Market Remains Tight With Sales Up in April

Starbuck’s Coffee:  Please join my new Real Estate Fan Page here. When I reach 100 FANS I will be giving away a bunch of Starbuck’s coffee cards.

Today’s Quote: “ Don’t tell people how great you are….show them!”

Last Chance…. Free Education:  Register for our next Free Home Buyer Seminar.  Click Here

What’s Your home Worth?: Click here

 

Greater Toronto Realtors reported 10,350 sales through the MLS in April 2012 . The number of transactions represented an 18.0% increase compared to April 2011.  The strongest sales growth was reported in the single-detached market segment where transactions were up by 22.0% compared to a year ago.
The better supplied condominium apartment segment experienced a more moderate annual rate of price growth of 4.0%.  New listings, at 16,436, were up by 14.7% compared to April 2011.

“Interest in single-detached homes has been very high, both in the City of Toronto and surrounding regions. Growth in single-detached listings has not kept up with demand, which means competition between buyers in this market segment increased. With this in mind, it was no surprise that the strongest annual price increase was also experienced in the single-detached segment,” said Toronto Real Estate Board President Richard Silver .

With market conditions remaining tight in the GTA, the average selling price continued to grow in April up by 8.5% from the same time last year to $517,556.

” Monthly moertgage payments remain affordable for home buyers in the GTA. While interest rates are generally expected to increase over the next two years, the extent and timing of rate hikes has been thrown into question by slower than expected economic growth in the first quarter of this year. Borrowing costs are expected to remain a positive factor influencing home sales through 2012,” said the Toronto Real Estate Board’s Senior Manager of Marker Analysis Jason Mercer. ”

“TREB’s baseline forecast for 2012 is for an average price of $485,000, representing a more moderate 4.0% annual rate of price growth. This baseline view is subject to a heightened degree of risk given the uncertain global economic outlook,” continued Mercer.

Sales of Toronto ( 416 area code) condominium apartments increased by 9.0% from April 2011. The average price of a Toronto condo increased by 3.0% from the same time last year.

Condominium apartments accounted for 21.0% of total sales in the the GTA for Apri 2012 while detached homes accounted for 50.3% of the total sales.

Other notable statistics include the average days on the market for April at 21 days . Active listings were 18,379 in April 2012-up 3.8% from April 2011. The sales-to-listings ratio for April was 56.3% which is classified as a STRONG seller’s market . A ratio from 24%-28% is considered a balanced market.  

Sellers are looking for market value for their property . I prepare a comparative market analysis (CMA) for all of my Buyer clients prior to submitting an offer to determine the property’s market value range.

Real estate is very neighbourhood specific and even very street specific in some areas. The numbers as reported above are GTA averages. Results in one neighbourhood or on one street do not indicate that all other neighbourhoods or steets are experiencing the same results. We are still seeing multiple offers in some areas for the best homes.  

Professionalism and Positive Energy

” As first time home-buyers my husband and I were faced with the piles of information and housing options that is available out there. David was very patient and took his time to explaining everything to us, and narrowing down our location search. After a few ups and downs on our end David helped us through everything with such professionalism and positive energy that we throughly enjoyed the entire home buying process. He did not hesitate to show us house, after house, after house, after house, until we finally found our dream home!
David is a dedicated real estate agent with a great sense of humour!
He is responsive, efficient, pays attention to detail, and follows through on everything he says. We would not hesitate to use his services again, nor to recommend him to our friends and colleagues.
Thanks David!!”

– Daniel & Ine

Best Renovations to Boost ROI

Great article in www.CanadianRealEstateMagazine.ca 

Think it’s all about kitchens and bathrooms? Or maybe you’re focused on the basement suite? Turns out a lick of paint could be the best investment you make for your investment property.

If you do only one thing, according to a new report from HGTV.ca and BMO, painting inside and out should be it. That low-cost investment tops the list of key renovations guaranteed to up cash flow for landlords and property values for investors looking to cash out.

