Happy new year, Toronto real estate: home sales grow in first two weeks of January

January 28th, 2013


From The National Post

Saturday January 26, 2013

Despite a softening Canadian housing market, home sales in the GTA are off to a quick start in 2013. The Toronto Real Estate Board reports that the first two weeks of January saw 1,469 sales through the Toronto MLS system, a 2.4% increase over the same period last year. “Continuing the trend from 2012, the low-rise segment of the market experienced the strongest price growth as competition between buyers remained quite strong,” says Jason Mercer, TREB’s senior manager of market analysis. “The average selling price is expected to grow in 2013, but at a slower pace as buyers benefit from more choice.” The average cost of a home during this period was $464,228 in the city of Toronto and $457,181 in the rest of the GTA, with roughly two-thirds of sales occurring in the 905.

GTA condominium market is the hot topic

January 28th, 2013


Toronto Star

Saturday January 26, 2013

Byline: George Carras


Earlier this week, RealNet Canada and the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD) released the official and comprehensive new-home market results for 2012.

A strategic review of those results suggests the formation of a market condition that’s best described as “detached reality.” This condition occurs when people’s perceptions of what’s happening in the real estate market end up influencing their actions more than the market reality itself.

The most talked about property market in Canada in 2012 was the GTA condo market.

Problem is, when people seek to understand what’s happening in the condo market, they focus on it in isolation, they end up lacking a well-informed perspective.

That’s because the condominium market does not exist in a vacuum – it is one segment of the overall housing market. And government policy over the last six years has been all about intensification, which means there has been significantly more highrise development and less lowrise development.

So, what happened in the new condominium market in 2012? There were 18,755 new highrise units sold in the GTA last year, representing about $9 billion of value.

How does that compare with previous years? You could look at it two ways: On one hand, it was the fourth-highest year on record for sales, and 14 per cent above the long-term average. On the other hand, sales volume in 2012 was 35 per cent lower than 2011, which was the best year on record. In terms of prices, the RealNet highrise index price ended the year 0.4 per cent above the previous year.

With all the attention in 2012 being paid to the condo market, it seems no one focused much on the alarming trend developing in the lowrise market: the detached reality.

As a result of government intensification policies, the supply of new lowrise homes, once the traditional form of housing in the GTA, has decreased by 52 per cent in a very short 48-month period.

Prices during that same period have increased by 44 per cent. The rapid increase of the average lowrise price in the last 12 months has been especially disconcerting: it has grown by 16 per cent through 2012, also the result of intensification policies.

Housing intensification has been the driving force behind the shift in the new-home market away from lowrise and toward highrise in recent years. The impacts of intensification are starting to be felt in the resale market, as well. The average price of the home types we are making more of (highrise) is flattening, while the average price of the home types we are making less of (lowrise) is rising.

Every home was at one point a new home. Homebuyers can only purchase what they can afford and what the industry is building. The industry builds what consumers want, can afford and allowed by the government. And the government puts in place the policies and solutions to control how it all happens.

Housing is something we’re all in together, and if intensification is the plan moving forward, then we should all make sure we have a full understanding of how to deal with the detached reality that’s now upon us.


Overpricing Pitfalls and How to Avoid the Dangers

October 9th, 2012

5 Methods in Avoiding this Danger:

A Sellers’ inclination to overprice is the most natural tendency – everyone wants to maximize the return on their investment, especially when it comes to their largest possession.

However because over valuation can be so costly to a sellers’ goals, it’s our responsibility as real estate agents to utilize every strategy at our disposal to vividly paint the painful picture of how perilous and counterproductive overpricing truly is, before they experience the true pain and cost of a listing that won’t sell.  Here’s what every Seller should want to know:

1.  Scrutinize Active Listings

Most agents often focus on the Sold properties, and their list vs. sale prices. While very important, If we can also obtain some information regarding currently for sale comparable homes, that’s also useful – sometimes even more useful than the Solds. While many agents take a glance at the Active homes just to get a sense for the competition, it is imperative to see “DOM” Days on Market of the lagging properties to understand how this correlates to the list price vs. the list price of the quickly sold properties.

