February ended with the Toronto Real Estate Board reporting the sale of 9,097 homes, the second-best February in the history of the Board. Entering February with a very low inventory of homes for sale meant that competition between buyers was strong and prices had nowhere to go but up. The average sale-price in February was$1,334,544 up from $1,242,760 in January. As we said last month, do not panic! Monthly fluctuations of the average price are expected and overall prices will increase this year by 10-15%.
As we get into March, the inventory of homes for sale will increase. The slight rise in borrowing rates has been expected and further small increases will be forthcoming. While it will impact some buyers, overall, there will be little impact on buyer demand and prices.
With the number of new realtors entering the industry, (now about 63,000), and the homes selling so quickly, we are seeing some interesting trends, none of them positive. Whether its through poor training, lack of broker supervision or just laziness, some realtors are taking shortcuts in marketing the properties they have listed. These include overpricing and not spending marketing dollars on professional pictures and videos to show off the property to its best. We believe you will see many properties sitting longer on the market, or not selling at all. This may lead people to believe the market is slowing down, when it’s just a factor of poor marketing.
All doctors, lawyers or plumbers are not equally skilled, the same holds for realtors. The old saying a house sells itself is true, but the price one gets is dependent on the experience, marketing and negotiation skills of the realtor one picks.
If you know of someone considering buying, please have them give us a call. We can get them qualified for a mortgage and “lock in “the rate for the next 90 days. In that way if the rates increase, they are protected with the lower rate. Another way our knowledge and experience help our clients!
If you have any questions or need some clarifications about the market, please feel free to give us a call.
We’ve made it through another winter!
Have a great month
Your Friends in Real Estate
Mark and Keith