Other top performers include the ever-popular kitchen refurb, bathroom remodeling and replacing doors and windows.

The latest Annual BMO Home Renovation Report shows fewer Canadians are planning home renovations this year, but they are focused on projects with the greatest returns. Half of Canadian homeowners (51 per cent) plan to renovate their homes in the next year, compared with 62 per cent in 2011.

Click here for more.

The Appraisal Institute of Canada has a terrific website which gives consumers an idea of the return on investment they can expect for a variety of home improvemets. Check it our here.

Please contact me direct at 416-520-6746 or by email, David@TorontoRealEstate.ca

Expensive Housing? Not by a 20-year Comparison

Great article in www.TheGlobeandMail.com.

If you had to earn a living predicting home prices and could use just one indicator to do it, which would you choose?

I asked two top economists that question. Their answer was the same: housing affordability.

“Affordability is a key variable. It gives you a lot of information,” says CIBC deputy chief economist Benjamin Tal. “When affordability is good, demand usually exceeds supply.”

Affordability – a type of debt service ratio – gauges the average percentage of income needed to carry a mortgage. This is closely linked to how much homeowners can borrow.

Click here for more.

Please contact me direct at 416-520-6746 or by email, David@TorontoRealEstate.ca

Own a Piece of the Storied Four Seasons

Great article in www.TheStar.com  .

It will be far more event than auction when more than 50,000 pieces of the past — from a goldmine of gold-rimmed china to baby grand pianos — go on the block at Toronto’s former Four Seasons Hotel.

Everything is up for sale so the new owner of the 32-storey Yorkville landmark, Camrost-Felcorp, can gut its 380 hotel rooms and convert them into 490 condos. That includes luxurious beds smothered in feather duvets, walk-in closets and Murano glass chandeliers.

There will also be enough top-of-the-line stainless steel stoves, mixing bowls and industrial dishwashers auctioned off to open 10 new restaurants.

PHOTOS: A sneak peek at the items up for auction

What’s it all worth?

Click here for more.

Please contact me direct at 416-520-6746 or by email, David@TorontoRealEstate.ca

Professional and Knowledgeable Realtor

” I have worked with David Stoddard twice now and have had nothing but exceptional service. He goes out of his way to provide you with all the information you need, plus all the extras. He is quick to respond to all questions and understands the market very well. David makes the home buying experience less intimidating and I would recommend him to anybody looking for a professional, knowledgeable realtor.”
 
– Kristy Hilton

Modern City Taking Flight Through Canary

Great article in www.YourHome.ca

This Canary isn’t in a coal mine, but it’s just as much a sign of things ahead, in this case, entirely positive.

We’re talking about the mixed-use residential neighbourhood now under construction in the West Don Lands. Named for the greasy spoon that occupied the corner of Cherry and Front for decades, Canary District is being hyped as Toronto’s first 21st-century community; that means it will be sustainable, urban, connected, transit-oriented and diverse.

Click here for more.

Please contact me direct at 416-520-6746 or by email, David@TorontoRealEstate.ca

Canadians Don’t Mind Paying for the Perks of Condo Living

News Release by TD Canada Trust

– Three-quarters of condo buyers say monthly fees are a small price to pay to enjoy the convenience and amenities of condos, according to annual TD Canada Trust Condo Poll –

TORONTO, April 18, 2012 /CNW/ – Attracted to the urban lifestyle, three-quarters of Canadian condo buyers say condo fees are worth the extra monthly expense to enjoy the benefits of living in a condominium.

The TD Canada Trust 2012 Condo Poll surveyed urban Canadians who recently bought or intend to buy a condo and found they are drawn to condos because they require less maintenance (60%), are more affordable (45%), and offer more amenities (25%) than a house.

