28% Of Ontarians Plan On Buying A Condo In The Next Two Years

The Ontario Real Estate Association says that over a quarter of Ontario residents who are planning on purchasing a home in the next two years will be buying a condo, according to their latest semi-annual Ontario Home Ownership Index. Toronto skyline reflected in glass tower

“Interestingly, Torontonians led the charge in the condo category, with 41 per cent saying they plan to purchase a condo/apartment,” said the president of the Ontario Real Estate Association, Costa Poulopoulos. “In comparison, only 23 per cent of all other Ontarians have similar plans, underscoring Toronto’s unique condo market. Ontarians are confirming that no two real estate markets are the same, despite their proximity. Understanding local market conditions is important for home buyers and sellers as they prepare to purchase of list a home – consulting with a local Realtor who specializes in a particular market is a great way to get in-the-know.”

According to the Index, 14 per cent of Ontarians are “very likely” to sell their home in the next two years, while 28 per cent of Ontarians thing that their area’s real estate market is “very favourable”, while 57 per cent say “favourable”.

If you want to buy a condo in Toronto, be sure to work with a real estate agent that understands the local market and has experience with the intricacies of downtown Toronto condo living!

Toronto Average Home Prices Increase 8% Mid-July 2014

According to the latest from the Toronto Real Estate Board, the average selling price for homes sold through the TorontoMLS listings in the first two weeks of July, 2014, were up by 8 per cent compared to July of last year, bringing the average selling price for a Toronto home to $549,174. Toronto average home prices from the Toronto Real Estate Board

“There are two key takeaways from the July mid-month results,” said Paul Etherington, Toronto Real Estate Board president. “First, given the strong continuation of strong sales growth, it is clear that buyers are still attracted to affordable home ownership options in the GTA. Second, if new listings growth begins to outpace sales growth, we could start to see an improvement in the overall supply of homes for sale. This would be a relief for some buyers who have been hard pressed to find a home that meets their needs in this tight market.

There were 3,891 sales during the 14-day period, which is up by 11.6 per cent over the same time in July 2013.

According to the senior manager of market analysis for the Toronto Real Estate Board, Jason Mercer, “Annual average price growth remains in the high single-digits or low double-digits for many home types across the GTA. It is possible that we could see more choice for buyers in the second half of 2014 in the form of increased new listings. A sustained increase in choice for buyers could serve to gradually ease the pace of price growth in some market segments.”

Highest Sales For June Since 2009 – Average Up 7.1% Year-Over-Year

TREB-Avg-Resale-June2014-Toronto-Real-Estate-caSales were 19% above average for June with 10,180 houses and condominiums changing hands in all the districts.

Condo townhouse and high-rise suite share of the market increased slightly to just under 30% with 3,040 units being sold.

The June average sale price for all GTA homes came in at almost $569,000– up 7.1% from 2013.

The active listing inventory is one of the strongest indicators of how smooth or outrageous the market is going to be.  We had a 7.2% decline in inventory for the month of June compared to historical numbers and lower by 6.8% from last year at this time.

The sales-to-listings OR percent-chance-of-selling ratio is how we determine what type of market we’re actually in.  24-28% is a neutral market, below 24% is a buyer’s market and above 28% is a seller’s market.

In June that ratio finished at 49.2% – up 10% from last year’s market dip. By the numbers, the overall market is in ‘busy’ seller market territory!

The days-on-market average for the entire Toronto Real Estate Board was 23 – 2 days slower than May. Although the listing numbers are still down compared to historical numbers, inventories are improving giving more choice to serious buyers and requiring sellers to be reasonable and not overzealous in their pricing strategy!

Watch the video to get the complete June Market Report details.

Here’s the complete text version of the June Toronto Real Estate Market Report to read.

3 Amazing Tips For New Homeowners

When you’re ready to upsize, downsize or otherwise sell your current home, a little extra knowledge goes a long way in your homeownership career!

Learn how to use your fire extinguisher Homeowner-Tips-Toronto-Real-Estate-ca

While the majority of us have a fire extinguisher in our home as a safety precaution, most of us haven’t ever and will never actually use one. Make sure you know how to operate a fire extinguisher so you’re actually prepared for an emergency, instead of only thinking you’re prepared.

Cold winters are different for homeowners

Owning a home isn’t like owning an apartment. In case of a power outage, there’s a chance your pipes could freeze and then you’ll be facing huge problems. If you do lose power in your home during extremely cold weather, you need to learn where your main valve is and turn it off so your pipes can drain completely. Here are some step-by-step instructions on getting your pipes ready for the extreme cold.

Keep your appliances in top shape

Regularly clean your appliances. Even appliances that clean other things, such as your washing machine and dishwasher, require cleaning themselves to stay in prime condition. There are commercial cleaners you can buy for these appliances, while using white vinegar can also work just fine.




