GTA Real Estate Condo Market Report Q3 2013

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Greater Toronto Realtors reported 5,307 condominium apartment  sales through the MLS in the third quarter of 2013. The number of transactions represented a 18.0% increase compared to 4,498 transactions reported for the third quarter of 2012. In the City of Toronto, which accounted for 72% of condominium apartment sales, sales were up by 19.5%.

The number of new listings reported in the third quarter was  down by 1.0% compared to the same period in 2012.

“The echo generation wants to live close to where they work and play. It makes sense that they have turned to condominium apartments as they have moved into home ownership . Many condominium apartments in the GTA are characterized by their proximity to a diversity of employment, transportation and leisure alternatives,” said Toronto Real Estate Board President Dianne Usher.

“A growing number of buyers have restarted their search for a condominium apartment since the summer. Despite the onset of stricter lending guidelines, buyers have found that home ownership remains affordable,” continued Ms. Usher.

The average selling price in the GTA for Q3 was up by 1.9% from the same time last year to $340,069. In the City of Toronto the average price was up by 1.01%

“We experienced a moderate annual rate of increase in the average condo price. However, while condo sales were up, listings were down in the third quarter. If this trend continues, it could point to increased competition between condo buyers and an uptick in the pace of price growth moving forward,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Senior Manager of Market Analyses.

Other notable statistics include the average days on the market for Q3 at 36 days. Active listings were 6,711 in Q3-down 4.0% from Q3 2012.

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 building  specific. The numbers as reported above are GTA averages. Results in one building do not indicate that all other buildings  are experiencing the same results.

The condominium apartment rental market continued to tighten in the third quarter of 2013, with condominium apartment rental transactions increasing on a year-over-year basis by a greater rate than the number of units listed for rent.

Tight rental market conditions resulted in continued growth in average
rents for one-bedroom and two-bedroom condominium apartments especially in
newer buildings with modern finishes and amenities.

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Striking a Balance for ‘Reasonable and Fair’ Development Charges

Great article in 

Several years ago, Lysha DeFreitas realized her dream of owning a home. She bought a 750-sq.-ft., two-bedroom condo in Mississauga. It was a milestone moment for De- Freitas. Given the cost of real estate in the GTA, being able to buy her first home was no small feat. “I’d just come out of university and had very little money saved,” she recalls. “So, it was a challenge.”

Landing a full-time job in sales and marketing after graduation helped. Still, she worked hard, saved diligently and eventually cobbled together the down payment. “I really wanted this particular condo,” she says, “and I did everything I could to buy it.”

DeFreitas was fortunate to get onto the property ladder when she did. Nowadays, prospective home purchasers find the market more challenging, as municipalities across the GTA contemplate hikes in devel- opment charges (DCs) — the taxes imposed on the construction of new homes and employment spaces to pay for growth-related infrastruc- ture, such as roads, transit, sewer and water pipes, and parks and community centres.

“Ultimately, development charges are paid for by new-home buyers and businesses,” notes Bryan Tuckey, president and CEO of the Building Industry and Land Development As- sociation (BILD). “As the charges in- crease, affordability decreases

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Hot Home Trends

Great article in

Whether you’re looking to buy a new home or you’re thinking about making some home improvements that will pay you back when you decide to sell your current home, it’s always good to be aware of the trends in home layouts and design that are rising in popularity. Here are just a few of the latest and greatest developments in home layouts:

Open it up. Homeowners are increasingly leaning toward converting their square footage from small, compartmentalized rooms and hallways to more open, useful rooms that flow and avoid wasted space.

Go gourmet. The foodie revolution is bringing families out of the dining room and into the kitchen. Functional yet luxurious kitchens that marry style and utility are becoming focal points for gathering and entertaining. Islands with seating are popular, and stone tile, induction cooktops, and sophisticated metal appliances are surging in demand. Homeowners who update their kitchen are finding ways to make those updates while staying within the kitchen’s original footprint in order to retain coziness. Meanwhile, walk-in pantries are also hot. Since more people are eating in, families need increased food storage where traditional staples share shelf space with gourmet products.

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Toronto Eighth Best City in the World

Great article in

As Canada’s only city to rank, Toronto has triumphantly claimed No. 8 in the 2013 Anholt-GfK City Brands Index, surpassing Vienna and knocking Tokyo off the list completely.

Also credited as the second-friendliest and the fourth-safest city in the world among a list of 50 worldwide cities, Toronto is on par with prominent international cities like Sydney and London.

As a way to measure the “image and reputation of the world’s cities, and to track their profiles as they rise or fall,” Anholt-GfK launched a series of worldwide study polls in 2006. This year, the rankings were determined from interviews with 5,114 people from 10 countries (NOT including Canada). Mark Keida, senior research director on the City Brands project correlates Toronto’s increased popularity rankings with strong results coming from our neighbours in the United States, India, the United Kingdom and France. Other participating countries for the 2013 study included: Australia, Brazil, China, Germany, Russia and South Korea.

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TARION: Understand Your Condo’s Warranty

Great article in

In 2012, Ontario’s condominium market accounted for more than a third of new home possessions in the province.  Affordability, lifestyle preferences and a lack of available land for new home construction have all contributed to the condo movement.

Condo ownership offers many potential benefits including desirable amenities and reduced maintenance.  Newly built condos also come equipped with warranty coverage for both individual units and the common elements, such as the pool, parking garage, roof, and exterior cladding.

Your condo’s warranty is provided by the builder and backed by Tarion.  In addition to deposit coverage, you may be entitled to compensation for a delay in closing if proper notice has not been given.  Coverage is also provided for unauthorized substitutions of items agreed to in the purchase agreement, defects in the electrical, plumbing and heating systems, issues with water penetration, violations of the Ontario building code, and major structural defects.

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Mere Words are not Sufficient to Thank David

“We met David for a Buyer Planning Session where he answered all of our questions clearly and concisely . David gave us the courage to buy our first home. David is very professional and knowledgeable and helped us in every step of the home buying process. His honesty and attention to always looking after our best interests helped us make the right decision. We are happy and satisfied with our first home and we are already enjoying the feeling of having our own house. Mere words are not sufficient to thank David for his service but we will be grateful and thankful to him forever!”

– Karishma and Farhad