“Managing your housing expenses is about prioritizing your needs and budgeting accordingly. It’s clear that the convenience of condo living is important to many Canadians, and they are willing to pay the monthly fees that come with owning a condo,” says Farhaneh Haque, Director of Mortgage Advice, TD Canada Trust.

The poll found that one-third of condo buyers (35%) are willing to pay up to $200 per month in condo fees, 44% would pay up to $400 and 17% would pay up to $800. Across all cities, Torontonians are willing to pay the highest fees; 38% are willing to pay more than $400 and 16% more than $600. Conversely, the majority of Montreal residents (59%) wouldn’t pay more than $200 per month in condo fees.

Even though they’ve set these limits, many condo buyers understand that monthly fees can increase at any time and have a plan: 29% have a buffer built into their current budget and 34% say they could cut back in other areas in the event of an increase.

“The possibility of a fee increase can be a little unnerving,” says Haque. “While there’s no way to ‘lock-in’ to a monthly fee like you can with a mortgage, you can prepare for a fee increase by building a buffer into your monthly housing budget, as some Canadians have wisely done. That way if fees go up, it won’t be a major shock to your cash flow. If they don’t increase, you have extra money to put aside in savings or towards your mortgage. You can also explore flexible mortgage options that allow you to pay more towards your mortgage when you can, then, upon an approved application, ease off on payments when you need to. This can be a useful feature in the first few months of transition to a fee increase.”

Top features Canadians look for in condos

According to the poll, condo buyers think the most important features when deciding on a condo to buy are:

  1. Good building security (94%) and low condo fees (94%)
  2. Energy-efficient building features (92%) and attractive interior design (92%)
  3. A balcony (90%)
  4. Parking for their car (87%)
  5. Close to public transit (84%)

Women are more likely than men to look for a building with a balcony (92% versus 87% of men) and environmentally-friendly features (86% versus 79% of men), while men are more likely to say finding a brand new condo – not a resale (56% versus 46% of women) – is important to them.

Condos as stepping stone to home ownership

Many condo buyers see condos as an affordable alternative to renting: 29% say owning a condo is cheaper than paying rent. But, one-quarter (24%) say paying condo fees still feels like paying rent so they are saving up to buy another place where they won’t pay monthly fees.

“Purchasing a condo allows you to build equity rather than continuing to pay rent as you save for a house,” says Haque. “At the same time, it’s important you talk to a mortgage expert, because it’s not just a straight comparison of your monthly rent and some utilities to a monthly mortgage payment and condo fees.”

Condos as investments

Almost one-third of condo buyers (32%) say the main reason for their condo purchase is that it is a good investment. Recent housing forecasts do not seem to have fazed most Canadians. Only one-third (34%) of the general Canadian population say recent forecasts have made them less likely to buy a condo.

“Recent housing forecasts have predicted that an over-supply of condos will cause a drop in prices. How this affects your decision to purchase a condo comes down to your goals at that time,” says Haque. “If you are buying a condo and see it as a source of rental income that you’ll move into when you are ready to downsize, this drop in value will likely not have a big effect. On the other hand, if you see a condo purchase as a way to build equity as you save up to buy a home, you need to consider the potential effect of a decreased price when you sell on the money you will have towards a down payment on a house.”

Of those who are buying condos that will not be their primary residence, 46% think they are a good investment to buy and sell at a profit when prices have gone up. But – that is not the only way Canadians see a condo purchase as an investment. Almost an equal number (42%) see them as a long-term source of rental income and 38% see them as a source of rental income for now that they will move into later when they are ready to downsize.

TD hosts an online community for homebuyers at www.tdcanadatrust.com/homeownership. The online community allows home buyers to learn from each other’s experiences, share stories on a wide range of home financing topics and pose questions to TD expert, Farhaneh Haque, Director of Mortgage Advice.

About the TD Canada Trust Condo Poll

TD Bank Group commissioned Environics Research Group to conduct a custom, online survey of 1,453 Canadians, 18 years of age or older, in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal. Among those Canadians surveyed, 801 bought a condo in the past 24 months or are considering buying one in the next 24 months. Responses were collected between January 23- February 2, 2012.

