GTA Real Estate Market Report December 2013

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Sales and Average Price Up In Calendar Year 2013

Greater Toronto Realtors reported 4,078 residential sales through the MLS in December 2013. The number of transactions represented a 13.8% increase compared to 3,582 transactions reported in December 2012.

Total sales for calendar year 2013, at 87,111 were up by approximately 2.0% compared to 85,496 transactions in calendar year 2012.

The number of new listings reported in December was down 3.9% compared to the same period in 2012.

“After a slow start to the year, sales growth accelerated to a brisk pace in the second half of 2013. Despite the inclement weather in December , we finished the year with a respectable gain in transactions compared to 2012. Looking forward, I believe that home ownership in the GTA will remain affordable as borrowing costs stay low. The result could be a further increase in sales in 2014,” said Toronto Real Estate Board President Dianne Usher.

The average selling price continued to grow in December up by 8.9% from the same time last year to $520,398.

The average selling price for December 2013 as a whole was $523,036, which represented an increase of 5.2% compared to the calendar year 2012 average of $497,130.

Note, the TREB average price forecast was $515,000 for all homes combined in 2013.

“The average selling price will be up again in 2014 and by more than the rate of inflation. The seller’s market conditions that drove price growth in the second half of 2013 will remain in place in many parts of the GTA. Some neighbourhoods , especially those characterized by low-rise home types like singles, semis and townhomes, will continue to have less than two months of inventory ,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Senior Manager of Market Analyses.

Sales of Toronto (416 area code) condominium apartments increased by 20.7% from December 2012. The average price of a Toronto condo increased  by 7.6% from the same time last year.

Condominium apartments accounted for 28.8% of total sales in the GTA for December 2013 while detached homes accounted for 44.3% of the total sales.

Other notable statistics include the average days on the market for December at 33 days. Active listings were 11,418 in December-down 13.8% from December 2012. The sales-to-listings ratio for December was 35.7% which is classified as a 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 , on one street or in one building do not indicate that all other neighbourhoods, streets or buildings are experiencing the same results. We are still seeing multiple offers in some areas for the best homes and condos.

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

Curb Appeal Is A Must!

Great article in http://realtytimes.com​

If your home has curb appeal, you’ll be able to sell it quickly and for top dollar. That’s why REALTORS® rate exterior home remodeling projects as the most valuable home-owners can make.

Many home-owners are confused about which projects will provide the most return on investment as they prepare their homes for the market. The 2014 Remodelling Cost vs. Value Report, co-sponsored by the National Association of Realtors and Remodelling magazine, outlines the costs and resale returns on the most popular home improvement projects.

Realtors know which home features are important to buyers in their area. Projects such as a new entry door, siding and window replacements can recoup homeowners more than 78 percent of costs upon resale.

So why remodel anything if it’s not going to give you back 100%? It’s because the first impression a homebuyer gets is priceless. You want the buyer to choose your home, and quit looking for something better. If the buyer doesn’t like what he sees, you won’t get another chance to make any kind of impression.

Click here for more.

Here is what you can do next?

Free Tour of any Condo or Home

Let’s Meet for a Coffee: Free Buyer Planning Session.

Free Buyer and Seller Reports:

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

Wood Look Tile: Is This A Trend You Can Trust?

Great article in http://realtytimes.com​

Harvest gold appliances. Flocked wallpaper. Red shag carpet. At one time, they were the next hot thing in interior design.

And then they were the thing people couldn’t wait to get rid of (and we’re speaking from experience here; all three of those super trends were in our family home growing up).

Trends change quickly, and when you are spending thousands of dollars on designing, redesigning, renovating, or updating your home, you want to make sure your money is well spent. So how do you know when something is a flash in the pan or is here to stay for while? That’s the idea behind “Is This a Trend You Can Trust“, a new series of posts we will be creating from time to time that look at a new trend and determines its staying power.
First Up: Wood Look Tile

Ceramic and porcelain tile that looks like wood started popping up a few years ago and has been growing ever since. Houzz noted the that wood like tile was everywhere at the Coverings 2013 Show, an annual flooring convention. “Tile is big business — Americans bought 2.19 billion square feet of it in 2012. One of the biggest trends is the wood-grain tile look, on show in a big way at the 2013 Coverings trade show in Atlanta.”

A year later, wood look tile is even more prominent in the market, not just in this country, but around the world, like at the annual Cersaie Fair in Bologna, Italy, where “wood look tiles were everywhere,” according toHeritage Tiles.

Added BNP Media: “It seems that everywhere you turn, another tile manufacturer has launched a new line that replicates these natural materials — and for good reason. With the technologies that are available today in tile production, the durability and ease of maintenance of ceramic, cost effectiveness and the green factor, it is no wonder why the appeal of these tiles has grown so big.”

