Living Outside of Toronto

Desire to live out of the city does not appear to be waning. With the world slowly opening up, outlook on life has changed for many. Those able to work remotely and who had places to work out of the city opted to work there for extended periods of time. A good number decided that they actually liked it and preferred living in country serenity with outdoor activities –  therapeutic for those with stressful jobs. Hence popular areas like Collingwood/Thornbury continue to see growth and increasing prices. That doesn’t appear to be ending. The world has definitely changed. Hopefully those quiet country oasis continue to be just that.

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.

Development Policies

Development related policies coming to City of Toronto. With housing a major issue in Toronto here are a couple of policies and changes coming.
Areas within and 10 minute walk of a transit station (500-800 metres) will have established minimum density targets. The broad intent of this policy is to support transit-oriented development so that jobs and residences can be located and built near supportive public transportation infrastructure.
A policy that allows for the City of Toronto to require affordable housing set-aside rates in new higher density development applications within the areas that are close to transit. This new policy represents a significant new financial obligation that private developers will need to satisfy in the fastest-growing neighbourhoods in the city.
Sometimes the impact of these new policies is not clear. They could lead to other problems.

Real Estate in 2021 & What to Expect in 2022

Many of our clients have asked us what to expect in 2022. The world has experienced so much uncertainty in the past couple years and yet real estate remained one of the most certain things that people had. Home ownership was security in an uncertain world. In 2021 we saw a big surge in demand and prices in real estate throughout Canada. Needs of people changed and we saw a lot of movement. Towards the end of 2021 product dried up but demand didn’t,  hence prices spiked up. We saw a big increase in demand and prices in the luxury market as those who often spent a lot of time travelling opted to stay home.

Here we are going into 2022. A couple of weeks ago we thought that we saw the worst of the pandemic behind us. How quickly things can change in such a short period of time. Before the appearance of Omicron, 2022  was looking like more of the the same in real estate with low supply and high demand. Interest rate hikes were looming due to inflation and there was some question how this would affect real estate. And now – who knows. We have stopped forecasting and are dealing with day to day. We are not seeing a change in demand – in fact demand may even increase. We may just have another very busy year. Unpredictable at this point…

Young Buyers

How will young people be able to afford to stay in Toronto.  With real estate prices increasing at such a fast pace and price of commodities increasing so quickly, salaries are not keeping up. Businesses like restaurants and retail stores can’t afford to hire at such high salaries. We already have a shortage of labour. What will become of Toronto. Well, there is help coming from parents who own real estate in the city and are giving their kids money to put down. That will keep some here. However is that enough. We need more supply and we need immigration. We need a new post Covid strategy.

Job Transfers

Toronto is starting to see job transfers coming in from other countries. As the world opens up we are starting to see people moving to Toronto for work. Toronto is now international hub for many industries. Its also a relatively easy city to live in with so much to offer. With the influx of immigration how will we handle our lack of housing. The rental market and the resale market are already so tight with supply. Where will everyone live? The government appears to be trying to create more supply but they are not making it easy for landlords or developers wanting to build. Perhaps some new solutions need to be looked at.

Feels Like A Transition Phase

Buyers still looking for space and not enough people want to sell. It feels like we are in a Covid transition phase – the world is slowly opening up but most don’t feel like the world is back to usual. And perhaps the new usual is different. Work from home and hesitation to travel continue to spur the demand for more space. Hence homes with home offices and enough rooms for everyone in the family to escape to are in high demand. We just don’t have enough listings for everyone. Bidding wars for homes continue, Real estate looks to be a good investment. Prices have never been higher.

Quick Decisions

Buyers need to be well prepared when buying in todays market. Buyers need to have their ducks lined up in order to buy a house in todays hot market. When a well priced house comes on the market one has little or no time to think. Well prepared buyers have firm offers coming in quickly – sometimes within hours of coming to market. Hence if one wants to buy, market knowledge and financing have to be in place. The ability to make a quick decision is critical. This is true for houses of all price points and for many condos. Market is hot hot hot…

Location, Location, Location

Buying in a good location always pays off. You may pay a bit more for a premium location, for example a park, nice lot, good exposure, good neighbourhood, quiet street but this will pay off when you go and sell. Last week we sold a home in a great neighbourhood, two doors away from a park on a quiet street with good exposure. We had 6 offers and it sold $300,000 over list price. This applies to condos also – buy with good exposure, good floor, good layout and good neighbourhood it will always be easy to resell. It is true what they say – location, location, location.

Tight Market

There are very few houses for sale… If you want to buy a house the pickings are slim. In addition, many sellers want a lot of money. Buyers are jumping high but not always high enough. Market is tight and tough. It is sometimes tough to predict how it will go on bidding day – not always easy to guide and sometimes a bit of luck. One must remember that there is always another house and things do generally work out in the end.