8 Mind-Blowing Numbers From Toronto’s Real Estate Market

Great article in www.Fool.ca  

Is Canada’s real estate market a bubble? A number of groups are sounding the alarm. Over the past few months, several research organizations, including Fitch, Morningstar, Inc., and the International Monetary Fund have published reports warning about skyrocketing property valuations across the country.

Nowhere is a possible bubble more apparent than in Toronto, the hottest real estate market in Canada. After posting some huge price gains over the past few years, the city’s housing industry has produced some truly eye-popping statistics. Here are eight mind-blowing numbers from Hogtown.

1. $880,433

Toronto is on the verge of becoming the second Canadian city where the average price of a detached home exceeds $1 million. July data from the Toronto Real Estate Board, or TREB, revealed that the average selling price of a detached house downtown was $880,433, up 11% from the same period a year earlier.

2. 130 properties under construction

Toronto has more skyscrapers under construction than any other city in North America. According to Emporis, a website that compiles building data, there are 130 high-rise projects underway in Toronto. In comparison, New York City has only 91 high-rise buildings under construction.

3. 39,000 realtors

The housing boom has not only caused real estate prices to skyrocket, but it has also resulted in an unprecedented number of realtors. According to the TREB, the number of realtors in the city has reached more than 39,000 — up from about 20,000 a decade ago. That’s one realtor for every 140 people in the Greater Toronto Area.

4. 7.9 times income

Housing prices have surged ahead of income. Over the past 17 years, incomes have risen at a 2.8% compounded annual rate, while house prices have gone up 5.8%. Put another way, house prices have more than doubled over that period, while incomes are up by just a bit more than half.

Back in 1997, the average house price in Toronto of $211,307 was about 4.9 times the median gross household income of $43,560. Today, the average price of $550,725 puts houses at about 7.9 times the average household income, which is $69,934.

5. 43% of income

To buy a house today, a Toronto resident would have spend about 43% of their gross income on housing assuming current average real estate prices, a five-year term, mortgage rates amortized over 25 years, and a 5% down payment. That’s well within historical averages and below the 50% figure breached during Toronto’s 1989 real estate bubble.

However, even a small rise in interest rates could push leveraged buyers over the edge. If mortgage rates were to rise just 2%, the typical new home buyer would have to dedicate 53% of their gross income to housing. That could push thousands of borrowers into default.

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GTA Real Estate Market Report July, 2014

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Sales and Average Price Up Year-Over-Year in July

Greater Toronto Realtors reported 9,198 residential sales through the MLS in July 2014. The number of transactions represented a 9.9% increase compared to 8,367 transactions reported in July 2013.

The number of new listings reported in July was up 8.2% compared to the same period in 2013. Active listings were 19,549 in July-down 4.7% from July  2013.

“The second half of 2014 started where the first half left off, with very strong demand for the diversity of affordable home ownership options in the GTA. Sales were up strongly for most major home types and market conditions actually tightened, with sales growth outpacing listings growth. The result was average price growth well-above the rate of inflation,” said Toronto Real Estate Board President Paul Etherington.

The average selling price continued to grow in July up by 7.5% from the same time last year to $550,700.  Note, the average selling price for 2013 as a whole was up by almost 5.2% to $523,036!!

“Strong demand for ownership housing will underpin robust average price increases for the remainder of 2014. In fact, the pace of price growth that we have experienced over the past year will continue until growth in listings outpaces growth in sales for a sustained period of time,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Senior Manager of Market Analyses.

Sales of Toronto (416 area code) condominium apartments increased by 13.4% from July 2013. The average selling price of a Toronto condo increased  by 4.7% from the same time last year to $379,002.

Condominium apartments accounted for 23.2% of total sales in the GTA for July 2014 while detached homes accounted for 48.2% of the total sales.

Other notable statistics include the average days on the market for July at 24 days, down 14.3% The sales-to-listings ratio for July was 47.0% 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, building 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.