So, we offer up four reasons we believe wood-look tile is here to stay.

Click here for more.

Here is what you can do next?

Free Tour of any Condo or Home

Let’s Meet for a Coffee: Free Buyer Planning Session.

Free Buyer and Seller Reports:

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

Personal Credit Scores

A message from our Team Mortgage Specialist Jerome Trail

Personal Credit Scores are vitally important when Lenders assess the credit-worthiness of applicants.  Prospective home buyers should watch their Credit intensely the months leading up to a home purchase.  By using the services of an independent Mortgage Broker, such as ourselves, Clients will receive feedback on their Credit score and position to ensure access to the best Lenders and best Mortgage products.  Specifically, clients need to:

  • Make credit card and line of credit payments on time
  • Do not miss payments
  • Keep credit card balances to below 80% capacity
  • Do not open, or close, credit cards or lines of credit in the months leading up to a home purchase
  • Do not use a credit card to the maximum limit
  • Do not borrow from finance companies

Credit management is very important.

It is always a good idea to check your personal credit score at www.equifax.ca at least once a year. Finding and dealing with any credit glitches now will help in your mortgage application down the road.

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

For a free, no obligation mortgage consultation with Jerome please click here.

De-Ice, De-Ice Baby

Great article from www.CarsonDunlop.com

Carols have been sung, presents have been opened, and New Years kisses have been planted. The holidays are officially over, and with more than two months of winter left, everyone can agree: it’s cold. Winter is a harsh season and it’s important to protect yourself as well as your home. As you don your extra layers, put on your thickest socks, and bundle up tight, safety comes first when you head outdoors.

With temperatures well below freezing, the winter wonderland of December has become January’s slippery slope. Ice is everywhere, hanging from gutters and covering driveways, walkways, and sidewalks. Although it can be beautiful, it’s also very dangerous, so we’d like to encourage you to take the appropriate precautions. The de-icing guide below will help keep you and your property ice-free this season.

Ice Dams 

We aren’t talking about creative seasonal cussing – an ice dam is actually something that occurs on your roof. Ice damming happens when snow and ice collect, usually at the eaves.

Heat escapes from the interior of the home into the attic through air leakage in the ceiling or poorly insulated sections of the attic, melting the snow on the roof above. As the snow melts, it runs down the roof until it encounters unmelted snow on the unheated eaves. There, it will refreeze. This process will continue until an ice dam is formed. If the dam is large enough, water will back up under the shingles and leak into the eaves, exterior walls, and building interior.

Some roofs are more prone to ice damming than others. Ice dams are most commonly formed on roofs with low slopes or roofs that change from a steep slope down to a low slope. The largest dams tend to form over unheated areas, such as eaves, porches, and attached garages. Ice dams are also common above party walls and below skylights.

Ice damming doesn’t necessarily happen every winter. Ice dams normally form after periods of heavy snowfall when daytime temperatures are at, or slightly above, freezing, and night time temperatures are below freezing.

The trick is to keep the attic, and therefore the roof surface, cold enough that the snow does not melt. There are three major preventative measures to consider when approaching the issue of ice damming:

1. Adding attic insulation

This will work well depending on the attic in question. However, some attics have so many warm air leaks that it would be impossible to add enough insulation to fix the problem – which is why you should also consider the second approach.

2. Sealing the air leaks

In many cases, with proper sealing tools, a homeowner can take care of this task themselves. However, some situations require a specialist to find and fix the issue. Common air leakage paths include attic access hatches, ceiling light fixtures (especially potlights), and plumbing stacks.

3. Improving attic ventilation

Additional attic venting can help to flush out excess warm air in the attic before it can heat up the roof and melt the snow.

Salting & Other Ice Removal Alternatives

Ensuring your driveway and walkway are clear of ice and snow is imperative not only for your safety, but for the safety of others. Falls are a leading cause of injury in North America, and it is the homeowners’ responsibility to keep their property accessible for visitors and pedestrians.

We know shovelling can be a pain in the back, but it’s a fairly manageable chore. De-Icing, however, can be less straightforward. There are a few natural methods you can undertake; we’ve listed our top four:

1. Salt

Salt is the most common treatment used to get rid of ice. It’s cheap, effective, and easy to obtain. However, it’s also corrosive, so it can damage human skin, pets’ paws, and its runoff can affect nearby plants and vegetation. It can also damage concrete and masonry.

2. Urea

Urea is the second most common de-icer. It is a liquid, making it easy to apply to pathways, and more convenient to clean up. However, its state also means it can cause more damage to surrounding plants. It’s also less convenient to purchase.