Please contact me direct at 416-520-6746 or by email, David@TorontoRealEstate.ca

5 Parkway Forest Dr PH11, Toronto, Ontario $174,800

MLS: c2361964

Possession: June 1,TBA

1 bedroom, 1 washroom, 1 parking space, ensuite storage

This is a spacious, bright east-facing one-bedroom suite with many taseful upgrades. Being on the top floor, you get abundant natural light and some spectacular views of the city through the almost wall-to-wall / floor-to-ceiling windows in the living / dining room! With an open concept floor plan, this spacious 764 sf suite has ample room through the L-shaped living and dining room and takes full advantage of the terrific views from here. Gorgeous dark laminate floors run throughout the main area plus the bedroom. The great layout of this suite makes it spacious, bright and comfortable.

Parkway Forest  is a neighbourhood located in the north part of Toronto, in the former City of North York. Parkway Forest is bounded on the west by Don Mills Road, on the north by Sheppard Avenue, on the east by the Don Valley Parkway, and on the south by Highway 401. Parkway Forest has a large open park (Parkway Forest Park), a firehouse, a recreation centre, a shopping plaza (Parkway Forest Plaza), nearby grocery stores and a public school (Forest Manor Public School). Plus, nearby there are miles and miles of fabulous nature trails to enjoy. Great for walks in the parks and ravine.

Please contact me direct at 416-520-6746 or by email, David@TorontoRealEstate.ca

 

Condos May be Okay for Toronto, but This is the Beach

Great article in www.TheGlobeandMail.com

In 1980, a burger joint opened in the Beach strip of Queen Street East. Singing staff served up burgers, fries and milkshakes from a corner building on a commercial strip of one- or two-storey shops, a streetscape that was pretty typical of Toronto’s main streets.

In the ensuing 32 years, that Lick’s Homeburgers has grown to become a chain of 23 outlets and Toronto has become home to the greatest concentration of condo-building construction cranes on the continent. Still, that low-slung Beach strip has remained more or less the same.

If local resident associations are any indication, Beachers like their Queen Street just the way it is. A proposed six-storey, 29-unit building with ground-floor retail at the Lick’s location is kicking up a surprising amount of dust. The city’s planning department recommended the re-zoning application be approved earlier this month and on Tuesday the Toronto and East York community council will vote on it. Planners say smart growth in Toronto means building up main avenues. Resident groups are decrying what they see as a policy void that could erode the character of main-street strips across Toronto.

Click here for more.

Please contact me direct at 416-520-6746 or by email, David@TorontoRealEstate.ca

Mount Pleasant East

Great article in www.TorontoLife.com

Since the Mount Pleasant Cemetery was carved out of farmland in 1876, the idyllic parkland, offering more than 500 tree species and varieties, has become the city’s most desirable resting place, with glitzy residents like the Eaton and Massey families. This midtown neighbourhood has become as posh as the graveyard to its south. Mothers fill their stroller baskets with baguettes or antique finds from Mount Pleasant’s shops, while Bayview’s casual sidewalk pubs and restaurants cater to laid-back locals. Good schools (like private Sunnybrook School and Maurice Cody Public School) are drawing young, double-income families to live among long-time residents. Two-storey semis (expect to pay about $600,000) and detached 1920s brick homes cram against new mansions (up to $1.8 million) and a few townhouses.

Click here for more.

Please contact me direct at 416-520-6746 or by email, David@TorontoRealEstate.ca

Canadian Banks Rated World’s Strongest

Great article in www.TheGlobeandMail.com

Canadian banks dominate a new ranking of the world’s strongest financial institutions, with four of the country’s lenders ranked in the top 10.

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce landed third on Bloomberg Markets magazine’s global survey, followed in sequence by Toronto-Dominion Bank, National Bank of Canada and Royal Bank of Canada. Bank of Nova Scotia ranked 18th and Bank of Montreal placed 22nd.

