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January 2021 Toronto Real Estate Market Report

January 2021 Toronto Real Estate Market Report

January 2021 Toronto Real Estate Market Report

The Spring market has started. Or did the fall market never end? Just last month we were extolling the lofty numbers of December’s real estate sales and in January the number of sales is up, average prices are up, condo sales are up, and offers are flying in 17% faster.  The number of properties sold in January 2021 was 9,430 up 20% over January 2020’s number of 7,836 and 61% higher than December 2020. Days on Market (DOM) has also decreased from 29 to 24 days. Despite the snow on the ground, these numbers are typical of an early Spring market.

Prices were up on a year-over-year basis for all major home types, both in the City of Toronto and surrounding GTA regions, with the exception of condominiums. A repeat of last month. In December the average sale price for all properties sold in the greater Toronto area came in at $967,885, about 4% higher than December’s average price of $932,004 and a healthy 15% higher than January 2020’s average price of $839,363.

In the City of Toronto, the average sale price came in a bit lower at $866,331 which represents a -3.2 change over last month and a -10.5% difference from the Toronto Real Estate Board’s overall numbers. Anecdotally, we have heard that many are choosing to buy in the suburbs where their money buys more square footage, larger gardens, and closer proximity to green space and now the numbers seem to support that. Both Halton and York region’s average sale prices were 20% higher than Toronto, with only Durham being -9% lower.

It is also worth noting that the higher end of the marketplace continued to be robust, as well.
In January, 331 properties having a sale price of $2 million or more were sold, only 3 of which were condominiums. By comparison, only 130 properties in this category were reported sold last year (14 were condos), an impressive increase of 55%. This confidence in higher-end homes shows stability and bodes well for the near future.

In December condominium sales were up 73.8% compared to last year. January added to that trend: condominium sales were up 85% over January a year ago. Despite the fact that the average selling price of condos is down (-8%) year over year, this indicates that condos are in demand again. I have found that with my own clients. I have a few clients who are trying to buy in the 905 area. Multiple offers, bully offers, and sale prices tens of thousands of dollars over list price is the norm. Just getting in see a place is sometimes impossible before the unit is sold.

The number of condos sold in the City of Toronto in January was 2,471 and the average price was $624,886.

The strong January market is not really a surprise. Interest rates are still low, the stock market is on fire, and there is pent-up demand, in spite of new listings being up 20%. Working from home has made many realise that they need more space with both parents needing home office space and the children homeschooling as well. Nesting at home will be with us for a while.

– Chip Barkel, Sales Representative, eXp Realty. Extraordinary Service. Top Results.


Why You Shouldn’t Sell to the Builder’s Agent Who Knocks on Your Door

We all know that Willowdale and many other parts of the city are very, very hot sellers’ markets, especially for larger lots with older homes on them. These lots can usually accommodate much larger houses than were built in the 1950s. Sometimes two houses can be built on one existing lot. Houses are selling in a matter of days if they are priced right. It’s not uncommon to have many, many offers for one property. I know of one house, which attracted a whopping 30 offers. Of course, it sold well above the already competitive asking price. When houses don’t sell quickly, it is usually because the price starts out too high.

Builders and their agents are trying a new tactic. Knocking on the door of owners of older homes and telling them they have a builder ready to buy their house. Cash. The closing date is entirely up to you. Just sign here. NOW. Often the offer is not a bad price. And, they are cutting out any other competition, which is good for them, but not for you. So, what’s the problem? Well, usually these owners are older. Many of them have lived in their house for 50 or 60 years, often in the only home, they have ever owned. So, none of them have ever sold.

Here’s what they don’t know. If you market your home to only one person, you will never know if the price you were paid for your house was fair market value. If fact, we know it was NOT fair market value, because the house was not on the market. Another important fact is that agent who knocked on your door is not working for you. She (or he) is working for the BUYER. You are UNREPRESENTED. I cringe when I am told, “they pressured me. We’re old and we caved in to their pressure. I hope we made the right decision.” It’s like closing the barn door after the horse is gone. It’s just too late to do anything. We will never know.

