July has been an outstanding month for the Toronto real estate market.
It is undoubtedly obvious the prices have started to gradually climb and may be ready to take off for the autumn market. Buyers who have been waiting since last year to get a piece of the sweet real estate pie in Toronto have missed the train. Sellers are slowly changing their mindsets to dictate what they want. You still can see a difference in various GTA areas - in some areas, prices are notching up, but in others, all is still gloomy. A good example is Oshawa - while the number of transactions are still very high, it is extremely difficult to sell a property over $800,000.
Toronto is the totally opposite, and any fairly-priced property gets sold within a few weeks. I have to emphasize my statement - properly listed with a market price. Here is an example from a week ago. A small detached house in a reasonable area was listed a little below $700. The listing agent decided to set up a day for potential buyers to submit offers, expecting to get a multiple offer situation and to get a much higher price. The fair price for this house was $740-750. On the offer day, 2 buyers submitted offers, but both offers were below fair market price. It shows two things - first, the market is not as hot as it was last year and buyers want to get a better deal, and second, the listing agent should relist it with a reasonable market price and try to sell it. Instead, the listing agent did not do anything, and today, the house is still on the market with the same below $700 asking price, but when you call the listing agent and asking about the house and how flexible the seller is with the price you getting a shocking answer: this house is worth much more than the listing price and this is the buyer realtor's job to figure out this price and convince his client to pay it. The result of this practice is - the buyer just walking away and the house remaining on the market.
The condo market is still very hot and rent is climbing every day. Purchasers look to condominiums for relative affordability, yet with competition continuing to intensify, property values within the segment now outstrip most detached markets across the country. Sometimes I have a feeling that we have a growing bubble on the increasing weekly rental market in GTA. A two bedroom condo is the best investment on the condo market because of the highest rental demand and the price people are willing and ready to pay.
A large number of realtors traditionally take their summer vacation in August. I spoke to a few people and they all have a few houses in their portfolio to list in September. We are expecting to have more inventory in September, higher demand, and a higher price as well. I will be relisting 2 houses I listed last year because they didn't get sold at the last second due to last year’s weak market. My forecast is things will pick up in the second half of the year and we should expect home prices to be up about 4-5%.