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Article Month-Year   9 Ways to Increase Your Home's Value July 2014 A Christmas Greeting December 2014 Are You Planning to Sell in 2015? November 2014 Are You Ready for Some Lavender Love? July 2014 Art Show & Sale - David Arathoon - Islands in the Sun April 2015 Carbon Monoxide ( CO ) Alarms Now Mandatory in All Ontario Homes October 2014

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Coming Soon: 206-55 Huntingdale Blvd Royal Crest III Condo

206-55 Huntingdale Blvd
Royal Crest III

Finch and Pharmacy
Coming Soon

Offered For Sale By Chip Barkel
$480,000

Spacious Tridel Condo

This spacious condo, currently used as a 1 bedroom plus den and family room, could easily be converted back to a 2 bedroom.

Approximately 1,500 sq. ft. of space.

2 bathrooms + ensuite locker + parking + balcony

Great amenities in the building:

pool, party room, meeting room, tennis courts

Maintenance fee includes heat, hydro, water, cable

Call me for a private showing

Bennington Heights Ravine Executive Home For Sale

Bennington Heights Ravine, Toronto
421 Heath Street East

Offered For Sale By Chip Barkel
$3,500,000

Executive Home in a Secluded Mid-Town Enclave

Open House Saturday, April 13 and Sunday, April 14 2-4 pm

This beautiful, updated ravine home in the heart of Bennington Heights boasts 4 bedrooms, including two master suites, 3-1/2 bathrooms, and 2 fireplaces. This is a great home for entertaining, both inside and out.  The living room and kitchen with a separate formal dining room form the hub of the home, but the real star is the ravine in the backyard. You will have a front row seat to watch the seasons change, from the picture windows across the back of the house, while entertaining on your two-level deck, designed and built by Earth, Inc., or nestled up to your outdoor fireplace on cooler evenings.

This home is like a piece of the country in the heart of the city.

More Photos and Video @ www.421HeathStEast.com

Cottage Dreams: 17102 Highway 35, Algonquin Highlands – Haliburton

Just South of Algonquin Provincial Park

Algonquin Provincial Park is in southeastern Ontario. Its forests, rivers and numerous lakes, including the large Lake of Two Rivers, are home to moose, bears and common loons. The park’s many trails include the Whiskey Rapids Trail, along the Oxtongue River, and the Barron Canyon Trail, with views from the north rim. The Algonquin Logging Museum features a re-created camp and a steam-powered amphibious tug.

Call Me for a Private Showing

 

March 2019 Toronto Real Estate Market Update

 

March 2019 Toronto Real Estate Market Report

The Toronto Real Estate Board’s (TREB) March results reaffirm a predicted shift in the discussion around Toronto’s real estate market. We are no longer talking about a dramatic year over year growth, but rather about the lack of supply and affordability issues from first-time buyers. The intervention of government on both a federal and soon-to-be municipal level may incite more buyers and sellers to enter into the upcoming spring market. This, in turn, may encourage more listings and more sales. This intervention, however, may not impact affordability as such intervention will increase buyer competition, while not dramatically increasing Toronto’s housing supply. The lack of inventory and the affordability issue will not be resolved until Toronto finds creative ways to cut through the bureaucratic red-tape and time delays to adds more new homes.

March 2019’s marginally lower sales growth, as compared to the last three years, was due to a lack of supply in all markets. This slower growth, however, shouldn’t be overstated as the sales difference between 2018 and 2019 were negligible – March 2018 saw 7,188 sales while 2019 saw 7,187 sales. We also saw sales increase in March from February’s disappointing 5025 sales. Since we saw sales grow in January and then a slowdown in February (likely due to weather conditions and not a weakening market), it’s difficult to predict if sales will outpace 2018. Nonetheless, even if sales do slow, it does not necessarily indicate a weakening Toronto real estate market.

Demand for Toronto housing remains high for solid reasons. Our relatively open immigration policy, coupled with our international status as one of the best places to headquarter a technology company, continues to stimulate long-term interest in Toronto’s real estate market. This is evidenced by the fact that both the housing price index (HPI) and the average sale price still remains higher than last year. Toronto properties, including condominiums, sold for an average of $830,043 in comparison to $817,642 in March of last year. It’s important to note that, while March’s average sale price wasn’t higher than February’s sale price of $840,000, this price decline is likely a short term rather than a long-term trend. This conclusion is drawn because the HPI – a more reliable metric that smooths out the swings associated with averages – rose by 5.55% year over year for all housing types in Toronto. Accordingly, today’s prices are a lasting change in buyer’s willingness to pay to work, live and play in Toronto.