3. Alfalfa Meal

Alfalfa meal is a less popular solution. Like urea, it is a natural fertilizer; however it contains less nitrogen so it’s a bit less damaging. It’s a very effective de-icer, and due to its dry and grainy nature, it provides additional traction to those walking and driving on it. Unfortunately it is more difficult to purchase.

4. Sugar Beet Juice

Sugar beet juice is becoming a more popular method for de-icing, being adopted by many municipalities for winter road care, like Toronto and Niagara Region. The juice from sugar beets lowers the freezing point of water, and helps with de-icing. It is colorless, odorless, and harmless. However, it’s more expensive than its salty counterpart and less convenient to purchase.

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

The Top 5 Simple Ways To Increase Your Home’s Value

Great article in http://realtytimes.com​

If you’re like most people, your home is the biggest financial investment you’ll ever make. Even small improvements to your home can equal big returns later when you are ready to sell.

Here are a few easy and (mostly) inexpensive ways to increase your home’s value and improve its marketability, whether you are looking to sell next week, next month or next year:

1. Bathroom. Remodeling is a great way to increase your home’s value, but chances are you do not have the time or money to remodel every room of your home. If you are going to remodel only one room in your house, the outdated bathroom is a good choice. And if you can’t completely remodel your bathroom, there are still small changes you can make on a small budget. Minor updates like getting new light fixtures, stripping old wallpaper and replacing your shower curtain can dramatically improve your bathroom’s overall appeal.

2. Go for Green. Energy efficiency is one thing that will never go out of style. Younger buyers are increasingly attracted to homes that are environmentally friendly and all buyers are intrigued by the prospect of low home energy bills. There are many ways to increase your home’s energy efficiency, including programmable thermostats and water-saving faucets.

Click here for more.

Here is what you can do next?

Free Tour of any Condo or Home

Let’s Meet for a Coffee: Free Buyer Planning Session.

Free Buyer and Seller Reports:

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

Toronto Condo Hot List for the Week of Jan.6 ,2014

Happy New Year!!

Free Condo Tours: The Tour is not designed to find the condo of your dreams. Rather, the Tour provides an opportunity for you to learn about what condos look like in the neighbourhoods and price ranges of your choice. Register Here.

Here are my Top Picks for the Week:

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1029 King St. W #402

Price: $379,900 Beds: 1 Baths: 1 Sq Ft: 850

Spacious 2-Storey Loft In High Demand King West Neighbourhood! This Unit Has Been Customized To Maximize Space & Comfortable Living. Upgraded Throughout , This Unit Boasts A Gorgeous Eat-In Kitchen Complete with Brand New Stainless Steel Appliances,…

View this property >>

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33 Lombard St. #1508

Price: $635,000 Beds: 2 Baths: 2 Sq Ft: 872

Award Winning Spire Condominium, St James Model. Approx 873 Sf + 404 Sf Wraparound Terrace. 2 Bed Split Plan, 2 Baths. Southeast Corner, Overlooking St James Cathedral, Park + St Lawrence Market. Laminate Floor Throughout, Granite + Marble Counters,…

View this property >>

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83 Redpath Ave. #1209

Price: $438,800 Beds: 1 Baths: 2 Sq Ft: 695

**Largest One Bedroom Plus Den With Very Rare 2 Washrooms** (4 Pc + 3 Pc)** Master Bedroom With a Large Walk-In Closet. High Floor Overlooking Toronto’s Skyline With A Beautiful Sunset From The 18*6 Balcony. Balcony Accessed From The Living Room…

View this property >>

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55 East Liberty St #918

Price: $354,900 Beds: 1 Baths: 1 Sq Ft: 646

Liberty Village “Bliss” Condos. Open Plan With Beautiful North Views. Stainless Steel Appliances, Granite Counters With A Breakfast Bar In The Kitchen. Walk-Out To Balcony. Laminate Flooring. Pet Friendly Building. Inclusions: Stainless Steel Fridge…

View this property >>

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628 Fleet St. #833

Price: $389,000 Beds: 1 Baths: 1 Sq Ft: 750

Modern Decor And A Breath Taking Lake View. This One Bedroom And Den Has Been Upgraded With Designer Paint, Granite And Laminate Floors Throughout. Upgraded Light Fixtures, Custom Closet Organizers And The List Goes On. Situated With One Of The Best…

View this property >>

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55 Bremner Blvd. #1508

Price: $368,000 Beds: 1 Baths: 1 Sq Ft: 550

Amazing Maple Leaf Square Condo With South Lake View From The Living Room & Master Bedroom. Hardwood Floors. Broadloom In The Master Bedroom. Kitchen Island. Granite Countertops. Walkout to The Balcony From The Living Room. Great Natural Light. Incl…

View this property >>

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

Home Inspection May Require A Team Approach

Great article in www.MarkWeisleder.com 

Since writing about changes coming to the home inspection industry, I have received countless emails from home inspectors, real estate agents and buyers. Buyers complained after closing about problems with their home that were not caught during the home inspection. This included serious mold behind one of the walls in the basement, a defective fireplace and a furnace that was working but would soon require to be replaced. Some buyers blamed their real estate agents, stating that they only recommended an inspector who would approve the home quickly.

