As house sales slump and condos continue to sell, sell, sell, it's beginning to feel like a tale of two housing markets in Toronto.
So, what's next for the Toronto housing market? Is now the best time to buy or sell? And where (if anywhere) can we still get a great deal on property in T.O.?
We chatted to four real estate agents to find out their unique take on navigating the Toronto real estate game.
Elli Davis, Royal LePage Real Estate Services Ltd.
55 St. Clair Avenue West, 416-921-1112
Where do you think the market is headed? I think we can expect a more balanced, realistic market where supply is closer to meeting the demand. Condominiums are experiencing a resurgence due to an abundance of competition at the lower price points. More specifically, I believe Toronto properties will continue to maintain value.
What is the most undervalued area in Toronto? In my opinion, one of the most undervalued areas in Toronto is the pocket between Eglinton to Lawrence and west of Bathurst. The properties are spacious and are close to parks, shopping and easy access to midtown and downtown city core.
What is your biggest real estate regret? My biggest regret is not starting my real estate career earlier. I left teaching when I was 31 years old and have never looked back. There is never a dull day in this industry. Meeting new people and helping them achieve their dreams is always exciting.
What’s the best/worst month of the year to buy a house? Properties are purchased and sold all year round, hence there are no “bad’ months. However, my experience has shown me that the most optimal times for serious buyers are in August and December when most people are in holiday mode.
What’s your #1 tip for selling your property quickly (and for the right price)? My #1 Tip for selling your property for the right price is to hire an experienced, full-time Real Estate Sales Representative — listen to them and always price right.
Jordan Grosman, Partner at PSR Brokerage
Where do you think the market is headed? Market will be flat for 2018 — raising interest rates and baby boomers not leaving the nest, the major causes. I see the market picking back up in a few years.
What is the most undervalued area in Toronto? Dupont from Spadina to Dufferin.
What is your biggest real estate regret? Not holding on to my 6-7 pre-construction condo deals this past decade and renting them out (rental rates are through the roof).
What’s the best/worst month of the year to buy a house? The worst is at the end of December. Right now is a good time to buy — give me a call!
What’s your #1 tip for selling your property quickly (and for the right price)? Listen to your agent and stage your property (it always sells faster).
Catherine Himelfarb Borden, Forest Hill Real Estate Inc.
28a Hazelton Avenue, 416-975-5588
Where do you think the market is headed? Toronto’s real estate market can now be delineated into two completely independent entities: The housing market and the condominium market. Looking back at the past year and with the advent of The Fair Housing Guidelines implemented by the provincial and municipal governments, Toronto has experienced a discernible shift in the housing market with a decrease in pricing and a longer period of time for houses to sell. In other words, a more normalized market.
Concurrently, the downward trend in single family dwellings has coincided with an uptick in condominium sales. Prices for condominiums remain high and new development is continuing at a fervent pace. These two current market trends, combined with the vibrancy of the Toronto market, the constant influx of young educated foreign buyers, and the position of Toronto as a world class city for education, enterprise and finance, guarantees that the real estate market in our city shall remain attractive, vital and relevant for many years to come.
What is the most undervalued area in Toronto? It is difficult to say where Toronto’s next hot spot will emerge. However, buyers are gravitating to the more affordable option of living in The Junction, King Street West and Etobicoke, to name a few. These areas have really taken off with tremendous transformative renovations underway, and wonderful shops and restaurants making them excellent choices for individuals or families wanting to own properties in these changing times.
What is your biggest real estate regret? Naturally, I would have bought more real estate and hung onto it and flipped as the market increased. I would have bought a couple of pre-construction units and sold them on assignment. Honestly, the growth the Toronto market has undergone in the past few years is often mind boggling. I have always maintained the same point of view: buy real estate. It is the only investment that gives you a roof over your head while providing a tax free return on your capital. If I have a regret, it would be that I didn’t buy more myself.
What’s the best/worst month of the year to buy a house? Traditionally the real estate market is the most alive throughout spring and fall. Properties look their best in these months and buyers can go to showings easily in nicer weather. Mid-December, things quiet down as family’s focus on the holidays and travel. In short, the best months of the year to buy are probably in December and August.
Conversely, the best months to sell are February to July and September to December. These months are also good times to purchase because the greatest number of listings are available then, giving buyers more options. No two years are exactly the same and buyers and sellers will always be motivated by life cycle changes first and foremost.
What’s your #1 tip for selling your property quickly (and for the right price)? My motto is to buy and sell in the same market. Assuming that your home listing coincides with your purchase and that you have decluttered and staged etc, then my number one tip is: Listen to your realtor! They are the expert. They can explain the current state of the market, and how to align your expectations with what is happening in your neighbourhood.
Janice Fox, Hazelton Real Estate Inc.
Where do you think the market is headed? We are headed for a more balanced market, where buyers will have a bit more breathing room, and not such a frenzied buying scenario. Sellers will have to adjust their expectations in terms of price and days on market. This is somewhat fragmented though, depending on which segment of the market we are talking about. Some markets are stronger than others.
What is the most undervalued area in Toronto? The Lakeshore west area, New Toronto, is still a relative bargain. Walking distance to the lake and smaller houses with the potential to renovate or add on /build new. There are some bargains here.
What’s the best/worst month of the year to buy a house? Traditionally the most inventory is available in the spring and fall. We taper off in winter and summer. Sometimes the best months to find a buying opportunity are August and December, when there are fewer buyers out there and sellers are motivated to get their property sold.
What’s your #1 tip for selling your property quickly (and for the right price)? Staging the property, either with your own furniture or from a professional stager. The first impression is so crucial, and buyers want to imagine living in the space. We want to ‘sell the dream,’ so we want a WOW factor for the buyers when they walk in the door.