2.   Delve into the Sold properties that took a very long time to sell.  

As you’re delving into the comps, explore another frequently overlooked subset of properties: those that sold, but sold very slowly when compared with the average number of days a home in your area stays on the market.

Often, these “slow” Solds will have been overpriced and will have sold way below asking – even below their reduced price. Pinpointing the:

  • original list price,
  • list price at the time the home went off the market,
  • sold price and
  • number of Days on Market (DOM)

a few slow Solds can paint a vivid picture of the path of an overpriced home.

And the opposite is true: if you can find a few examples of Sold comparables which were listed low and sold high, those two types of examples, together, make the picture even more powerful.

3.  See what buyers will see.

Visit MLS and get a read on how many homes in your area sell in the price range/bracket you want to list at, versus how many sell in the price range your agent is recommending.  Say, for example, you want to list at $415,000 and your agent thinks the home would do better at $385,000.  If there were 200 homes sold last quarter at $350,000-$400,000 and only 75 sold between $400,000-$450,000, chances are great that buyers in your area are much more likely to be conducting their online home searches in the sub-$400,000 range, statistically speaking.

The more buyer search results the listing falls into, the more buyers will want to view the place – and the more viewings you get, the better the chances of getting an offer.

Additionally, take the opportunity before the list price is set in stone to sit down and slip on the virtual shoes of the average buyer you’ll want to court for their home. Run online searches at several different price points to see what the competition looks like online, and how the seller’s home will measure up against the other in terms of the specs buyers use to pick the homes they want to see in person (e.g., beds, baths, square feet, location).

The two-part goal, should be to list the property at a price point which:

(a) falls into the broadest possible bucket of online searchers and

(b) makes every buyer who sees it in the context of the other homes in the same price bracket put your seller’s home at the top of the list of places they want to view.

4.  Go for a tour of competitive properties.

In some situations, the specs of the comps simply don’t make it crystal clear that a seller’s home would be overpriced. This happens most often when a property’s condition or location pale in comparison to the competition. Consider taking a short tour of the competition:

See what your home will be up against:

  • homes in the price range you want, in their neighborhood
  • homes in the price range you want, in other parts of town which buyers will likely also be considering
  • homes in your agent’s recommended price range, to show how their home is poised to compete well against these properties.


5.  Past Client Experiences

Connect with an agent’s past sellers who were similarly situated to where you are now:

  • Share relatable experiences about their own thoughts and actions from property preparation through closing
  • Discuss their experience setting – and perhaps, lowering their home’s list price

Other sellers who have been in precisely the same spot have a level of credibility in vouching for a certain pricing strategy.

It might seem time-consuming, but exploring all angles can prove a time saver and cost saver in the long run.


October 2nd, 2012

I think it’s important to comment on the Globe and Mail’s recent article called The August Chill.  After reading it,  you might now believe that housing prices are set to fall by 25% with in the next 2 years. In reading more closely, it’s clear that they are talking about only about CANADIAN averages as a whole, not specifically the Toronto market. They are including the condo market as well, which is a totally different market than the housing market.  Especially the Central Toronto housing market which is in high demand.

Most people tend to assume that what is happening nationally on average is also happening locally, which is not necessarily the case.

Let me start by saying that the new mortgage rules will most probably have some effect on the market. Up until recently, in an effort to stimulate the buying market,  you could buy a house with 0% down with a 40 year amortization period. The real estate market was open to all. In light of what happened in the US, the banks have made changes to prevent people from getting in over their heads.  The latest reduction of amortization periods from 30 to 25 years and the stricter rules imposed by lenders, has definitely made it difficult for some first time buyers to secure a mortgage.

