Perhaps the Beginning of a Market Shift

Toronto market can change on a dime… Perhaps we are seeing start of a shift.

In the fall, listings sat on the market with no showings. One was lucky to get an offer. Market was tough. Towards the end of the year and the beginning of 2024 – houses that had been sitting, slowly started selling. Early January, in houses started gating a lot more showings. In many cases, buyers “woke up” and started buying. It appears that to some extent confidence in the real estate market is being restored. In hot areas where there has been little product there is pent up demand – in some cases multiple offers are back. We had a listing in a central area that ended up with 8 offers within 4 days of being listed and sold well over list.

It is not certain how this trend will continue. The high end now has a luxury tax – how this tax will influence the market is still to be seen. It is hard to say how condos will fare.

Premium Homes

Premium prices for high end turn key homes on premium lots in premium locations. There are not too many homes in the city that have it all and it appears that the ones that do are getting record prices. Last week a home in Baby Point was listed for $8.5 mill and in 3 days attracted 3 bids selling for $9.6 mill. It had a fabulous ravine lot with a large tableland. The house was beautiful and the landscaping was spectacular. This is for sure a record price for the area and shows that if you do it right buyers appreciate it. The cost of building and renovating is so high now and takes so much time that turn key is worth paying up for in some buyers eyes.

House of Cards

Over thirty years ago my grandmother told me that a good friend of theirs who had been very successful in buying and selling real estate said: “Toronto is built on mortgages. If I don’t have a mortgage I’m not making money.” So many years ago he was before his time. Today, the concept of making money on having a mortgage has never been more true.
In many cases buyers are not really thinking about paying off the mortgage when they buy. They are thinking more about borrowing (and in most cases borrowing a lot) to live where they want, then possibly upgrading, and then eventually selling when they need. Or, homeowners are taking equity out of their homes to invest and making money off other investments. Older parents in expensive homes are taking equity out in order to help their kids buy real estate. It appears that everyone has a mortgage. The low cost of borrowing and low inventory are driving prices up in a sharp line. The question is – how sustainable is this and is this a house of cards that will eventually topple over.

Lack of Inventory

Lack of inventory sparks big bidding wars on homes. A couple of weeks ago we listed a house for $998,000 which was in keeping with sales in the area. The house was very nicely renovated with an addition. There was significant  attention paid to detail and renos were very tasteful. In general the house showed 10 plus. 23 buyers wanted to buy it. In the end the home ended selling for over $420,000 over list and there was a fight for it with the top bidders. We believe that a few factors came into play:
1. Pent-up demand by first time home buyers many of whom have lost in bidding
2. Renos are now very costly and time consuming. Pandemic has doubled cost of renovating and lack of supplies have made it a very frustrating process.
3. it’ s not that easy to find a nice house.
We believe that the market will continue to reflect these factors.

Early 2022 Real Estate

Nothing new to report in real estate. The last few weeks have been eerily quiet. We are heading towards mid January and there is not much activity on the streets of the city. It looks like everyone is waiting for Omicron to blow over. It can’t be soon enough. In our world buyers are waiting to buy. We hope that sellers are willing to sell. With houses increasing in price we are looking at possible increases in condo sales and prices. Condos have not kept up with houses.


Its election day and this year the election results will be vey interesting. Our real estate market and our economy has been influenced so much by the pandemic and in many ways our election results are influenced by pandemic policies. To date this fall we have not seen our usual increase in listings and particularly after a dry summer buyers are not getting the inventory they have been waiting for. Hence we are seeing some intense bidding on certain homes. It’s not that easy to buy anything now. You have to be very prepared and a good agent is a big help.

Offer Dates Come & Go

Offer dates come and go with no offers. There are a number of homes in the city who expected multiple offers and didn’t get any on offer day. This started a few weeks ago and has continued through spring and into the summer. A couple of weeks ago we listed a house with an offer date and didn’t get any. The seller then raised the price to reflect more of what they wanted and then ended up with multiple offers, selling for list price. It will probably be simpler and less stressful for everyone involved when we go back to a more balanced market with list prices reflecting more of what market value is. The problem is that we weren’t sure what market value actually was. Prices were all over the place. As supply and demand balance out – hopefully that will become clearer.