Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Just Listed!

14 Woodcroft Crescent

Fabulous Condo Alternative! 1 Plus 1 Bedroom DETACHED Bungalow with 2 Car Parking. Beautifully Renovated White Eat-In Kitchen with Walk-Out to Large Yard. Finished Basement with Walk-Out. Quiet Dead End Crescent.
Call Jason To View!

Just Listed!

46 Western Battery Road # 839

Tastefully Decorated 1 plus 1 Bedroom Condo Townhouse With Parking / Locker and Roof Top Terrace. Desirable Liberty Village, Steps to Everything “King West” Has To Offer!
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GTA REALTORS® Report Mid-Month Resale Housing Market Figures

November 18, 2009 -- In the first two weeks of November, Greater Toronto REALTORS® reported 3,666 sales – up 84 per cent compared to the first two weeks of November 2008. The average price for these transactions was up 10 per cent year-overyear to $415,066.
Increased Interest in ownership housing has been widespread throughout the GTA and across all housing types," said TREB President Tom Lebour. "However, it is important to point out that we are now making comparisons to the fall of 2008 when we experienced a marked decline in sales and average price."
Year-to-date sales, at 78,233 are up 11 % compared to 2008. Average price, at $393,180, is up by 3%.
"Sales and average price in the GTA this winter will be well above levels reported throughout the fourth quarter of 2008 and first quarter of 2009," according to Jason Mercer, TREB's Senior Manager of Market Analysis.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

President's Toronto Sun Column: There’s More to us than MLS

November 13, 2009 --Tom Lebour, President of the Toronto Real Estate Board-- If you are one of the thousands of GTA residents who has made a move to a home more suited to your lifestyle this year, chances are you used the services of a REALTOR® to help you do so.On the surface it may seem that a REALTOR’S® access to the Multiple Listing Service is the most significant reason for working with a real estate professional. While REALTORS® can use the MLS® to match your housing preferences with available properties and help you establish realistic expectations if you’re selling, it is just one of several tools they use to offer you professional advice.They can also for example, access the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation’s database to provide you with valuable insight into current taxes on individual properties, ownership histories and lot size specifics.Using Teranet’s GeoWarehouse, they can retrieve even more information that is useful in the decision-making process like streetscape imagery, mapped neighbourhood sales, and average local incomes. As well, if you’re considering a newly constructed home, your Greater Toronto REALTOR® has your needs covered through their access to RealNet Canada’s database of new home listings.RealNet reports on 99 per cent of all developments greater than 15 units in size in the GTA. Its database includes more than 35,000 current records, which are updated on a monthly basis. A search of the RealNet database can be conducted by housing type, location, price range and number of bedrooms. Searches can produce an array of details including builder names, lot sizes, condo fees, and quantity of available units. This information can help you measure your preferred builder’s value proposition and more carefully weigh your decision with respect to choosing new versus resale housing.Your REALTOR® can also advise you on government programs that will save you money. For example, if you’re considering a few fix-ups prior to listing, your REALTOR® can provide you with details of programs like the Home Renovation Tax Credit and the Energuide for Houses Retrofit Grant. If you’re wondering whether buying a home is within reach, your REALTOR® can tell you about a program that, with only five per cent down, allows you to apply for mortgage insurance that can facilitate your purchase. As well, if you are a first-time homebuyer, your REALTOR® can advise you of a program that allows you and your partner to each withdraw up to $25,000 from your RRSPs to put towards your purchase. Greater Toronto REALTORS® also work tirelessly to advocate your interests on important issues like property taxes, sales tax harmonization and the Toronto land transfer tax. They make direct contributions to GTA communities as well, helping to feed 1900 children in 11 local schools every week through the Children’s Breakfast Program and providing grants to 20 shelter-related charitable organizations this year alone.

President's Toronto Star Column: HST Will Raise Cost of Living, Buying Homes...

