Agents managing expectations amid high prices

by Jordan Maxwell08 Jun 2015
With supply and demand increasingly becoming an obstruction to buyers in some of Canada’s larger cities, more agents are asking their client’s one key question: Do you really need that big house?

“I’m introducing my clients actively to different neighbourhoods that aren’t active to them,” said David Anderson Oey, a sales representative with Harvey Kalles Real Estate Ltd.

“If they live in central Toronto they’re looking there, but I’ll show them west Toronto. If I can’t afford to buy a Lexus, I’ll look for an Infinity.”

His comments back up trends taking place in Toronto with new records set for prices and sales in recent months. In a climate that’s become almost impossible for some millennials and other groups to buy, Oey’s assertion is one that he’s increasingly mentioning to his clients, settling their expectations to homes they can afford.

The biggest issue remains supply, which remains so far behind demand it’s created a climate of bidding wars among frantic buyers, boosting house prices to almost unthinkable levels – an average of $1.15 million is what’s required for a detached house in the City of Toronto.

That’s why it’s important for clients to temper their expectations and start small, Oey said. It may not come with all the fixings, he says, but it’s important to remember that it’s an investment that can be fixed to a client’s liking in time.

“You have to try to find other neighbourhoods,” he said. “I ask them: Do they really need a big house? They can comfortably buy a smaller space and they’re in the community they want to be, [despite not having the perfect home].”

Just this month, the region set a new record in May for sales, according to numbers from the Toronto Real Estate Board. The average price of houses and condos climbed 11 per cent last month and saw a year-over-year increase to $649,599, up from $584,946.

“With no relief so far on the listings front, expect similar rates of price growth as we move through the remainder of 2015,” said Jason Mercer, TREB's senior market analyst, in a statement.

“At this point, a number of months where listings growth outstrips sales growth would be required to satisfy pent-up demand.”

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