WELCOME to my new website. This is a page where I’ll think out loud – think outside the lines – about Toronto homes and neighbourhoods. But I’d like it to be a conversation, so please let me know if I can help with housing questions you’re wondering about or neighbourhood events you’d like to post…
The big question about the Toronto Housing market is still: where is the market going? This question is a challenge even for the experts. Just this past spring, the average price for a detached home in the GTA increased a dizzying 33%, from March 2016 to March 2017, to $1,214,422. Given the shortage of houses for sale, there was an accompanying increase in bidding wars and an increase in buyers who worried that they’d never be able to buy a home again.
The Ontario Government decided to try to calm the waters… On April 20th, they introduced the Fair Housing Plan, “a comprehensive package of measures to help more people find affordable homes, increase supply, protect buyers and renters and bring stability to the real estate market.” If you’d like more details, see https://news.ontario.ca/mof/en/2017/04/ontarios-fair-housing-plan.html.
What’s happened over the past couple of months… in May and June, there was a gradual slowing in the market, most significantly in the suburbs surrounding Toronto. It’s important to note though, that the MLS home price index reports that home prices are still up by more than 25%, June 2017 over last June. (*Toronto Real Estate Board June 2017 stats) I think that this number will continue to recede through the summer, likely leveling off in the fall. Is this just a normal summer slowdown? Is it buyer fatigue? Or is it a result of the Ontario Government’s Fair Housing Plan? More than likely, all of these factors combined are contributing to the change.
Traditionally, summer is a calmer market time, with everyone more focused on vacations and summer fun. However, some of the previous summers were actually ‘hotter’, with higher prices, than some of the previous spring months… another anomaly that makes it difficult to figure out what the market’s doing and where it’s heading.
So, what’s tomorrow looking like…? I think that we’ll see a leveling off in sale prices and in the number of sales – though some AAA properties will still sell at breakneck speeds, for extraordinary values. We may also see a growing ‘hybrid’ market, with some sellers pricing low to create a bidding war, and others pricing their home at a value they’re willing to sell for. In fact, this is already the case in most downtown neighbourhoods, for both houses and condos. A ‘hybrid’ market is very confusing for buyers trying to figure out whether the asking price is deliberately low, to create a bidding war, or it’s set at a price the owners will happily sell for.
Because it’s likely one of the biggest financial decisions that you’ll ever make… the best thing that you can do is to make sure you’re getting sound advice and step-by-step support, from day one. Buying or selling your home is much more than a decision about finances. It’s one of life’s amazing adventures, but it can have its challenges too. If you do it thoughtfully, it’s very exciting and rewarding!