The continued price growth in Toronto was not mirrored in the rest of the regions under TREB. For example, while the HPI for the York Region declined by -1.95%, the Peel Region HPI grew by 5.01%. Nonetheless, the overall HPI for “non-Toronto-core” markets declined by -1.46%. Comparing this spotty growth with Toronto’s HPI loosely suggests that Toronto may not be completely inflated by cheap money and foreign buyers, but rather Toronto is a destination for both highly skilled workers and companies to plant their flags.

Two other metrics used to measure market conditions are days on market (DOM) and months of inventory (MOI). While the former metric is not perfect because relisting a property can skew it, it is still useful in understanding how quickly real estate is moving. And it is. In Toronto, all property types sold at a relatively quick pace of 19 days. While this number is not as shocking as the 15 days it took in March 2018 to sell a property, it is still impressive when compared to other desirable markets. New York City regularly sees properties sit for almost 100 days and San Francisco sees homes sit close to 40. What is more, the MOI for all properties in Toronto remains very low at 2.0, confirming that Toronto is still in a seller’s market.

As addressed in our February 2019 Market Report, the last truly affordable housing type, condominium apartments, continued on the path of unaffordability. Condominiums in central Toronto, the place where demand remains highest, sold for an average of $673,330. This is still much lower, however, than the $2,009,104 average commanded by detached homes in the same area. Given this staggering number, the activity in the mid-priced condominium market may be fuelled by necessity rather than by choice of lifestyle.

Even though the high-end property market has fewer buyers, sales continued to grow. In March 2019, 139 properties with a sale price of $2 Million or more across all TREB regions were sold. This is an improvement over the 118 sales from last month. An interesting trend in 2019 is that almost 10% of homes sold in the luxury market are condos, as opposed to detached or attached homes. The reason for condo purchases in the luxury market, however, is markedly different than the reason for condo purchases in the mid-market. High end buyers, unlike mid-market buyers, are choosing condos because of lifestyle and not because of necessity.

As we move into the spring market, we anticipate more properties coming to Toronto’s market. These properties, however, may still be out of reach for mid-market buyers looking to live in the Toronto core. While continued low interested rates coupled with the federal government’s housing assistance plan may encourage buyers to become active in the market, this support will not be enough to improve Toronto’s affordability, thereby forcing most buyers to look to the more “depressed” 905 regions and causing a slow-down in Toronto’s year over year price growth.

PREPARED BY:

Natalka Falcomer, Vice President, Corporate Development

Canada’s BIGGEST Pizza: The 416 Pizza

 

Giorgio Taverniti, owner of Frank’s Pizza House on St. Clair Avenue West makes great pizza. Recently Joel Hansen approached him with a novel idea: Would Giorgio be interested in making Canada’s BIGGEST pizza? Why not? Giorgio measured his pizza oven, had a pizza pan custom made, and assembled a crew of helpers for the big day.

26 lbs. of homemade pizza dough, sauce, cheese, and pepperoni later, The 416 Pizza, came out of the oven and was born. It was dubbed The 416 Pizza because it is 416 ounces or 26 lbs. (about 12 kg). The giant pizza took up the entire oven, wall to wall, measuring in at 33” x 43”.

That’s as long as a small child.

A good time was had by all from watching the assembly to eating the masterpiece.

You too can enjoy The 416 Pizza. Just call Frank’s Pizza House and book ahead to have your own edition of Canada’s Biggest Pizza. Dine in only, since it likely won’t fit in your car. Don’t worry; Frank’s Pizza House also makes smaller pizzas. I have tasted them all, and, they are all just as good.

February 2019 Toronto Real Estate Market Report

 

February results were expected to continue what we saw in the first month of 2019 — modest growth in sales and average sale prices. That didn’t materialize. I have generally not regarded the weather as having a material impact on the residential resale market, but this February may be the exception.

This February we saw a modest decline in sales compared to February last year. This year 5,025 properties were reported sold, a small decline of 2.4 percent compared to the 5,148 properties reported sold in February 2018. The reason for this decline, particularly in the 416 regions, was simply due to a lack of inventory. Since January saw a year-over-year increase in supply, the only plausible explanation is the weather. February brought three major snowstorms, and effectively paralyzing the greater Toronto area on three different occasions, with snow mounting to shocking levels. It is not surprising that properties did not come to the market.

