“Greater Toronto Area households remain upbeat about buying a home, as evidenced by the increase in sales compared to last year,” said TREB president, Paul Etherington. “However, many would-be home buyers continue to have problems getting a deal done due to the lack of listings for some home types. The lack of listings has definitely been a drag on sales this year.”
Indeed, the greatest complaint among agents this year has been the lack of available listings – undoubtedly a frustrating point among buying and selling agents alike. However, that could be good news for those agents representing properties that have been on the market for weeks – or even months – at a time.
“Anything that has been sitting around for more than 30 days or so, the buyers are having to give it a second look,” says Charles D. Waterman, an agent in Toronto. “They’re essentially looking at things they wouldn’t have looked at before.”
In a mid-month report for December, TREB found sales increased 1.9 per cent over the first two weeks of December 2013. Listings, however, were down 1.8 per cent from the same period last year.
Average selling price, however, rose 8.6 per cent to $565,873 for the two-week period, proving that demand is still hot – and competition even hotter – in Canada’s biggest city.
“Initially [buyers will] have to modify their expectations and get a house they might not want at that time,” Waterman says. “But there’s nothing wrong with modifying that house to suit their needs… provided it’s in the right neighbourhood – you know the saying, buy the worst house on the best street.”
The Toronto real estate market is still hot, hot, hot, but according to the latest figures from the Toronto Real Estate Board potential buyers are being forced to reconsider the properties they once overlooked.