Click here for more.

Please contact me direct at 416-520-6746 or by email, David@TorontoRealEstate.ca

Variable vs Fixed: Is it Time to Lock in Your Mortgage?

Great article in www.MoneyVille.ca

The search for the right mortgage can make a person feel a bit like Goldilocks: On the hunt for something that is not too short, not too long, but just right.

For Ilda Dinis and her partner, Ryan Johnsen, that meant choosing a five-year term with an interest rate of 3.19 per cent for their new home in the High Park-Junction area.

Click here for more.

Please contact me direct at 416-520-6746 or by email, David@TorontoRealEstate.ca

Real Estate Roundtable 2012

Great article in www.PostCity.com

When we last asked our high-powered panel to gaze into their proverbial crystal balls, sparks flew. By the end of the discussion, the group was clearly divided as to whether we were approaching bubble levels. A year later, housing prices in the GTA have continued to rise, which begs the question: will this party continue or are the good times about to end?

Click here for more.

Please contact me direct at 416-520-6746 or by email, David@TorontoRealEstate.ca

Tight Market Drives Double-Digit Price Growth

Starbuck’s Coffee:  Please join my new Real Estate Fan Page here.  When I reach 100 FANS I will be giving away a bunch of Starbuck’s coffee cards.

Today’s Quote: “ Never stop being curious.”

Last Chance…. Free Education:  Register for our next Free Home Buyer Seminar.  Click Here

What’s Your home Worth?: Click here

 

Greater Toronto Realtors reported 9,690 sales through the MLS in March 2012 . The number of transactions represented an 7.8% increase compared to March 2011.  New listings , at 16,308, were up by 7.1% compared to March 2011.

” The GTA resale market has not suffered from a lack of willing buyers this year. Buyers have been spurred on by the positive affordability picture brought about by low mortgage rates,” said Toronto Real Estate Board President Richard Silver .

“The challenge has been a lack of inventory. Many listings have attracted multiple interested buyers. Strong competition has led to annual rates of price growth well above the long-term average,” continued Silver.

With market conditions remaining tight in the GTA, the average selling price continued to grow in March up by 9.9% from the same time last year to $501,614.

” The number of new listings was up last month in comparison to March 2011. however, based on the historic relationship between price and listings, the GTA resale market should be better supplied. If competition between buyers remains as strong as it is right now, we will almost certainly see an average selling price above $500,000 for 2012 as a whole,” said the Toronto Real Estate Board’s Senior Manager of Marker Analysis Jason Mercer. ”

“TREB’s baseline forecast for 2012 is for an average price of $485,000, representing a more moderate 4.0% annual rate of price growth. This baseline view is subject to a heightened degree of risk given the uncertain global economic outlook,” continued Mercer.

Sales of Toronto ( 416 area code) condominium apartments fell by 2.0% from March 2011. The average price of a Toronto condo increased by 2% from the same time last year.

 Condominium apartments accounted for 22.9% of total sales in the the GTA for March  2012 while detached homes accounted for 49.2% of the total sales.

Other notable statistics include the average days on the market for March at 21 days . Active listings were 16,920 in March 2012-up 2.2% from March 2011. The sales-to-listings ratio for March was 57.3% which is classified as a STRONG seller’s market . A ratio from 24%-28% is considered a balanced market.  

Sellers are looking for market value for their property . I prepare a comparative market analysis (CMA) for all of my Buyer clients prior to submitting an offer to determine the property’s market value range.

Real estate is very neighbourhood specific and even very street specific in some areas. The numbers as reported above are GTA averages. Results in one neighbourhood or on one street does not indicate that all other neighbourhoods or streets are experiencing the same results. We are still seeing multiple offers in some areas for the best homes. 

Please contact me direct at 416-520-6746 or by email, David@TorontoRealEstate.ca