I believe that the new mortgage rules will cause a decline in numbers of first time buyers for lower priced homes, but I can’t see how that will affect the rest of the market. With a population increase of 80-100k per year , there is and always will be a demand for housing in Toronto. With the mortgage rates remaining low for the next two years, I think investors and buyers needing to move up will continue to buy and sell.  As long as there isn’t enough product to meet the demand and mortgage rates are affordable, prices will go up yearly, but perhaps not as drastically as what we’ve seen in the past 4 years.

Of course, no one has a crystal ball, but  I do not believe that there is am impending housing price crash in Toronto on the near horizon.

Get It Right Toronto LTT Campaign

October 2nd, 2012

Toronto City Council needs to hear from as many people as possible, and the campaign web site, www.LetsGetThisRightToronto.ca, makes it very easy for REALTORS® and the public to make their voices heard at City Hall.   This is a critical time for this issue.

What is the Toronto Land Transfer Tax?

Simply put, the Toronto Land Transfer Tax is a tax on the dream of home ownership. It’s paid every time people like you purchase a home in Toronto, and it’s not small. The average home buyer in Toronto faces about $15,000 in land transfer taxes, which has to be paid in full before moving into their new home.

Why does it matter?

Because, together, we are building a great City, and it’s important, for all of us, that we get this right. The Toronto Land Transfer Tax is no way to build a great City, and here’s why:

It Makes Toronto Less Fair

In any given year, only about five percent of Torontonians move. These are average people, who move for different reasons: a young family with a baby on the way may need more space; aging seniors may need to change their lifestyle; a family break-up. The list goes on. It is unfair, and wrong, to expect these people to shoulder so much more burden in taxes than the other 95 percent of Torontonians, for no additional services.
It Makes Our City Services Less Reliable

Torontonians value their municipal services. To maintain those services, we need reliable and predictable funding. The Toronto Land Transfer Tax is far from reliable or predictable. The revenue it generates goes up AND down with the state of the real estate market. What will we do if real estate markets suddenly cool and Land Transfer Tax revenue drops sharply and quickly? If we want our City’s services to be truly reliable, we should end our reliance on this unpredictable tax.
It Makes Our City Less Competitive

Over the years, Toronto has succeeded largely because people want to live here. In fact, about half of all immigrants arriving in Canada choose to live in the Toronto region. Once they settle on the Toronto region, however, the choice between municipalities becomes less clear, and the Toronto Land Transfer Tax doesn’t help our City’s chances. That’s because Toronto is the ONLY City in the entire country, let alone the Greater Toronto Area, to have two land transfer taxes: the Toronto Land Transfer Tax, AND the provincial Land Transfer Tax. Choosing to live outside of Toronto means paying only once, instead of twice. Clearly, this puts our City at a competitive disadvantage for its most important resource: people.
It Risks OUR Economic Vibrancy

When people buy and sell homes, they create jobs for people. They hire movers. They have their new home painted. They renovate. They buy new furniture and appliances. The list goes on. In fact, studies have shown that about 40,000 Toronto jobs rely directly on this type of economic activity. By discouraging people from moving, the Toronto Land Transfer Tax threatens these jobs.
It Makes Our City Less Affordable

Toronto should be a City for everyone. Anyone who wants to live here should be able to. The Toronto Land Transfer Tax makes that more difficult. Even average middle-class people struggle with this tax, which adds about $6,000 to the cost of an average home in Toronto, and about $15,000 to the cost of an average detached home in Toronto. That’s money that has to be paid in full, upfront, before moving in. That’s not easy, or realistic, for many average people.
It Makes Our Government Less Accountable

As taxpayers, we all expect our hard-earned tax dollars to be spent wisely by City Hall. The Toronto Land Transfer Tax reduces City Hall’s accountability to taxpayers because it is hidden in housing transaction closing costs. It’s important, for our City’s finances, that City Council carefully considers their tax and spending decisions, and the best way to make that happen is for taxes to be out in the open so that all taxpayers know what City Council is doing.
It Makes Our City Less Green and Less Livable

We are all tired of the traffic congestion that plagues Toronto and the entire region. Not only does it affect our quality of life, but the pollution generated by automobiles is bad for our health and our environment. Reducing the amount and length of commuting between work and home is a key part of solving this problem. That means helping people to live close to their jobs. The Toronto Land Transfer Tax does the opposite by creating an incentive to live outside of the City, farther from Toronto jobs, where home buyers don’t have to pay a municipal land transfer tax.

