Agents sound off on the country’s hottest market

by Justin da Rosa on 19 May 2017
Leading agents argue there’s nothing to worry about, despite reports to the contrary.

Toronto real estate performance in April -- specifically the uptick in new listings -- is a seasonal blip in the market's radar, according to leading agents.

“I have sensed a touch of a slowdown, but not significant,” Robert Greenberg, an agent with Harvey Kalles Real Estate, told REP. “I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that it’s the spring market and usually the inventory does increase regardless of this (new housing plan).”

Home sales in the Greater Toronto area were down 3.8% year-over-year in April and listings were up 33.1%.

This has caused some cause for concern in the media, with some reports claiming the market has been “turned on its head” and that the uptick in listings is overwhelming buyers.

That’s just not the case, according to Mark Richards, an agent with RE/MAX Hallmark Richards Group Realty.

“I definitely don’t think there’s cause for concern; I think it’s a seasonal thing,” he said. “We’ve had months without supply and now buyers have a little bit of product to actually look at. Product is selling, which is fantastic, and I think that as long as transactions keep happening that our market is going to stay healthy. If they were not selling, I think it would turn into a buyer’s market.”

According to Tim Hudak, president of the Ontario Real Estate Association, there has been a drop in the instance of bidding wars over the past month.

“The realtors I’ve heard from are telling me that there are fewer people in bidding wars,” he told the Toronto Sun. “That’s not just in Toronto, but also other parts of the Golden Horseshoe, and there are fewer people coming to open houses.

Richards does expect Ontario’s new housing plan, announced last month, will contribute to a tempering of home appreciation, but that a downright downturn in prices is unlikely.

“If you take a look at the 20+% the GTA was up last year, we’re still in a very fortunate situation,” Richards said. “I would hope to see something in five to six percent increase. Single-digit increases would be healthy for Toronto.”

Related stories:
Sales fall, listings up in Toronto
Forecasting housing policy impact

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