I had clients who were offered $1,900,000 for the home they had occupied for 60 years.

I explained that while this was a “reasonable” price, we would have no idea if it was the “best” price until we marketed the home properly and attracted as many offers as possible. Just a few months later, they accepted an offer after I marketed the property that was $350,000 higher than the previous offer. And, guess what, it was the same agent who had offered the lower amount. Yes, you read that right, $350,000 more.

Owners who are pressured usually feel they have to make a decision TODAY, maybe even in a few hours. The fear is that this offer will expire and they will lose out. So, what to do? Hire an agent who WILL work for you, and market your house to the widest possible audience. If that builder who wanted your house before, and was pressuring you through their agent, is offering a good price, he will come to the table with everyone else. If his offer was a good one, he will present it through YOUR agent, usually at a higher price, when in competition. Then, whether you receive one offer or 30, you will be in control of accepting the offer with the best price and the best possible terms for you. You will have peace of mind. You wouldn’t expect an auctioneer to accept the very first bid offered, so why would you do that with your biggest asset? Remember, you are only going to sell your house once.

Do it right. Hire an agent you know, like, and trust. Call anytime.

– Chip Barkel, CLHMS, MCNE, SRES, REDM, Toronto Real Estate. Extraordinary Service. Top Results. 

Decorating Baby’s Room? Start With Art

duck palletteFurnishing a nursery can be daunting, expensive and stressful. You may or may not know what sex your new baby will be. Even if you know, maybe baby +1 will be the opposite sex.  So, if you were to plan a baby girl’s nursery, in a couple of years, it might not be appropriate for her baby brother. Add to that, the days of pink for girls and blue for boys, is, well let’s just say it’s less than imaginative, and leave it at that.

I was the last of three: baby brother and two older sisters. My bedroom was wallpapered with a light aqua blue background with ‘active’ kittens as I call them doing things. Doing things like pushing wheelbarrows and wielding small shovels. It must have been a subliminal garden theme. I seem to remember the kittens had small colourful scarves or ribbons around their necks. I had one or two of them that were my favourites. They all seemed to have their own personality. The aqua blue wasn’t too masculine and the kittens weren’t too feminine.  They were busy and having a good time. I spent so many wakeful minutes during my afternoon nap time, imagining the fun those kittens were having. Eventually, I got older, and at about age five, my mother painted over those ‘active’ kittens, much to my disappointment.

When I met New York artist, Lisa Zador, and saw her Curious Portraits, they immediately took me back to that nursery wallpaper and the fond memories of my childhood. She specializes in images that have a nostalgic look, reflecting her love of bygone advertising and illustration. All of her work is hand painted in gouache, watercolor, or oil in two distinct styles: One is painterly and classic, the other lively and humorous. It is also whimsical, anthropomorphic, and imaginative. They are all fun and playful.

dog-portrait-nosferatu moon-man-portrait-victorian Mr Softee Mr-Peanut-portrait polar-bear-portrait-red rabbit-portrait-couple-farmers Rabbit-Portrait-White-Victorian sock monkey steiff-rabbit-vintage-sleeping uncle-omelette-egg-man-anthropomorphic Ventriloquist-Dummy-Blue Ventriloquist-Dummy-Clown

So, when you are planning your nursery or small child’s bedroom décor, Start With Art and make it fun and playful. The colours will give you a jumping off point and you will be opening a window to your child’s imagination. Mr. Peanut brings back memories of the Atlantic City boardwalk for me. It would be a great start of a beach themed room. The Polar Bear would set the stage for a winter themed room. And bunnies are loved by children universally. You are only limited by your imagination. So many pieces of Lisa’s artwork are appropriate for both boys and girls. And all of them have rich vibrant colours.  Lisa Zador’s work is art your children will never outgrow. Of course, when I was touring her studio, I wanted them all.

So save your big money for quality furniture pieces, which will grow with baby and Start With Art.

You can find Lisa’s work at or in her Curious Portraits shop on