Real Estate Agent in East York - Better Homes And Gardens Real Estate

@Home with Kevin 036: Real Estate 2017: Like Santa’s sleigh ride —in a blizzard!

04 December 2017
Kevin Hartley

We started with strength from 2016.  By March, the average price of detached homes across the GTA had risen to $1.21 million up 33.4% over 2016.

That continued until April, when the Ontario government introduced a 15% foreign-buyers tax as part of a package of reforms designed to cool the heated housing market.  By June, home sales fell 37% in the GTA and prices were down almost 14% from April’s peak.

Speaking from the trenches, I feel what caused the market to flatten was the exasperated step back taken by local, non-investor buyers and sellers. Many pulled out of the market based on the Government’s allusion that there would be a review of “the rules real estate agents are required to follow to ensure that consumers are fairly represented in real estate transactions,” especially where handling multiple offers are concerned.  The second measure implied was “education for consumers on their rights, particularly on the issue of one real estate professional representing more than one party in a real estate transaction” in connection to “multiple representation,” when one agent/brokerage attempts to fairly represent both buyer and seller. Those in the market at the time, along with those on the sidelines, waited with baited breath to know how these changes might benefit or hurt their respective transactions. Unfortunately, the way in which these measures were announced made it sound as though change were imminent, when in fact they were not. Realtors were equally left in the dark wondering what was coming, while consumers pressed pause directly impacting market prices.

The fact is, that process for both of these items are matters of law covered in the Real Estate Business Brokers Act of 2002 (REBBA 2002), which, while passed in 2002 wasn’t implemented until March of 2006. So, while work towards change has commenced, impactful legal and procedural change will be very slow coming. In the meantime, I personally welcome this more balanced, patient and thoughtful market.

KevinHartley 036

I’ll be blunt: the summer sucked.  The number of homes sold in July was down 40.4% year over year.  Still, prices rose 5% over 2016.  In August the number of homes sold dropped 34.8% over 2016, with prices up just 3%.  At least prices went in the right direction and at less dramatic rates than in late 2016 and the first quarter of the year.

In September the start of the fall market delivered a price increase of 2.6%;  however, the number of homes sold was down 35%.

With tighter mortgage qualification rules starting in January 2018, buyers hit the streets hoping to lock in on a mortgage and purchase before December 31st.  This momentum kicked-off an unusually strong fall market with October’s sales up over September’s.

The challenge for realtors has been in helping buyers find a) an affordable house; and b) ideally one with rental income potential.

So what does it all mean for you my fellow East Yorkers?  I wish I had a crystal ball, but there are some clues and some opportunities.

First off, as I don’t need to tell you, we live in an incredible community that continues to grow and evolve.  More and more, we see buyers who had sights set on The Beach, Riverside, Leslieville and Leaside gravitating to East York, not only because of price points but because of our authentic and ever-flourishing community.  Homes here are sought-after, and values will adhere to, if not lead, market trends.  There is, in my opinion, solid price growth potential.

Secondly, smart buyers are anticipating and including rental income in their financing applications, so they are seeking homes that have or can be updated to have income potential.  Therein is perhaps an opportunity for some of you to leverage the equity in your home and to develop your home’s income potential.  It may allow you to age in place with some bonus income, and it will certainly help your home sell down the road.  A modern basement studio apartment near transit is easily worth $900 a month, a junior one-bedroom, $1100.

Finally, I thank you for reading this column.  It has been a pleasure to write for you this past year.  I wish you all peace, health and prosperity.  Cheers.

Thanks for reading. Questions or ideas for a future blog? Feel free to contact me here.

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Kevin Hartley, Broker is a Toronto based real estate Broker with Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate | Signature Service, Brokerage. @Home is his lifestyle blog, an expression of his passion for home keeping though MAKING (Recipes), DOING (DIY), BEING (Health/Wellness) and DWELLING (Home Ownership, Sales & Maintenance).  Content not intended to solicit clients under contract.

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