In February only 9,828 properties came to market, 6 percent less compared to the 10,473 that became available last year. Even the 10,473 properties that became available last year were insufficient to meet demand. Consequently, as we enter March, we are marginally lower than the properties available to buyers last year, and most of the properties are in the 905 regions of the greater Toronto area. Of the 13,284 properties available for sale, 70 percent of them, or 9,352, are located in the 905 regions.

It is clear that demand is present and because of supply shortages, it is beginning to pent up. In February the properties that sold caused the average sale price to increase for the second month in a row. All properties sold for $780,000 in February, almost 2 percent higher than last February’s sale price of $767,000.

In the City of Toronto, the average sale price increased dramatically to $840,000 (a price which includes all condominium apartment sales), at least 10 percent more than the average sale price in the 905 regions. The clearest example of both the supply shortages and the impact on average sale prices is February’s average sale price for semi-detached property in the City of Toronto. In February the average sale price came in at a shocking $1,087,363. Semi-detached property sales only exceeded $1 Million during the frenetic increase in prices in late 2016 and the early months of 2017.

The length of time that properties spent on the market also demonstrates how strong the City of Toronto’s resale market continues to be. In February all properties available for sale in the greater Toronto marketplace sold in only 25 days. In the City of Toronto, sales happened at a lightning speed of 22 days. Semi-Detached properties both in the 905 regions and the City of Toronto sold even faster – 18 and 15 days, respectively. What is astounding and further proof that supply is insufficient to meet demand, is that all semi-detached properties sold for more than their asking price. At 102 percent in the 905 regions and at 106 percent in the City of Toronto.

It is concerning that the last truly affordable housing type, condominium apartments, is rapidly becoming unaffordable. In February all condominium apartments sold in the City of Toronto (on average) for $612,000. In Toronto’s central districts, where most condominium apartment sales take place, the average sale price came dangerously close to $700,000. With the increase in mortgage interest rates and the implementation of mortgage stress testing, these prices are making it very difficult for first-time buyers to enter Toronto’s real estate market.

At the other end of the real estate spectrum, higher-end property sales continue to strengthen. In February 118 properties having a sale price of $2 Million or more were reported sold. This compares favorably to the 126 sold last year. It is interesting to note that condominium apartments accounted for almost 10 percent of sales in this price category.

As we move into March and improving weather conditions, we anticipate more properties coming to the market to meet demand. It would appear that buyers have accepted higher interest rates and mortgage stress testing but are frustrated by their inability to find suitable properties for sale, especially semi-detached properties in the City of Toronto.

Prepared By:

Chris Kapches, LLB, President and CEO, Broker

 

January 2019 Toronto Real Estate Market Report

 

2019 started positively, surprising many who were anticipating the double-digit declines that the Toronto and area residential resale marketplace delivered in November and December of last year. Although moderate, January delivered increased sales volume and average sale prices compared to January 2018.

There were 4,009 sales reported in January, a less than 1 percent increase compared to 2018, but an increase nonetheless. Encouragingly, January’s positive results were due to an improvement in Toronto’s 905 region. The Greater Toronto Area was dramatically impacted by the provincial foreign buyers’ tax and has lagged behind the Toronto 416 market since the spring of 2017. In January, the 905 region’s sales were up by 2.5 percent compared to last year, while the City of Toronto’s sales declined by 3.5 percent. The decline in City of Toronto sales was not caused by a decline in demand. Rather the decline was driven by a chronic shortage of supply. At the end of January, the Greater Toronto Area had 2.7 months of inventory, whereas the City of Toronto found itself with only 1.9 months of inventory. The difference in inventory is also reflected by the fact that sales in the 905 region took place in 33 days (on average), yet it took only 29 days for all properties in the City of Toronto to sell.

Another positive aspect to January’s performance is the supply of new properties that came to market. In January, 9,456 new properties became available to buyers. This is a favorable 10.5 percent increase compared to the 8,561 new listings that became available last year. Entering February, active listings were slightly higher than last year. February began with 11,962 active listings compared to the 11,894 available last year. The bulk of these listings are located in the 905 region. OF the 11,962 active listings, 8,387, or more than 70 percent, are located in the 905 region.

January’s average sale price came in at $748,328, an increase of almost 2 percent compared to last year’s average sale price of $735,874. This is exactly the kind of increase that reflects a stable and sound market, not the double-digit monthly increases that became common place in 2016 and early 2017. Double digit increases in average sale prices become unsustainable and unfortunately can lead to painful corrections.

