February, 2021

Spring Market in January

These are strange times in real estate.

While we continue on in our daily navigation of the pandemic, mortgage rates are low and people press forward to find housing.  There is a sense on the ground that “now is the time”. Properties listed below $1.5 M are receiving a pandemonium of offers if they have just these few elements of virtue: location, parking, and structural soundness.  People recognize the aesthetics can follow. This is a shift from the sales of two years ago where slick design-forward properties were expected.

Condos are in another category. Small condominiums are not in demand.  Traditionally these have been held by investors who rent them either long or short term, by students and first time buyers.  First time buyers paused on these purchases recognizing that since they are working from home a very small place is just not pleasant.  Obviously the investors and students have been shut down.  These numbers show a decline in value of at least 8%.  There are exceptions of course.  Some suites are just outstanding in their design, exposure and location and they still go in competition.

Times are changing again, and especially for the larger condos. With the disparity in price between 905 and the 416 shrinking there are signs of a return to downtown purchases.   Larger condominiums – those 1300 sq ft are always a rarity and they are about to surge. Older home owners who have been seeing out the pandemic at the cottage or at their properties in the south are coming back to the market.  As they have been away from their big houses for much of the past year, they are planning to sell.  As longtime Torontonians, they still want a sizeable pied a terre – with walls for their art and a guest room plus office. Their lifelong friends are in town as are their favourite restaurants, doctors, arts, sports and more.

Detached and Semi-detached listings are still too few to serve demand. This keeps the prices surging.  The transactions are also surging -but they aren’t enough to serve the population.

Lack of supply is at all levels: from large $5M plus properties to first-time-buyer semis.  As a result Developers are pushing forward with new-build condos.  They anticipate robust demand and the price per square foot they are expecting is plump.



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