transfer Tax has dampened Toronto home sales by 16% annually.

A new study, released in April 2014, conducted by Altus Group Economic Consulting, found a significant loss of economic activity in the City of Toronto, and a corresponding loss of thousands of jobs, due to the Toronto Land Transfer Tax. The study found that, between 2008 and 2013, the Toronto Land Transfer Tax is responsible for

  • a loss of $2.3 billion in economic activity
  • a reduction of $1.2 billion in GDP
  • a loss of 14,934 full time jobs
  • a loss of $772 million in wages and salaries
  • a loss of 38,278 resale home transactions

“The Toronto Real Estate Board looks forward to continuing to highlight the impact of the Toronto Home Buying Tax during the municipal election campaign, and raising this issue, along with the public, with municipal election candidates. We believe that Torontonians will, once again, expect City Council to take action on this issue,” said Von Palmer, TREB’s Chief Government and Public Affairs Officer.

Greater Toronto REALTORS® are passionate about their work. They are governed by a strict Code of Ethics and share a state-of-the-art Multiple Listing Service. Over 39,000 TREB Members serve consumers in the Greater Toronto Area.

TREB is Canada’s largest real estate board.

Article source: http://www.marketwired.com/press-release/toronto-realtorsr-highlighting-need-land-transfer-tax-relief-during-municipal-election-1959915.htm

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Doug Ford calls for watch list ’round up’

TORONTO - 

Mayoral candidate Doug Ford says if it were up to him he’d “round up” all the people on the RCMP watch list.

Ford made the comment Wednesday night in the wake of the Parliament Hill attack in Ottawa that left Cpl. Nathan Cirillo dead. All three main mayoral candidates — Ford, Olivia Chow and John Tory — reacted with shock and sadness to the violence in Ottawa.

“I’m no expert by any means … but if you’re asking me, I’d be rounding up all 90 of them (on the watch list) and finding out (whether) they came from the same cell,” Ford said after Wednesday’s mayoral candidates debate. “This is unacceptable.

“I wouldn’t tolerate it. I’d make sure that we round up every one of these characters.”

Asked about due process, Ford said he wasn’t saying “throw them in jail.

“But we have to question people that are involved with these terrorist cells,” Ford said. “You have to take a hard line. You can’t sit down and be soft with these people. These people are trying to interrupt our day-to-day living, trying to scare the Canadian people.”

The Etobicoke North (Ward 2) councillor also suggested security should be beefed up at City Hall with metal detectors installed and police officers posted at the building.

Tory stressed it was important for the city to “stand together.”

“I think we have to exercise more vigilance – keep our eyes open for anything that looks wrong,” Tory said. “I think we have to continue to live our lives in a free and democratic way.”

Chow — who was a member of Parliament until she resigned in March — said it must have been “terrifying” for her former colleagues when the gunfire erupted.

“We should not allow ourselves to be terrorized or be fearful,” Chow said.

The former NDP MP called Sergeant-at-Arms Kevin Vickers a “phenomenal” person.

“I’ve known him for quite a few years and he’s an amazing gentleman,” Chow said.

Article source: http://www.torontosun.com/2014/10/22/doug-ford-calls-for-review-of-city-hall-security

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