In this regard Toronto’s high-end residential market continues to adjust. In January, 76 properties having a sale price of $2 million or more were reported sold. This compared to 90 reported sold during the same period last year. The adjustment is also evident in the sale price to listing ratio witnessed in January. Detached properties in Toronto’s central districts are the most expensive properties in the Greater Toronto Area. All detached properties in these districts sold for 95 percent of their asking price. This ratio was much lower than detached properties in other trading districts. For example, all detached properties in Toronto’s eastern districts sold for 100 percent of their asking price. The fact that the average sale price in the eastern districts is half ($916,588) that of the central districts ($1,938,617) is no doubt responsible for this divergence. Higher- end properties accelerated more dramatically during the pre-2017 introduction of the Ontario Fair Housing Plan and are retracting proportionally, especially with the introduction of the 15 percent foreign buyers’ tax.

Condominium apartments continue to be the most affordable housing form, but again, because of supply, average prices continue to increase. In January, the average sale price in the City of Toronto increased by almost 9 percent to $591,444. In Toronto’s central districts, where most condominium apartment sales are located, the average sale price came in at $677,997, a 10 percent increase compared to last year’s prices. In January, there were only 1,738 condominium apartments for sale in the City of Toronto and only 1,093 in Toronto’s central districts where most sales take place. This shortage of supply will continue to put upward pressure on prices, constrained only by affordability.

Although it is a little early in the year to be forecasting for 2019, January’s results – sales volumes, price increases and increases in supply – all point to a healthy 2019. Last year only 77,375 residential properties were reported sold, the lowest number since the recession of 2008. Barring any unexpected economic events this year, we should see between 83,000 and 85,000 reported sales, with average sale prices increasing by about 2-3 percent. January’s average sale price came in at $748,328. Last year’s annual average sale price was $787,000. By year-end Toronto and area’s average sale price should be approximately $800,000. From a long-term sustainability prospect we should be thrilled with this number.

PREPARED BY:

Chris Kapches, LLB, President and CEO, Broker

Pantone Colour of the Year for 2019: Living Coral

Pantone Colour of the Year for 2019

“Living Coral”

Vibrant, yet mellow PANTONE 16-1546 Living Coral embraces us with warmth and nourishment to provide comfort and buoyancy in our continually shifting environment. Living Coral is a colour you can live with.

In reaction to the onslaught of digital technology and social media increasingly embedding into daily life, we are seeking authentic and immersive experiences that enable connection and intimacy. Sociable and spirited, the engaging nature of PANTONE 16-1546 Living Coral welcomes and encourages light-hearted activity.

Symbolizing our innate need for optimism and joyful pursuits, PANTONE 16-1546 Living Coral embodies our desire for playful expression. Representing the fusion of modern life, PANTONE Living Coral is a nurturing color that appears in our natural surroundings and at the same time, displays a lively presence within social media.

PANTONE 16-1546 Living Coral emits the desired, familiar, and energizing aspects of color found in nature. In its glorious, yet unfortunately more elusive, display beneath the sea, this vivifying and effervescent color mesmerizes the eye and mind. Lying at the center of our naturally vivid and chromatic ecosystem, PANTONE Living Coral is evocative of how coral reefs provide shelter to a diverse kaleidoscope of color.

 

David Arathoon is a Toronto artist who paints in oils and often captures creativity and peace in our natural habitat. His flamingo channels Living Coral very effectively         http://www.davidarathoonstudio.com/

  

 

 

 

 

December 2018 Toronto Real Estate Market Report

 

December 2018 Toronto Real Estate Market Report

There were no surprises in December. The year came to an end as expected. Higher borrowing costs and the new stress testing measures implemented at the beginning of the year are now a driving force in the Toronto housing landscape. The landscape is now one of moderating sales volumes and average sale prices, as was made evident in December’s resale data.

In December sales declined by more than 22 percent compared to last year. Last December 4,876 properties were reported sold by Toronto and area realtors. This year that number shrank to 3,781, the lowest number of December sales since the 2008 recession. December’s sales brought total sales for 2018 to 77,426, a decline of 16 percent from the 92,000 plus sales recorded in 2017, and more than 30 percent fewer than the 113,000 sales reported in 2016. In 2016 mortgage interest rates were half of what they are today, and borrowers did not have to qualify subject to rigid stress testing rules.

In December the average sale price for all properties reported sold in the greater Toronto area held up well, coming in at $750,180, 2.1 percent higher than the $734,847 average sale price achieved last December. On an annualized basis, however, Toronto’s average sale price declined by slightly more than 4 percent, from $822,000 last year to $787,000 in 2018.