November 13, 2009 -- Tom Lebour, President of the Toronto Real Estate Board--Starting July 1, 2010 Ontarians can expect to pay a harmonized sales tax (HST) rate of 13% on a long list goods and services that were previously exempt from the 8% Provincial Sales Tax (PST). While the impact of the tax will be felt by all Ontarians, the province’s 3 million homeowners and the thousands who buy and sell a home every year will be hit particularly hard by this latest tax grab. As real estate professionals, REALTORS® know how important the dream of homeownership is to Ontario families. Unfortunately, thanks to the forthcoming HST, that dream is going to become much more expensive. After July 1, 2010, every residential real estate transaction in Ontario will face a significant tax increase. Specifically, home buyers and sellers can expect to pay 8% more on legal fees, appraisals, real estate commissions, home inspection fees, moving costs and the provincial government’s forthcoming system of mandatory home energy audits. According to the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) Ontarians will pay, on average, an additional $1,449 in new taxes on their next residential real estate transaction. If it’s not bad enough that the new tax will increase the cost of buying a home, then consider the impact on the costs of owning and living in that home after it’s been purchased. Specifically, a HST will add hundreds, potentially thousands of dollars in additional tax on utility bills, such as gas, electricity and home heating fuel, on home renovation labour, the cost of lawn upkeep or landscaping and the cost of snow removal. Moreover, a HST will increase the cost of living with 8% more tax on gasoline, personal and professional services, meals under $4, dry cleaning, cab fares, magazine subscriptions, plane tickets, vitamins and cell phone charges. When added together, the impact of a HST on Ontario family’s disposable income will be considerable. In short, a HST will reduce the people of Ontario’s quality of life by taking more of their hard earned money. While the Government of Ontario plans to compensate homeowners by offering sales tax transition cheques and modest income tax reductions, these measures will in no way offset this new tax. A onetime payment of $1000 (for a family of four) and a modest $368 reduction in income taxes will do very little to offset the burden of an 8% tax increase on a litany of items in perpetuity. Certain basic needs, like groceries, prescription drugs, and children’s clothing, would be exempt from the new tax. Unfortunately, the provincial government is not proposing to provide a similar exemption for home purchasing costs. Having a roof over one’s head is about as basic as needs get, and the government should recognize this by ensuring that the costs associated with purchasing a home are exempt from the new tax. Help oppose this latest tax grab. Write to your MPP and tell them that Ontarians do not need higher taxes on homeownership.

Monday, November 9, 2009

GTA Real Estate Market Soaring

November 9, 2009 -- Tom Lebour, President of the Toronto Real Estate Board--It has been a red-hot autumn in the Greater Toronto Area resale housing market.In the first two weeks of October, Greater Toronto REALTORS® reported 3,631 sales, a 34 per cent increase compared to the same period a year ago. The average price of GTA homes sold during this timeframe also grew, by 17 per cent, to $414,479. Condominium sales increased 23 per cent to 857 transactions, with an average price of $292,439, up 12 per cent year over year.The average price increased most significantly in the City of Toronto while the 905 Region experienced the strongest sales volumes. In the City of Toronto the average price climbed to $455,001, a 21 per cent increase from mid-October last year. The number of sales was up 31 per cent compared to the same period, reaching a total of 1,489 transactions. Condominium sales in Toronto increased 17 per cent from a year ago, to 589 transactions. They sold at an average price of $318,356, up 15 per cent from a year ago.In the 905 Region sales activity soared to a 37 per cent increase over the first half of October 2008, totaling 2,142 transactions. The average price of a 905 Region home was $386,311, up 14 per cent from a year ago. Condominium transactions increased 40 per cent from a year ago in the 905 Region to 268 sales. They fetched an average price of $235,480, up eight per cent from mid-October last year.Year-to-date sales throughout the GTA have increased six per cent over last year, to a total of 69,964 transactions, putting 2009 on track to finish with some of the best years on record. The average GTA house price has also increased two per cent year-to-date, to $389,697.Given that a global recession resulted in a significant decline in sales activity at this time a year ago, it’s reasonable for this autumn’s sales to be strong by comparison. Substantial price gains though, are particularly noteworthy.I discussed this characteristic of the market with the Toronto Real Estate Board’s Senior Manager of Market Analysis Jason Mercer, who pointed to the factors of supply and demand. “Encouraged by record low interest rates and improved economic outlooks, households in the GTA have become increasingly confident in the home ownership market since the spring. With demand for resale homes rising and listings actually trending lower, it has not been surprising to see an accelerating rate of home price appreciation on average.” According to Mercer, the outlook for the spring housing market is also favourable.“Homeowners will react to the strong price increases experienced in the second half of 2009 and we will see the number of listings increase in 2010. I expect to see the average resale price continue to grow at a sustainable rate next year as well.”

If you’re thinking of buying or selling a home in the coming months I encourage you to give me a call. Together, we can make it happen. I am always happy to help.