In the situations noted above, it would have been difficult for a home inspector to have noticed the issue, primarily because they are not able to look behind any walls or under floors and only furnace and fireplace specialists may be able to detect certain flaws in these items. Real estate agents will typically provide the names of three inspection firms for their clients to choose from.

In rural properties, it is common to have separate inspections for the home, the well and the septic system, as these all require different expertise to properly inspect and advise potential buyers. When you now consider that the average prices for homes in the GTA is now over $500,000, and with a majority of homes being over 20 years old, it may be time to take a similar team approach when it comes to inspecting a home prior to any purchase decision.

Click here for more.

Here is what you can do next?

Free Tour of any Condo or Home

Let’s Meet for a Coffee: Free Buyer Planning Session.

Free Buyer and Seller Reports:

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

What To Expect When You’re Extending

Great article in www.MarkWeisleder.com 

Buyers often need to request an extension to their closing date. Here’s a look at the reasons why, and what to expect.

The main reasons are as follows:

  • The buyers have not yet sold their current home.
  • The buyers’ financing has fallen through or the buyers have not complied with all of the lender’s requirements.

The main lesson for everyone is that no buyer is automatically entitled to an extension. If a buyer can’t close, the seller can take the position that the buyer is in default, sue for the deposit and any loss that they may suffer in the resale of the property.

Real estate agents are divided as to whether you should buy first and then sell your existing home or sell first and then buy. No solution is risk-free. Buyers also need to remember that just because you are approved for a loan, you still have to fulfill all of the lender’s requirements, such as proof of income or debt repayment, before they will give you the money.

Click here for more.

Here is what you can do next?

Free Tour of any Condo or Home

Let’s Meet for a Coffee: Free Buyer Planning Session.

Free Buyer and Seller Reports:

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

GTA Real Estate Market Report November 2013

Free Real Estate Tours: Come on a Free Condo Tour or Free Home Tour.

Free Real Estate Reports: Informative Buyer Reports and Seller Reports available on my website.

FaceBook:  Please join my Real Estate Page here for ongoing real estate news.

Tighter Market Conditions Drive Strong Price Growth

sales activity nov

Greater Toronto Realtors reported 6,391 residential sales through the MLS in November 2013. The number of transactions represented a 13.9% increase compared to 5,613 transactions reported in November 2012. Year-to-date, total residential sales reported through the Toronto MLS amounted to 83,064 during the first eleven months of 2013-up 1.014% compared to the same period in 2012.

The number of new listings reported in November was down 4.4% compared to the same period in 2012.

“Growth in sales was strong for most home types in the Greater Toronto Area. Sales growth was led by the single-detached market segment followed by condominium apartments. Together singles and condos accounted for almost three-quarters of total GTA transactions,” said Toronto Real Estate Board President Dianne Usher.

“Despite strong price growth and an uptick in borrowing costs this year, monthly mortgage payments on the average priced home remain affordable for a household earning the average GTA income,” continued Ms. Usher.

The average selling price continued to grow in November up by 11.3% from the same time last year to $538,881.  Note, the average selling price for 2012 as a whole was up by almost 7% to $497,298!!

“Annual home price growth remained well-above the rate of inflation in November. This makes sense given the fact that competition between buyers increased last month. Transactions were up strongly year-over-year while the number of homes available for sale were down,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Senior Manager of Market Analyses.

“Average price growth for the TREB market area this year is forecasted to be higher than 3%. Our current average price forecast is $515,000 for all homes combined in 2013,”continued  Mercer

Sales of Toronto (416 area code) condominium apartments increased by 12.7% from November 2012. The average price of a Toronto condo increased  by 10.0% from the same time last year.

sales and average price nov

Condominium apartments accounted for 23.7% of total sales in the GTA for November 2013 while detached homes accounted for 48.7% of the total sales.

Other notable statistics include the average days on the market for November at 29 days. Active listings were 16,092 in November-down 12.1% from November 2012. The sales-to-listings ratio for November was 39.7% which is classified as a 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 , one building or on one street do not indicate that all other neighbourhoods, buildings or streets are experiencing the same results. We are still seeing multiple offers in some neighbourhoods and buildings for the best homes and condos.

historical annual stats nov

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