 

The decline in overall average sale prices was driven primarily by the decline in sales and sale prices for Toronto and area’s more expensive properties. In December only 82 properties having a sale price of $2 Million or more were reported. Last December 116 were reported sold. In December 2016, 140 properties were reported sold in this price category. On a year-to-date basis, 2,077 $2 Million plus properties were reported sold. In 2017, 3,435 properties in this price category changed hands, an eye-popping 40 percent decline. It should be noted that the bulk of these sales took place in the first 4 months of the year before the Ontario Fair Housing Plan and increased interest rtes took effect.

Notwithstanding these negative figures, the landscape for resale housing remains fractured. It could be argued that these negative numbers are due not only to higher borrowing costs and the stress testing measures but to a lack of supply. In December only 4,308 new listings came to market. Last December 6,289 new listings came to market, a decline of over 30 percent. Heading into 2019 there were only 11,431 properties in the greater Toronto area available for buyers, a decline of more than 11 percent compared to the almost 13,000 available properties last year at this time. Most of the available properties are located in the 905 regions of the greater Toronto area. In the City of Toronto, there are only 3,270 properties available to buyers. In fact, 72 percent of all available inventory is located in the 905 regions.

These inventory levels mean that there will be neighbourhoods, particularity in the City of Toronto, where demand far outstrips supply. This was evident in Toronto’s eastern neighbourhoods, (Riverdale, Leslieville, Beaches), were even in December all properties reported sold generated sale prices exceeding their asking price by more than 100 percent. Semi-detached properties in these neighbourhoods sold for more than 105 percent of their asking prices, and in just 11 days or faster.

The inventory shortage can be dramatically illustrated by looking at detached and semi-detached properties available for sale in the City of Toronto. At the end of December, only 377 new detached properties came to market, not many more than the 340 that sold in the month. The situation for semi-detached properties is even more severe. At the beginning of this year, there were only 154 active listings in the entire City of Toronto, only 38 more properties than the 116 semi-detached properties that sold in December. The situation for condominium apartments parallels the shortage of semi-detached properties.

These property shortages would normally result in substantial price appreciation. Normal however is no longer 2.5 percent 5-year fixed mortgage interest rates. Bank posted rates are currently 5.59 percent, and even if that isn’t the rate borrowers will have to pay, the buyers will, because of stress testing, be required to qualify at that rate. The disappearance of cheap and easy money is now driving the Toronto and area market place.

Looking forward, certainly, in the short term, there is nothing on the horizon that will see any dramatic changes to the current Toronto real estate market. Sales volumes will be lower than historic norms, and average prices will continue to moderate. Currently, unemployment numbers are at a 40-year low. Subject to stability in the mortgage markets, wages should start to rise beyond inflationary levels which with time will ease our prevailing affordability problems, which in turn should see moderate increases in sales volumes and to some extent in average sale prices. The process will be slow with both buyers and sellers at times adjusting painfully to the new resale landscape.

Prepared by Chris Kapches, LLB, President and CEO, Broker

Deciding To Move in Your Golden Years

About 90% of those 65 or older want to stay in their homes for as long as possible, according to AARP (American Association of Retired Persons). In order for that to happen, it’s important to have a plan. Aging in place could mean staying in your current residence or downsizing to something smaller in the neighbourhood. Making a move to something nearby allows you to find alternative accommodation with on-site support ranging from occasional, regular assistance, or chronic care.

1. Explore the Benefits of Staying Put
2. Do a Home Safety Check
3. Assess transportation
4. Ensure a supportive community or network
5. Look at Options Nearby in the Neighbourhood
6. Make it an Ongoing Process

But, eventually the day will come when you and your family decide that the time has come to sell your long-time home and move on. You don’t have to feel overwhelmed by the daunting task of moving after decades in the same house.

As a Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES), I work with teams of professionals who can help you and your family including
professional down-sizers who will help you sort, discard, disperse, and decide what will fit in your new residence. You will probably decide to keep your most precious pieces, or even treat yourself to new items chosen especially for your next place.

I can help you find your next residence as well. There are many options. I can refer you to communities that cater to senior independent living; there are life lease homes where someone else takes care of the outside; condominiums to purchase or lease. Whether it is something smaller or larger all on one floor, we will find you something that also feels like home.

If you are contemplating a move in the new year, give me a call (416-925-9191).

I am happy to meet with you to discuss all of the options available to you.