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Why Rents are Softening and What’s in Store for Toronto’s Condo Market

Great article in www.TheGlobeandMail.com

Urbanation Inc., which researches Toronto’s condo market, released its latest rental findings last week. The number of condos rented over the Multiple Listing Service in the Toronto area hit an all-time high of 6,708 during the second quarter, up 26 per cent from a year earlier. But the number of new listings rose by an even greater degree, and so – when measured per square foot – annual rents ticked up by just 0.7 per cent from a year earlier, to an average of $2.37 per square foot.

It marked the second quarter in a row that rents grew by less than 1 per cent on a year-over-year basis, after an average growth rate of 4 per cent during 2013. And the average monthly rent, which can be impacted by the size of condos that renters are moving into, actually fell by 3.2 per cent from a year earlier, to $1,787, as the average size of units being rented shrunk again, by 3.8 per cent, to 755 square feet.

I asked Urbanation senior vice-president Shaun Hildebrand for more details about what he thinks is taking place in the condo rental market in Canada’s most populous city. It’s a pocket of the country’s real estate market that economists are watching closely as they try to determine whether too many condos are being built. Mr. Hildebrand, who used to be a senior market analyst at Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp., talks here about deficiencies in the data, and why he doesn’t think condo rents in Toronto will drop materially.

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Easy and Painless Process

“My wife and I approached David Stoddard long before we decided to sell our condo on King West in downtown Toronto. David provided us with some great advice which made the listing process easy and painless. He provided us with tips on how to make the space show well and on how to get the greatest exposure for our listing. His research on comparable sales in the area was spot on. He gave us a good idea on listing price, which ultimately led to an extremely fast sale.

After we sold our condo, David immediately jumped into a search for the perfect starter home. He methodically mapped out areas in the city that he thought would be ideal for us and he gave us some great insight on all of the different neighbourhoods. We viewed a wide range of properties with David, and throughout this time, his patience was remarkable. He was always upfront with us about his opinions, and never tried to rush us into a purchase. He was great at pointing out everything from the age of the windows, to potential flaws in the structural foundation. His experience really helped us to make informed decisions and even led us to walk away from a few homes.

David eventually found us the perfect home. He contacted us one morning and identified a property that would have otherwise been off our radar. The purchase couldn’t have been any easier. We are so thrilled with our new home!

Through all of this, David’s work was superb. Not only did we find the perfect home, we also developed a life-long friendship with David.

Thanks for all your hard work!”

– Dana and Jeff


What Clients Say









East End Toronto A Developer’s Dream

Great article in www.TheStar.com 

The east is red — as in red hot. Suddenly it seems everyone in Toronto wants to be on the other side of Yonge St., an area avoided for generations.

The latest sign of the east end’s new-found desirability is a large mixed-use scheme proposed by Streetcar Developments, a firm with a long history in the district. The triple-towered project would occupy space south of Queen and Broadview.

Even more transformative is what’s unfolding in the West Don Lands. Under the administration of Waterfront Toronto, the 32-hectare site is fast becoming one of the city’s most intriguing new neighbourhoods. Organized around Corktown Common, a park that sits on a giant mound of earth created to control flooding on the Don River, the district was an industrial wasteland. The cement plant at King and River has been replaced now by elegant condos and social housing whose architecture is as laudable as its intentions.

The massive Athletes’ Village constructed for the 2015 Pan-Am Games will be turned into a student residence for nearby George Brown College once the jocks have departed. With narrow streets and extra-wide sidewalks, accessible park and transit, the Don Lands will be the first neighbourhood in Toronto to incorporate the best of 21st-century urbanism.

Though much remains incomplete, it’s a safe bet the new community will be a busy and vibrant place that attracts families as well as the usual hordes of young and upwardly mobile.

Worth pointing out is the fact that Waterfront Toronto put as much effort into the public realm — park, streets, sidewalks, smart cable system — as it did condo economics. This strategy — build an infrastructure of pleasure and the hard stuff will follow — runs counter to our every civic instinct, but it works. That’s why the blandness beloved by planners, politicians and the nattering NIMBY nabobs they represent has no place in the Don Lands.

