Toronto Loft Conversions

Toronto Loft Conversions

I know classic brick and beam lofts! From warehouses to factories to churches, Laurin will help you find your perfect new loft.

Modern Toronto Lofts

Modern Toronto Lofts

Not just converted lofts, I can help you find the latest cool and modern space. There are tons of new urban spaces across the city.

Unique Toronto Homes

Unique Toronto Homes

More than just lofts, I can also help you find that perfect house. From the latest architectural marvel to a piece of our Victorian past, the best and most creative spaces abound.

Condos in Toronto

Condos in Toronto

I started off selling mainly condos, helping first time buyers get a foothold in the Toronto real estate market. Now working with investors and helping empty nesters find that perfect luxury suite.

Toronto Real Estate

Toronto Real Estate

For all of your Toronto real estate needs, contact Laurin. I am dedicated to helping you find that perfect and unique new home to call your own.

 

March cools heated real estate market

By Carolyn Leitch – Globe and Mail

Toronto is finally seeing some mild spring weather and real estate agents officially welcomed the spring market by throwing open the doors of houses listed for sale. Many house hunters, however, seemed to be off at the park.

It seems the enthusiasm of potential home buyers has remained cool even as the temperature outdoors heats up.

None of this is surprising to CIBC World Markets economist Benjamin Tal, who says economic indicators are pointing to a balanced market between buyers and sellers for the first time in 7 or 8 years.

“It’s the end of an era, if you wish,” says Mr. Tal. “I think that the real estate market will be more boring for the next couple of years – which may be a good thing.”

Mr. Tal says one key measure – unit sales as a share of new listings – is sitting at about 55% right now. Last year, it was about 65%.

A range of 40% to 60% is considered a balanced market, and Mr. Tal expects to see Toronto real estate sales remain in that range. In fact, the percentage will likely to fall to 50% or so, he predicts.

“We expect it to go even lower.” Still, Mr. Tal is not calling for a buyer’s market any time soon.

Instead, he foresees a market where buyers will be able to take their time, have a house inspection done, and sit back from dizzying bidding wars. Mr. Tal forecasts that prices will rise in line with inflation of about 2%.

“You won’t have a situation where people are buying in panic.”

Mr. Tal says the pent-up demand that drove the Toronto real estate market in the past 7 or 8 years has been utilized. At the same time, the Canadian economy and therefore job growth is slowing. That’s especially true in Ontario’s manufacturing sector. The woes of the U.S. economy will undoubtedly weigh on Canada too, he adds.

Mr. Tal says the climbing prices of the past years have also inevitably priced some people out of the market. “You reach a point where affordability starts to be an issue.”

Figures from the Toronto Real Estate Board show that sales in the Greater Toronto Area dropped 22% in March compared with the same month last year. The decline was even more noticeable in the city of Toronto, where sales fell 27% compared with March of 2007.

“The March figures probably point in the right direction but they are exaggerated because of the bad weather,” says Mr. Tal. He thinks April could be a little more lively.

One Toronto real estate agent, who specializes in the west end High Park and Roncesvalles neighbourhood, says he has clients who want to buy but a dearth of good-quality properties to show them.

“There’s not much inventory, but what there is, is selling. There are buyers out there.”

Still, the agent says his sense is also that bidding has been rather mild lately, with two or three offers more common than the frenzied bidding of previous seasons when there were sometimes 15 or 16 potential buyers vying for one house.

He also thinks that homeowners who are thinking of selling will likely see lots of interest for their houses because so few are on the market. “I think if you’re thinking of selling, this is the time. It’s a great time to be going to market.”

Toronto Real Estate Board president Maureen O’Neill notes that a 6% drop in listing inventory – or homes for sale – kept prices strong in March. Compared to March of last year, the average price in the GTA rose 4% to $380,338.

Will Dunning, an independent housing economist, says it’s too soon to tell how the spring Toronto real estate market will shape up. He points out that, after being buried in snow all winter, people seemed to be happy just to get outdoors.

“We’ve only had one good weekend,” says Mr. Dunning. “I think, after all this time, people may have found they had better things to do than go to open houses.”

Mr. Dunning spent a day at the Toronto Zoo and said he’s never seen it so busy. But Mr. Dunning believes potential buyers will begin to think about house hunting again soon. Employment growth is healthy, interest rates are low and consumer demand is solid, he points out.

“From that perspective, there should be pretty good demand out there.”

Mr. Dunning notes that the first quarter appeared sluggish but the reason for that is at least partly because there were so few houses on the market, he says. The economist adds that the pace of activity in the first three months of the year is not a reliable barometer of how busy April, May and June are likely to be.

“Spring is always the busiest time of year,” he says.

Looking further out into 2008, Mr. Dunning says employment growth is likely to slow and more gloomy economic news may come out of the United States. Those factors could put a damper on the fall Toronto real estate market, he says.

Still, Mr. Dunning says a good predictor of the future health of the Toronto real estate market is job creation in recent years. He notes that plenty of jobs have been created in the past three or four years and people who were hired during that time may be saving up to buy houses in 2008 and 2009.

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Contact Laurin Jeffrey for more information – 416-388-1960

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