Harvey Kalles Real Estate Market Report and Listings Sold and Leased: November 3 to November 16, 2012

Posted by: Elise Stern, Created date: November 27, 2012
First of all: it was announced yesterday that Mayor Ford will be removed from office following his conviction in the conflict-of-interest case that’s been going on for months. It will remain to be seen what effect this might have on Toronto’s real estate market; depending on who replaces Ford (i...
f he is indeed replaced; the judge has allowed him to run again), the picture may be significantly different. We’re certainly watching to see what will happen, and we’ll bring you the latest developments when they arise.
The Toronto Real Estate Board’s mid-month figures from November paint a picture of a market that is, yes, shifting. Sales are down significantly – 17.5%, to be exact – and yet prices are up again, in the same pattern we’ve seen since August. But the decrease in sales is larger, and the price increase is smaller, than we’ve yet seen.
Jason Mercer, Senior Manager of Market Analysis for TREB, blames a “change in the mix of detached homes sold in the GTA” rather than shifting market conditions, noting that fewer super-high-end homes sold this year than last year, which could have depressed the price increase. TREB President Ann Hannah, however, blames – at least in part – the new mortgage rules that came into effect in July. These rules include a 25-year maximum amortization for buyers with down payment under 20%, which could be knocking some eager first-time buyers out of the market, too.
Of course, the goal of these rules was to do exactly what we’re seeing: to cool the market. The Canadian Association of Accredited Mortgage Professionals believes that these changes have gone too far, and that they could actually harm the long-term prospects of the Canadian real estate market, though Flaherty disagrees. Certainly, in Toronto, although the market isn’t as red-hot as we’ve seen it in the past year or two, the word on the street from our own agents is that homes are still selling. They’re often taking longer to sell than they have been, and there aren’t as many frantic bidding wars as we’re used to seeing at this point, they’re selling. (Of course, that could very well be a testament to the skill of our agents!)
Also, as we explained last time, there isn’t a single “Toronto real estate market”: Toronto and the GTA are made up of dozens, even hundreds, of smaller microcosms of real estate.  The general health of the market will of course affect any transaction. But it’s important to work with a real estate agent you trust – now, perhaps, even more than ever – to help you figure out what the deal is with your specific micro-market and how it relates to the market as a whole.
Finally, in times like this when the market is going through either real or perceived shifts, the offer table can get especially anxious. Make sure you’re working with an agent who has your best interests at heart and can get the job done for you so that everyone wins.

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