Archive for July 2019

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How my SRES Designation Benefits My 55+ Clients

Seniors have specialized needs. Some of them are emotional, some practical, and some physical. Sometimes a senior moves after a spouse dies. The deceased spouse may have been the financial decision-maker or may even have been a primary caregiver, and the surviving spouse is struggling to cope or just lonely. Add age to the mix. It is not uncommon for a senior homeowner to be in their 70s, 80s, or even 90s. Packing is hard enough when you were in your prime; it’s harder and sometimes just not possible in later years.

I am a Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES), the only senior designation recognized by the National Association of Realtors. If a homeowner hasn’t bought or sold real estate in 30, 40, or 50 years, then the whole process of selling needs to be re-learned, since so many real estate details have changed in those years. I know and expect the process to take longer, and that’s O.K. This move was a long time coming. It is about making the move of a lifetime. You are only going to do this once. You want to do it right.

Seniors bought the family home, raised their children, and stayed put. Their stuff accumulated and so did their children’s. Add age and physical deterioration to the mix and it’s no wonder people feel overwhelmed. For some, just coping with day-to-day activities is challenging enough, let alone downsizing and moving. Organizing all of that stuff and disposing and dispersing personal belongings can be overwhelming. Not only do the possessions hold major sentimental and emotional significance, but the amount of work is also often beyond the physical limitations of many seniors.

I understand these emotional and physical parameters and I can recommend exceptional professionals who will help, disperse, dispose, and organize the “stuff”. They can even help you choose what will go on to your next home. I work with my clients, and their families, every step of the way from the moment they decide to sell their current home to completing their transition to their new home.

This transition for seniors can be very stressful, and often the responsibility of moving a senior relative also falls to another senior family member. These days it is not uncommon for a parent in their late 80s or early 90s to be assisted by a child who is themselves a senior in their 60s or 70s. Seniors can be any age from 55 and up. And the 55-65-year-old children may still be balancing responsibilities of their careers, a spouse who requires attention, and their own children. Much more common today than in generations past: seniors have children, but they live several time zones away. Senior homeowners contemplating a move can benefit from a Real Estate Specialist like me, who understands their needs. Many seniors desire is to “age in place”. Aging in place may mean relocating to something smaller, maybe on one level, but in the same community: near places of worship, friends, and other emotional anchors. There are a variety of options. Understanding these dynamics and being familiar with the professional resources to meet the emotional and physical needs is crucial to dealing with senior clients with the empathy and respect they deserve.

Let’s start by chatting and discussing your particular situation and exploring possibilities. If you are 55+ and looking at making a move to the next chapter in your life, or for someone close to you, call me and let me help you with my skills, knowledge base, and professional resources as a Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES).

May 2019 Toronto Real Estate Market Report

 

May 2019 Toronto Real Estate Market Report

For the second month, the Toronto and area market place produced double-digit increases compared to the same month last year. In May 9,989 residential properties were reported sold in the greater Toronto area, a stunning 19 percent increase compared to the 8,402 that sold in 2018. The recovery of the Toronto housing market is due to a number of factors. The mortgage stress testing rules introduced in January 2018 appear to have been absorbed by buyers. More resale properties have come to market, although still not enough to create a balanced market. And lastly, interest rates have edged downward, softening the impact of the new mortgage stress testing.

It comes as no surprise that with the increase in the number of sales, average sale prices have also continued their upward momentum, although not as dramatically as the number of reported sales. In May the average sale price came in at $838,540, 3.6 percent stronger than the $809,305 average sale price achieved last year.

In the City of Toronto, average sale prices were even stronger. The average sale price for all properties sold in the City of Toronto came in at $937,804, 12 percent higher than the greater Toronto average sale price. This is a particularly startling number when it is remembered that it includes condominium apartment sales, the bulk of which are located in the City of Toronto. Almost 70 percent of all condominium apartment sales take place in Toronto (416 region). They continue to be the least expensive housing form available to buyers, although “least expensive” is becoming a relative term.

The increase in the average sale price was driven by an increase in the number of expensive homes that sold in May. This month 293 properties having a sale price of $2 Million or more were reported sold. That compares favourably with the 243 that were sold in 2018, a 20 percent increase. Over the past two years, higher-end sales have been relatively dormant.

In May 19,386 new property listings came to market, an almost identical number to the 19,237 that came to market last year. Unfortunately, the new listings that came to market were insufficient to effectively increase the supply. At the end of May, there were 20,017 properties available to buyers in the greater Toronto area, almost 5 percent less than were available at the same time last year. As the resale market moved into June there were 2.5 months of inventory in the 905 and only 2 months of inventory in the City of Toronto.

 

Not only did more properties sell in May with rising prices, but all sales took place at lightning speed. All properties sold (on average) in only 19 days. Depending on the type of property and location, the speed of sales was even faster. For example, semi-detached properties in Toronto’s central core sold in only 14 days. In Toronto’s eastern districts they sold in only 10 days, at 106 and 109 percent over the asking price, respectively. Generally, it took much longer for properties to sell in the 905 region, ranging from 25 days in the Halton region to 36 days in Simcoe County. Sale in the York region took 27 days.

In May 2,542 condominium apartments were reported sold, almost 70 percent of them were located in the City of Toronto. The average sale price for all condominium apartments sold was $648,891. In Toronto’s central core, where 63 percent of all reported sales were located, the average sale price came in at an eye-popping $718,455. What may be even more startling is that all these condominium apartments sold in only 17 days and at 100 percent of their asking prices.

Notwithstanding that condominium apartments are now becoming quite pricey, the supply still remains insufficient to meet demand. At the beginning of June, there were only 2,568 condominium apartments available to buyers, more or less the same number as were available last year when the average sale price was $40,000 less than it is this year. To qualify for an average priced condominium apartment in Toronto’s central core now requires a household income of substantially more than $100,000 annually and a 10 percent down payment of more than $70,000.

Looking ahead to June we can anticipate that sales will probably decline from May’s torrid pace to a more moderate 9000 sales, with the average sale price increasing moderately by about 3 percent. Price increases in this modest range are exactly what the Toronto resale market needs in order to remain sustainable.

 

Chris Kapches, President and CEO, Broker