Toronto Loft Conversions

Toronto Loft Conversions

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Modern Toronto Lofts

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Unique Toronto Homes

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Condos in Toronto

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Toronto Real Estate

Toronto Real Estate

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Tag Archives: Bungalow

One word to describe Toronto’s real-estate market: It starts with an F

Carolyn Ireland – The Globe and Mail

For anyone involved in Toronto’s real estate market, this spring seems particularly vexing.

“It’s so frustrating,” is a refrain heard repeatedly – from sellers, prospective buyers and real estate agents – if for different reasons.

I heard it this week from one house hunter who is searching for a typical, unpretentious bungalow in Long Branch, but can seldom find an open house – even as the spring market is supposed to be gearing up. Many sellers of desirable condominiums can’t get their asking price – even though buyers are willing to make an offer within 24 hours of the listing arriving on the market.

One very pristine-looking, two-bedroom condo unit listed on has an asking price of $465,000. The description says offer presentations will be at 7 p.m. on Oct. 16. Imagine how exasperated that seller must feel.

Comment: Or the listing agent! So many sellers do not listen to us, they want a higher – “just to see what happens”. And guess what happens, over priced properties sit and sit and sit…

And agents say they are spending lots of time ushering around clients. But the properties they all flock to are the rarest of finds.

February saw sales drop 15.4% in the Greater Toronto Area compared with the same month last year while listings shrank 12.2%. Irritation increases – especially for sellers of houses at the high end, who say prospective buyers want to negotiate a hefty discount.

Comment: A distinction few make. Taking out the drop in available listings, sales were only down 3.2%. Not as bad as it is made out to seem. Bad weather has a lot to do with it, snowy months are always slower months.

In a less rarefied strata, lots of agents were talking about a house in the Junction listed with an asking price of $419,900 and went for slightly more than $600,000.

Comment: And it was $100,000 under priced and was scorned because of it. Market value of the house was close to $600k. Had they listed it at $599,000 they would have gotten a couple of bids, rather than 40, and sold for the same price. Some people just love the chaos and spectacle of massive bidding wars.

“There are the buyers out there to consume the listings,” says real estate agent Geoffrey Grace of ReMax Hallmark Realty Ltd., whose client was considering making an offer on that house but backed away when the eye-catching asking price created too much of a frenzy.

“That house is a total redo, top to bottom,” he says.

And while some buyers are not willing to spend months or years transforming a house, those who are willing to do so are getting better deals. They can also finance a renovation at low interest rates.

“Money’s cheap,” says Mr. Grace. “HGTV has grown a whole new crop of buyers that are willing to take on that sort of thing.”

Comment: What? No, all of my buyers want the “after” house for the “before” price. And those who are willing to do the work want houses for half what they are worth. And they WAY under estimate the time and effort and cost required. My in-laws are still working on their house, about 4 years later… after they thought it would take a “few weekends” to renovate. That and a good $50-60,000 in materials and labour. And they are still not done.

But mostly the buyers who want freehold houses also want them to be already renovated. That’s a source of frustration to agents who find that house hunters are overlooking the rougher properties.

“If it has poor photography, or an agent from out of town, or it needs a bit of work,” buyers will ignore it says agent Christopher Bibby of Sutton Group Associates Inc. “I am surprised some great properties are getting overlooked. The buyers need to be open-minded about doing work to the property, flexible with requirements and not get emotionally attached.”

For most people looking for a house between $400,000 and $700,000 in a prime neighbourhood, Mr. Grace warns them that they will likely have to pay a premium above the asking price.

Comment: Which means the lower-than-market price you see is not what you will pay. You will have to pay actual market value.

The agent says the move last week by Bank of Montreal to offer a five-year, fixed-rate mortgage at 2.99% probably won’t do much to stir up buyers.

“It makes a splash,” he says of the announcement.

Comment: And only ups the average purchase price by around $3,000 from a rate of 3.09%.

But while federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty was lauding the other big banks for not matching the rate, Mr. Grace says it has been available since at least January from other less prominent lenders. Mortgage brokers say 2.89% is not hard to find.

Comment: BMO is offering 2.84% I hear, and I have heard rumour of 2.79% through another broker.

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

Laurin Jeffrey is a Toronto Realtor with Century 21 Regal Realty. He did not
write these articles, he just reproduces them here for people who are
interested in Toronto real estate. He does not work for any builders.