Broker sees unique opportunity for clients

by Justin da Rosa12 Jun 2017
Toronto condo owners may have the chance of a lifetime, according to one industry veteran.

The time to move up may be now.

At least according to one mortgage broker, who argues the current Toronto market favours condo owners over detached home owners.

“I absolutely think there are opportunities; it’s a buyer’s market right now especially for homes. It’s a unique time because I think it’s a sellers’ market for condos and a buyers’ market for (single family) homes right now, which is pretty rare,” James Harrison, a Toronto-based mortgage broker with Dominion Lending Centres, told REP. “Just because of the affordability, there are a lot more buyers for condos.

“So those who own a condo should be looking to sell it for max price and buy a house. Because you can get a house for less than $1 million again.”

Toronto is currently in the midst of its first cooling off period in years. After years of skyrocketing prices and, indeed, home sales, the tide seems to have turned.

Sales of detached homes in the GTA fell 26% year-over-year in May; condos, however, were down only 6%.

Prices were down month-over-month, with the average house price dropping from $919,614 to $863,910.

Perhaps more interestingly, though: listings were up 42.9% year-over-year overall but active listing for condos were down.

And that’s created an interesting opportunity for current condo owners, according to Harrison.

“I think there are some great opportunities for buyers over the next two-to-three months,” he said.

According to the Toronto Real Estate Board, current owners are finally looking to cash out – which has led to the increase in listings.

“The actual, or normalized, effect of the Ontario Fair Housing Plan remains to be seen.  In the past, some housing policy changes have initially led to an overreaction on the part of homeowners and buyers, which later balanced out,” Jason Mercer, TREB’s Director of Market Analysis, said. “On the listings front, the increase in active listings suggests that homeowners, after a protracted delay, are starting to react to the strong price growth we’ve experienced over the past year by listing their home for sale to take advantage of these equity gains.”

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