But if there was a symbolic moment when the east end officially crossed over into gentrification mode it was when the same firm, Streetcar, bought the much admired Romanesque heap that housed Jilly’s strip club. Sitting on the northwest corner of Queen and Broadview, the venerable red-brick structure will be given new life, perhaps as a hotel.

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Are Service Plans and Home Warranties Worth the Cost?

Great article in http://RealtyTimes.com

Extended warranties, or service plans, offer consumers longer terms of coverage on service, repair and replacement for their home’s appliances than the standard out-of-the-box warranty from the manufacturer.

These warranties are highly profitable for retailers, as they deliver 50% profit, but they also run up the total cost of your washer, dryer, or or refrigerator by as much as $118, according to Consumer Reports.

Are service plans actually worth it? You can argue the benefits both ways.

In the fast-paced world of home electronics, future technology will far outclass today’s products by the time the extended warranty expires. Digitaltrends.com states that household electronics have seen great improvements in product reliability, making the price of most extended warranties about the same as a repair bill. The same is true with most appliances today too.

Consumer Reports data concludes that products “usually don’t break during the two-to-three-year period after the manufacturer’s warranty expires and the service plan is in effect.” And if they do break, the repairs, on average cost only $16 more than the service plan. Most defects will reveal themselves within the first year of use, while the manufacturer’s warranty is still good.

If you’re tempted to buy a service plan, follow this rule — the cost of the warranty should be no more than 10% of the purchase price. That said, extended warranties should be purchased for some items, including those that are difficult to repair or high-priced items that would be painful to replace.

Or you could buy a home warranty for about $500. Explains Amy Hoak, correspondent for MarketWatch, “A home warranty is a service contract that commonly covers the repair or replacement of your home’s appliances and systems, including your heating and air conditioning systems

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Crosstown Construction Will Clog Eglinton For at Least Six Years, But The Heralded Arrival of Mass Transit Sparks Gold Rush of Developers

Sixty years after Toronto opened a subway linking Union Station to Eglinton Avenue, workers are finally digging tunnels to run mass transit under the east-west thoroughfare. It will never be the same.

Crews building Metrolinx’s new Eglinton Crosstown light rail line have left the historic street crippled and clogged, as it will remain for at least six years until its targeted completion in 2020.

At the same time, the heralded arrival of underground mass transit has sparked a gold rush of developers snapping up property along the line, bringing dreams of a glittering canyon of condo towers along the historic stretch.

“New fashion. New retail. New Style,” boast promises covering the plywood at the northwest corner of Yonge and Eglinton, where cranes lift steel girders onto a four-storey skeleton growing on a former square.

RioCan, the real estate giant, is funding this expansion of its Yonge-Eglinton Centre, and has also bought the land on the west side of Yonge Street. They have knocked down the office of my longtime dentist, Dr. Noah Belman, in favour of “Econdos,” one building of 58 storeys and another of at least 34.

North Toronto seems resigned to massive growth, at least at Yonge and Eglinton. I recall the biblical uprising Minto provoked when it proposed a 54-storey tower at this corner a decade ago. RioCan has pushed through a much larger building with barely a whimper.

“Transit always brings change,” says Lorna Day, program manager of urban design for the City of Toronto, who spent two years preparing Eglinton Connects, a study of “travelling, greening and building” along 19 kilometres of Eglinton. “The Crosstown will pull the city’s centre of gravity further north. We see Bloor as our east-west street. We are going to start to see Eglinton as a major east-west artery.”

Ross Moore, who analyzes the real estate market for CBRE Ltd., says the Canada Line, a rail line linking Vancouver’s airport to its downtown, provoked an explosion of development along its route when it opened for the 2010 Olympics.

“TOD. Transit-oriented development. It’s all the rage,” says Mr. Moore. “Everyone wants to get out of their cars. Employers want their employees out of their cars, and the employees want to get out of their cars, too.”