Go to http://www.letsgetthisrighttoronto.ca/

Being a Landlord: Furnished vs. Unfurnished Rentals

October 2nd, 2012

I frequently get asked from my clients whether they should offer their rental suite furnished.  Generally a furnished suite will rent for approx. 10% to 20% more than an unfurnished one.  Most prospective tenants own furniture but there are instances where renters may prefer their apartment to be fully furnished.  People who are from out of town coming in for business or who are new to the city often prefer renting furnished.

However, furnished rentals tend to be rented for shorter terms.  Some renters may only need a place to stay for only a limited time, so a unit containing a bed, couch, chairs, and a television could be a benefit. For example, film crews who come to town for a few months to shoot a film.   .

Executive rentals tend to come furnished as well.  Some companies may only need your apartment for a few a limited time, so furnishing it allows you to compete with hotels and other short-stay accommodation providers.  Remember though that a lot more costs/work is involved if you are providing a furnished units since there is a much greater turnover of renters.  You have to clean and often paint after each renter and the amount of paperwork and logistics will be greater. This is why there are companies that specialize just in short term rentals.

If you plan to go the furnished route plan to buy pieces of high enough quality that it compliments the apartment and is appropriate for the rent that you are charging.  So if you are planning on getting thousand’s of dollars in rent per month do not use low quality furnishings.


2013 Rent Increase Guideline

October 2nd, 2012

Rent increases for the one million tenant households in Ontario cannot exceed 2.5 per cent over the next year, unless a landlord makes a successful application to the Landlord Tenant Board.

The McGuinty government passed legislation on June 13, 2012 to amend the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006 to ensure that the Rent Increase Guideline is capped at 2.5 per cent. Without the cap, the guideline would have been 2.6 per cent in 2013.

The annual Rent Increase Guideline continues to be based on Ontario’s Consumer Price Index (CPI), which is a measure of inflation calculated monthly by Statistics Canada.

The 2013 guideline applies to rent increases between January 1 and December 31, 2013.



  • The average yearly increase from 2004-2012 was two per cent. The average yearly increase from 1993-2003 was 3.1 per cent.
  • One million tenant households in Ontario are covered by the annual Rent Increase Guideline.
  • The 2013 Rent Increase Guideline is calculated pursuant to the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006, and is based on the Ontario Consumer Price Index.


The annual Rent Increase Guideline is a calculation based on the Ontario Consumer Price Index as compiled by Statistics Canada.

The Rent Increase Guideline applies to most private residential rental accommodation covered by the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006 (RTA).

The guideline does not apply to:

  • Vacant residential units
  • Residential units first occupied on or after November 1, 1991
  • Social housing units
  • Nursing homes
  • Commercial property

Timing of Rent Increases

In most cases, the rent for a unit can be increased if at least 12 months have passed since a tenant first moved in, or if at least 12 months have passed since the last rent increase.

A tenant must be given proper written notice of a rent increase (at least 90 days before the rent increase takes effect).

Calculation of the Guideline

The rent increase guideline is calculated under the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006 (RTA), and is based on the Ontario Consumer Price Index, which is calculated monthly by Statistics Canada. Ontario passed legislation on June 13, 2012 to amend the Residential Tenancies Act, 2006 to ensure that the Rent Increase Guideline is capped at 2.5 per cent.

The 2013 rent increase guideline was calculated by averaging the percentage increase in the Ontario Consumer Price Index during the previous 12 months, from June 2011 to May 2012. Since the average CPI was 2.6 per cent, the amended legislation capped the guideline at 2.5 per cent.

Sample Rent Increase Calculation

The monthly rent of an apartment is $1,000 beginning August 1, 2012.