How To Lower Your Summer Electricity Bills

Summer! The season of rolling brownouts, blown fuses and higher than average electricity bills. But even as the temperature in Toronto rises, you can still remain comfortable without spending as much. Here are some tips for ensuring that your hydro bills stay lower in the summer:

Take care of your HVAC systems: Change your filters frequently and have a professional check our your AC to ensure it’s in proper working order and that no energy is wasted on a faulty system that’s only in need of minor fixes.Summertime-Hydro-Tips-Toronto-Real-Estate-Ca

Don’t throw your money out the windows: One of the fastest ways to increase your hydro bills is with leaky windows and doors that allow your precious cold air to escape while making your air conditioner work even harder. If you can feel drafts anywhere in your home, there’s a leak somewhere.

Beware vampire power: Your appliances, particularly your television, can use a small amount of power just from being plugged in at all, even if they’re not in use. Consider unplugging certain appliances when they’re not being used, although the inconvenience factor here can be a bit higher.

BBQ more frequently: Not only does it make delicious food, but your BBQ is an ideal replacement for your oven, which can really overheat your home. If you don’t have a BBQ, consider using your toaster oven for more of your cooking when possible.

After dark: After the sun sets the temperature usually drops dramatically. Consider investing in a programmable thermostat so you can automatically drop the temperature in your home to comfortable levels that don’t cause your air conditioner to be running on full blast constantly.

What’s your favourite summertime energy saving tip?

What Is The Difference Between A Chattel And A Fixture?

When buying a new home, whether you’re attending open houses or you’re booking private showings through your Toronto real estate agent, it is important to understand that not everything comes with the home when you buy it. Obviously, the seller will take their furniture with them when they move. But certain features of a home (that you may have fallen in love with and could have influenced your decision) may not be for keeps. Fixtures-vs-chattels-Toronto-Real-Estate-ca

There are two words that you need to pay attention to in your agreement of purchase and sale: fixtures and chattels.

Chattels are things that normally would leave with the seller, but can also be included in the price of the home. These can include items like appliances.

Fixtures are items that are generally more permanent, such as light fixtures, central vacuuming and other improvements that are built into the home. However, there is always the possibility that something which appears to be a fixture could end up not being included.

Always as your real estate agent to clarify what comes with the home if you’re curious about a certain item.

A List Of Potential Closing Costs When Buying A Home In Toronto

When homebuyers are considering their budget during the home buying process, it’s common for them to forget about the long list of closing costs that are associated with buying a home. These are often costs that need to be paid at or around the time of closing. Toronto-Real-Estate-Mortgage-Fraud

Closing costs include:

Moving costs – You can save a lot of money by doing the heavy lifting yourself, but moving is a big job. Even if you don’t spend money on a reputable moving company, you should have a little bit of money set aside because of…

Utility hookups – when you move, your utilities will have to be transferred over to your new home. This means your hydro, cable, internet and home phone, and different companies may have varying charges when it comes to moving your accounts to a new home.

Toronto Land Transfer Tax – Toronto has a Land Transfer Tax, which the Toronto Real Estate Board is campaigning to have repealed or reduced. However, we’re not there yet and this can add to the cost of buying a home. There is also a rebate available to home buyers, though. To learn more, click here.

Home insurance costs

Mortgage insurance

Legal fees – if you’ve used the assistance of a real estate lawyer, you will have to pay legal fees.

Buying A Resale Condo? Review The Status Certificate

A condominium Status Certificate is a document that shows the general health of a condominium corporation. It tells you things like increases in common area expenses, the amount of the reserve fund and if there’s major work needed on the building. This is a vital document to have your real estate agent and real estate lawyer take a peek at if you’re considering buying a resale condo in the city of Toronto. Status-Certificate-Toronto-Real-Estate-ca

According to Toronto Real Estate lawyer Bob Aaron, there isn’t any legal obligation to get or look at the Status Certificate before you buy a condo, but he says it’s still an absolute must.

Check out his recent Toronto Start column detailing the worst Status Certificate he’s ever seen, and why it’s so important to make sure you obtain a copy of yours if you’re looking to buy a condo.


Canadian Real Estate Association Updates Home Sales Forecast

The Canadian Real Estate Association has updated its forecast for the remainder of 2014, expecting Ontario’s sales activity to be roughly in line with 2013 levels.

National Housing Sale Projections from the Canadian Real Estate Association. Click for full size.

National Housing Sale Projections from the Canadian Real Estate Association. Click for full size.

According to the Canadian Real Estate Association, “extraordinarily bleak winter weather made for a slow start to 2014 national sales activity. As the first quarter ended, sales momentum heading into spring was constrained by a continuing shortage of listings in a number of local markets. The rise in newly listed properties in April and May supported an increase in sales activity.”

The Canadian Real Estate Association originally forecast 463,700 sales, an increase of 1.3 per cent for 2014 over 2013, and has altered this forecast only slightly to 1.2 per cent, or 463,400 home sales across the country.

“CREA’s forecast for sales activity in 2014 is largely unchanged from its previous forecast published in March. At that time, interest rates had been expected to start to edge higher in the second half of the year. However, it now appears that interest rates may not begin to rise until closer to the end of the year, which remains supportive for home ownership affordability over the balance of 2014.”