The rush of development plans isn’t limited to Yonge and Eglinton.

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Here is what you can do next:

Free Tour of any Condo or Home

Free Buyer and Seller Reports:

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

Finding a Licensed Home Service Provider..You Can Trust

Are you thinking of doing any repairs, upgrades or renovations to your home?

Do you know somebody who is thinking about doing the same?

Finding a service provider you can trust is typically the first step.

There are many horror stories of service providers that literally rip off home owners with terrible workmanship, poor customer service and dishonourable conduct.

There are a couple of websites I really like that will help make your decisions easier.

1. http://www.baeumlerapproved.ca  

Brian Bauemler is a TV personality ( Leave it to Brian, Disaster DIY).

He has created his list of approved service providers which are available on his website.

Baeumler Approved members are independent with confirmed references, liability insurance and regulatory certification .

2. http://homestars.com/on/toronto   

On this website consumers write a testimonial about work completed and rate various service providers that have worked on their homes.

Once the testimonial is posted and approved by Homestars it remains on the site. No secrets here.

If you have further questions please connect with me, David@DavidStoddard.ca  .

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5 Things That Can Go Wrong On Closing Day

Great article in www.TheStar.com 

Closing day for a house deal is stressful. But no matter how well you plan, you must be prepared for unforeseen things to arise. If you handle them the right way, your deal will still close and more importantly, you’ll be satisfied with the result.

Here are some the things that I have seen come up:

1. Where is my privacy? A seller advertised the home as having large evergreens in the backyard, giving year round privacy. The sellers moved out a week before closing and gave their neighbour permission to trim the branches on the neighbour’s side of the fence. The neighbour proceeded to remove all the branches, taking away the entire privacy of the backyard. The buyers noticed this just before closing and were upset.

The solution was to plant eight cedars in the space, creating instant privacy at a cost of about $1,200 which the seller paid. Problem solved.

2. There is a skunk under the porch: The buyers found a family of skunks under the front porch on the day before closing. The seller’s lawyer said it was not the seller’s responsibility to remove the skunks from the property. It is difficult to tell who would win if this went to court. The seller paid a pest control company $250 to remove the skunks. These companies also specialize in trapping raccoons and removing termites as well. Problem solved.

3. The furnace is not working: Most real estate agreements say home systems and appliances must work on closing. When buyers do the final visits, problems arise if they notice that things aren’t working. The best way to resolve this is to get an estimate to fix the problem and then offer the seller the option of fixing the problem themselves or giving the buyer a credit for the repair.

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Here is what you can do next:

Free Tour of any Condo or Home

Free Buyer and Seller Reports:

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

7 Must-Have Items From IKEA That Look Expensive

Great article in http//:Realtytimes.com 

If you’re like us, you’re giddy to come home from work, check the mail, and see that golden book, the brand-new IKEA catalog, in there. That’s a good couple of hours of “me time” figuring out which Scandinavian items you need, how to pronounce them, and how to schedule enough time at the store to get up to the café for some of those tasty meatballs while filling your cart.

Well, the new catalog arrived in our mailbox this week, and the first thing we did is thumb through and dog-ear the pages we saw with the stuff we need. And there are lots of them. So in the interest of time, we’re sharing a smattering of our faves.

Behold the items from the new IKEA catalog that you have to go out and get right now that look way more expensive than they actually are.

1. ARV dinner plates

This dinnerware looks rustic and elegant in that “could cost $25 a plate” way, but is priced at only $3.99 each. Side plates are also available for $2.99 apiece. Better yet, they come in the hottest color out there: gray (also in white).

2. STOCKHOLM chair

With a distinctive mid-century modern look and a bright pop of Kelly green, this chair makes an impact. But at $119 apiece, your wallet can remain intact. Also available in walnut veneer for $139 each.

Click here for more.

Here is what you can do next:

Free Tour of any Condo or Home

Free Buyer and Seller Reports:

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