With proper written 90 days notice to the tenant, the landlord could lawfully increase the rent 12 months later on August 1, 2013.

For example:

  • The guideline for 2013 is 2.5 per cent.
  • The rent increase is 2.5 per cent of $1,000 = $25.
  • Therefore, the new rent on August 1, 2013 could be up to $1025 ($1000 + $25).

Previous Rent Increase Guidelines


Year Guideline %
2012 3.1
2011 0.7
2010 2.1
2009 1.8
2008 1.4
2007 2.6
2006 2.1
2005 1.5
2004 2.9
2003 2.9
2002 3.9
2001 2.9
2000 2.6
1999 3.0
1998 3.0
1997 2.8
1996 2.8
1995 2.9
1994 3.2
1993 4.9
1992 6.0
1991 5.4

4 Ways Zoning Can Influence a Home’s Price

September 24th, 2012

While many people think zoning is just for commercial properties it may be surprising to learn the overwhelming majority of people visiting, calling and emailing city planners are homeowners and homebuyers. People learn quickly they’ll need to get their zoning approved in order to get a building permit. The experience is not the same for everyone. Why? Zoning – like properties – is highly unique.

Zoning originally started to separate factories from homes and apartments. It expanded to include how big a building can be when mid-rise buildings in New York City started to “overwhelm” and block sunlight. Today, each municipality has its own specially designed set of rules to guide the community.

Here are ways zoning can influence your buyer or seller’s bottom line and how you can help them find the best deal to meet their needs.

1. Potential square footage and height can mean future profits
Knowing the zoning means being able to identify potential add-on opportunities. This can be square footage added on by building out or by building up. Add your know-how about construction costs and you have great information to help your buyer see the value beyond a tough negotiation. For many buyers, just knowing there is potential for adding square footage suggests inherent value in the property and is a great selling point.

2. Is the existing use the best?
The use of a property may or may not be optimal for the location. An example might be a 100-year old home that is zoned for either a single-family home or two-family (duplex). The market may prefer a duplex because there is more demand relative to a house. Converting single family to a duplex will require some work (such as adding a second kitchen and entry), but maximizing the type of use can be a way that zoning knowledge can lead to financial rewards.

3. Neighboring properties
Look for consistency when reviewing the zoning map. This is why people ask about the zoning next door. They don’t want to find out too late that the zoning allows for the vacant lot to become a use they don’t want to have next door. Regarding property values, people buying a single-family home want privacy. A four-story office building next door might be less attractive to a prospective a homebuyer, but could really appeal to an investor buyer.

4. Special designations
Local zoning rules can add special designations to the regular zoning to retain something from the past, promote a future vision, or create solutions to thwart disaster issues like wild fire and floods. When a property has a special designation, it sends a property value signal. Dig deeper to find out what is the driving principle behind it and then assess the property through that new piece of information. For example, a designation for “historic” exists to prevent changes to a property. Getting involved with a property with zoning restrictions that don’t match expectations is something to avoid.

Let’s bring this all together by looking at the zoning rules for a fictitious single-family property. Its marketing language suggests from the start that the historic zoning designation is something to investigate further. It is described as “A cottage with large lot and potential for expansion in the town’s coveted historic district. Bring your imagination and maybe your contractor as this property needs work!”

What can we tell from this?

The home size likely has expansion potential, but how much? Use the zoning rules to estimate how much square footage is allowed.

The description includes “historic district” which means – from a zoning perspective – more scrutiny to get approvals but a likely solid investment since these areas are appreciated for their dedication to preservation and limiting change.

Look to see what uses are allowed at that location. A single-family cottage may be perfect or adding a second structure may be the way to go. This could be have income potential or allow for a detached office for the cottage to use.

Property rights are a key component of intrinsic property value. Savvy real estate agents who dig into local zoning rules will have a competitive edge because they will have a deeper understanding of what defines a property’s potential. This helps them to solve problems and negotiate from a position of strength.

