Toronto Market Report May-June 2017

24 May 2017
Remax-Condos-Plus

We have delayed this Report to wait for mid-month May sale numbers from TREB.


The Real Story Behind Rent Controls in Ontario

18 May 2017
Remax-Condos-Plus

The Ontario Government has introduced new rent controls effective April 20th, expanding rent controls to include units built after 1991. So why the rush? A CBC reporter published a story on how her landlord had doubled her rent overnight from $1,600 to $3,200 per month and she was now forced to live on a friend's living room couch. Now I know you can rent a studio for just $1,600, so I contacted her to ask why the landlord would do that to her. There are only two reasons, 1. The Tenant isn't paying rent, or 2. The Landlord wants to sell the unit vacant. She said that she always paid her rent, but her landlord still wanted to sell. If you know anything about tenants, when a landlord wants to sell, they do two things to thwart the sale.


Underpricing Properties to Fuel Bidding Wars

04 May 2017
Remax-Condos-Plus

One of our biggest complaints is the list price set by real estate agents in today's market. We understand that given the rapid rise in real estate prices, properties can sell for $50,000 or $100,000 over the listing price, but some real estate agents have taken the practice to an extreme. It seems to be a badge of honor to go $300,000 or $500,000 over asking. These agents start by taking the market value of the property and then they list it at $200,000 or $300,000 below the market price. This attracts the attention of buyers who see the property as a great deal but then drives a bidding war frenzy. Underpricing a property does nothing for buyers and sellers. How would the same agent feel if they walked into a clothing store and saw a designer jacket for $99? They would jump on it!


The Fair or 'Vote Getting" House Plan

24 April 2017
Remax-Condos-Plus

The dust is now settling from Premier Wynne's photo op on the 16 point Fair Housing Plan from last Thursday, April 20th. We call it a 'vote getting plan' for the next election. In reality, there are only two points that impact the real estate market today. The First is the 15% non-resident buyer tax and the second is rent controls. We don't believe the non-residential buyer's tax is a big factor in our market. We have far fewer non-resident buyers than Vancouver. When you look at Vancouver, sales and prices did drop initially, but today, prices are back to last year and sales are picking up. In Toronto, we expected a similar, but smaller 'pause' in the market. We expected some price softening, then prices to regain their upward momentum. This is because Toronto has lots of buyers and very little product.


Ontario's Expansion on Rent Control

21 April 2017
Remax-Condos-Plus

Why the Government’s sudden preoccupation with rent controls? The media has reported two cases where the landlord doubled the rent from $1600 to get rid of a tenant. The current rules of the Rental Tribunal make it very difficult to evict a tenant for non-payment of rent or for carrying out illegal activities. This is the only resort for landlords to get a speedy resolution. In both instances, the landlord needed to sell the unit as vacant. We can tell you that landlords value good tenants and want to keep them. By keeping a good tenant, you avoid vacancy costs and you save on leasing commissions. Good tenants can usually get rents below market for these reasons. But there are more tenant voters than landlords. Hence, we have rent controls which will not be good for tenants in the long term.


Market Report April-May 2017

21 April 2017
Remax-Condos-Plus

Paranoia seems to have set in with the rapid rise in real estate prices over the past year – almost 30% year over year.


Can 'Coming Soon' Signs Hurt Sellers?

11 April 2017
Remax-Condos-Plus

"Coming soon", what is that suppose to mean?! I've heard of "for sale" and "sold" and even "sold conditionally", but "coming soon"? Coming Soon means a listing has been signed, it's coming to MLS, but no one can do anything but look at the sign. Does this work for the Listing Agent? Absolutely, they're hoping for sign calls. The Agent wants to line up potential buyers, maybe even take them through the property when no one else can. Does this help the Seller; after all, this is what it's all about? Not really. Do you think potential Buyers will see the "coming soon" sign and stop looking at other properties? Not likely. If I was a Seller, I would get it on the market right away, or I would get my ducks in a row and make a big splash putting my property on MLS.


Form 244: The Solution to Bully Offers

04 April 2017
Remax-Condos-Plus

In a hot real estate market, Bully Offers are the biggest problem, not just for Buyers, but for Agents too. In every listing primed for multiple offers the Broker remarks say, "no offers until 7pm on such-and-such a date" then… guess what? A Bully Offer arrives 10 days early and the Seller wants to consider it. Now the Listing Agent has to race around to phone every other Agent who has booked an appointment to tell them the good news, or the bad news. We feel that if a property is primed for multiple offers, then that is the way it should be sold. Listing Agents complain that they did not want to entertain Bully Offers, but the Seller changed their mind. However, there is now a specific OREA form to solve the problem. It's called Form 244: A Sellers Direction in Property Offers.


Toronto Condo Market Report March-April 2017

22 March 2017
Remax-Condos-Plus

ebruary sales on the Toronto Real Estate Board were up by 5.7% over February of last year – a slower increase than any month in almost a year.


Conditional Clauses when Buying a Property

15 March 2017
Remax-Condos-Plus

Every offer usually has some sort of conditions and they're all written for the benefit of the buyer. Take financing for instance, why is it written as "financing satisfactory to the buyer"? What does that mean, a 0% interest rate or 100% financing? No, the clause should state what type of financing is being arranged, not a clause that's open ended for the buyer to change their mind and walk away. What about a status certificate? It usually reads "to be approved by the sole option of the Lawyer". You know, most Lawyers can't even read a Status Certificate. I had one Lawyer tell me that he did not want his client to buy a condo, so he would not waive it. Once again, the clause is not to be used as an 'out clause', but rather to insure that the Condo Corporation can meet its financial obligations.