Winter is the New Spring

Okay, so the title might sound cliche.  But in my humble opinion, it’s an accurate description of what’s going on right now in the Toronto real estate market.

Winter is the New Spring

Last month I sold a semi-detached in Guildwood for $645,000.  Doesn’t sound like a big deal, right?  Well, eight months before that, a similar semi sold for $545,000.  That’s a $100,000 increase.  In just eight months!

Also last month, I showed an older condo in North York to clients looking under the $300k price.  In spite of how old the condo building itself was, the common areas were very (very) well maintained, and the unit itself was immaculate.

Similar ones sold for $290k earlier in 2016.

Guess what this one sold for? $322k. That’s a $32k jump in less than a year.

Just today, I learned that a condo I had shown to two different clients shattered price records in a condo I sell a lot of in Scarborough: 68 Grangeway Avenue.

I had sold a much larger condo, close to 1,000 square feet, earlier in 2016 for $345,000.

This one was a lot smaller, only 861 square feet, and didn’t have the same garden view, eat-in kitchen and spacious interior as the one my client had bought.

And what did it sell for? $371,000. Shattering the two bedroom price record for the building.

We’re in Scarborough. And these are small feats compared to what’s happening in certain parts of Toronto, namely in high demand neighbourhoods, mid-town, and downtown Toronto.

It’s fair to say that ever since last fall and winter, buyers have seen how tight inventory has gotten. We’re seeing a 15-year all time low level of housing inventory in the resale market.

Coupled with that is the ‘hyper-demand’ of homes as Gurinder Sandhu, a Managing Parter at the brokerage I work for, RE/MAX Hallmark, pointed out in a recent weekly meeting.

Straight up, this is a supply AND demand issue.

Demand because we’re seeing more and more sales shattering records month after month, year after year.

Supply because these sales are resulting in fewer listings, AND there are fewer NEW listings coming to the market month after month as well.

Let’s say hyper-demand and hyper-supply-shortage are fuelling this frenzy.

And spring 2017 has just become winter 2017.

Sure, the favourable weather is making it convenient for sellers to list and sell homes, and buyers to go around and look for homes.

And buyers anticipating what the spring market might have in store have pushed their buying process  ahead several months.

The result?

Tighter inventory. Lots of buyers in the market. Multiple offers abound where you don’t usually see them.

(Scarborough condos that took 30-45 days to sell now sell in 1-2 days with multiple offers.)

As a seller, is now the BEST time EVER to sell a home?

Well, in the past 15 years, it is the best time.  You’ve got fewer competing listings.  And lots of buyers voraciously awaiting the opportunity to grab your home.

As a buyer, is it the best time to buy?

If you need to buy, you’re going to have to refine your strategy and expectations.  Remember, real estate is a long term investment. Buyers today are projecting prices into the future and paying a premium to get the property they want. Who knows if this is a sustainable strategy.

Time will tell.

Happy spring… errr… winter!

Winter is the New Spring

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