3 Buyer Questions and Winning Answers to Help You Decide What Move To Make

September 24th, 2012

Since I deal with buyers on a regular basis, I frequently hear the same questions. Each person may ask them differently, but in essence they all are asking the same thing.

“Is now a good time to buy?”

Question #1: I heard prices may continue to fall – why should I purchase a home now?

The answer: Price is not the only consideration.

Even though the market is going UP in many places, some are still worried about a potential collapse. Homebuyers worried about falling prices need to think about the total cost of their loan and the interest rates that drive them. Buyers who try to second-guess the market may end up paying much more over the long run.

For example, a buyer who purchases today for $375,000 with 20% down will have a mortgage of $300,000. If they lock in at a rate of 4% fixed for 30 years, monthly payments will be $1,432.25 and the total cost of the loan will be around $515,610.00. *

If the buyer holds off and prices drop five percent, he or she could save about $70 per month. However, if the prices drop five percent and interest rates climb just one percent, that waiting buyer will pay about $97 more each month and $35,168 more over the life of the loan.

I’ve seen so many buyers try to second-guess the market and fail. And there is always a price tag associated with that failure – sometimes a hefty one.

Tip: If you want to do this calculation, you don’t have to be a loan expert. Download our new App for the iPhone and iPads and check out the mortgage calculator.

Question #2: If I buy now, when can I expect to see appreciation?

The answer: To be brutally honest, no one really knows. The problem is, we don’t know how long this growth will be sustained.

Historically, buyers didn’t purchase homes because of the potential for appreciation in value. Freedom from tyrannical landlords was at the top of the list.

Unfortunately, after any housing decline, the idea of appreciation is now firmly cemented into most homeowner’s minds.

Buyers whose primary goal is potential appreciation need to sit with me and write out a list of buying “Pros and Cons” to help make the decision – and, price appreciation shouldn’t be on the list.

Question #3: “Is it better to rent or buy?”

The answer: It totally depends on WHY you are buying.

If your buyers can make their projected mortgage payments and the monthly bottom-line is their focus, recent research shows it’s 45 percent cheaper to buy.

If you’re a house hunter who is looking for short-term gains or quick profit, I usually tell them they shouldn’t bother.

For buyers looking to be free of rental restrictions and petulant landlords, want the ability to renovate to their heart’s content, or want other benefits tax or otherwise and can afford the monthly payments, it’s a great time to buy.

Ultimately, the decision to buy is a big one and there’s no blanket answer for the house hunting masses. The best thing any agent can do is give their clients the truth and show them the decision to buy is (and has always been) personal.

Save yourself some time and meet with us to discuss…


Freebies: 5 Cash-Savers for Running a Mobile Business

September 24th, 2012


The tools it takes to run a real estate business can hit your wallet hard. Here are a few freebies for agents that can use to save cash without compromising your client service:

1. HelloSign for free electronic signatures

Estimated Annual Savings: $180

For those who are tired of paying money for your e-signature services, meet HelloSign. This easy-to-use service helps you get clients signatures on any document no matter where you are.

Agents can upload almost any file-type and send signature requests through HelloSign. The service also has a few key functions built in to make an agents job easier including

Automated reminders for unsigned documents Template functionality so you can create and send common forms Web-based access to any form from any device Special iPhone and iPad apps that allow you to get signatures on the spot To test drive free e-signatures now visit HelloSign.com.

2. Earn Free Online File Storage with DropBox

Estimated Annual Savings: up to $600

Contrary to popular belief, the cloud doesn’t have to cost. Before you buy into one of the new mobile data storage/sharing plans from your cellular service provider to get access to your files while you’re on the go, check out the free storage you can get through DropBox.

With apps for almost every mobile device, Dropbox lets you earn more than 20GB in free storage by completing a number of easy tasks including

Sign up and get 5GB for Free

Back up your photo’s using “Camera Upload” to get 3GB

Refer/invite friends to DropBox to get up to 16GB

Also, if you spread the word about Dropbox on Facebook, Twitter, or in a Dropbox review, you can earn even more space.

Check out all of the free ways to earn storage with Dropbox at Dropbox.com/getspace.

3. Mint.com for Tracking Business Expenses

Estimated Annual Cash Savings: It’s up to you

Think of Mint as a financial advisor/accounting intern in your pocket. With Mint you can securely track and monitor your spending for any or all of your accounts.

If you’re one of those agents who has trouble saving for a rainy day or needs an easy way to track expenses and mileage for tax time, test drive Mint and it’s cool mobile apps.

While Mint may not replace any services you’re spending money on today, it can help you save cash by making it easy to keep a watchful eye on all of your spending and accounts.

4. Find cheap gas on the go with the Gas buddy apps

Estimated Annual Cash Savings: $200

If you grew up with a frugal familiy member, you’ve probably heard “pennies make dollars.” Gasbuddy helps you pile up your pennies one fill-up at a time.

Available for Androids, iPhone, Blackberry, and via the Web, Gas buddy makes it easy to find the cheapest gas around no matter where you are.

5. Use ShopSavvy to find better deals near you

Estimated Annual Cash Savings: You decide

Have you ever seen a price tag you couldn’t believe? ShopSavvy is a great mobile app to help you recover from the sticker shock.

Using your mobile phone, you can search for a product by name or by scanning the barcode to compare prices at stores near you and online.

From business supplies to routine household products, ShopSavvy is a great tool for saving on any purchase.

These are five of our cash saver recommendations. What are the favorites you think we should add to the list?


September 24th, 2012


Greater Toronto Area (GTA) REALTORS® reported 2,544 transactions through the TorontoMLSsystem in the first 14 days of September. This result was down by 15 per cent compared to the 2,995 sales reported during the same period in 2011.

“The combination of stricter lending guidelines, rising home prices and the added upfront cost associated with the land transfer tax in the City of Toronto resulted in a slower pace of sales during the summer of 2012 compared to a year ago,” said Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) President Ann Hannah.

The average selling price for sales during the first two weeks of September was $496,786 – representing an annual rate of increase of more the 9.5 per cent. Average selling prices were up for both low-rise and high-rise home types, including condominium apartments sold in the ‘416’ area code.

“Price growth continued to be strongest for low-rise home types during the first two weeks of September. This segment of the market has been very tight, with months of inventory remaining low from a historic perspective,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Senior Manager of Market Analysis.

High Park homes draws $351,000 over asking

August 12th, 2012



ASKING PRICE $1,299,000

SELLING PRICE $1,650,000

TAXES $9,843 (2010)


LISTING AGENTS Elli and Neely Davis and Noam Muscovitch, Royal LePage Real Estate Services Ltd.

The Action: On a 40- by 111-foot corner lot just a few hundred metres east of High Park, this three-storey house was given a public open house and four days of market exposure before any offers were reviewed.

About a dozen visitors took a tour and some later joined a bidding war that ended with a buyer sweetening the deal with $351,000 on top of the list price.

What They Got: As the stately brick façade indicates, this three-storey house retains intricate details and formal entertaining spaces dating back to 1913, however, it also features some modern dressings and high-end appliances inside.

A grand foyer welcomes guest to the main floor, which has a library, a formal dining room with hand painted frescos and a large living room with a wood-burning fireplace, oak panels, beamed ceilings and windows framing views of the backyard.

A solarium and recently renovated kitchen have walkouts to a deck and a perennial garden with a patio and pond.

More private quarters consist of an office on the second floor, along with three bedrooms and two of four bathrooms.

The third-floor master suite is an open loft space with a walk-in closet and four-piece bathroom.

The basement contains a kitchenette and recreation room with a gas fireplace, full bathroom and a walkout through the double garage.

For an additional $150,000, the buyers also acquired an adjacent lot to the south – measuring 27 by 92 feet – that the sellers severed with the intention of constructing a separate house fronting onto Indian Road.

The Agent’s Take: “It was very charming and full of antiques they were selling off, so it was fun to look around,” says agent Elli Davis. “It’s a beautiful area with lovely wide, treed streets and is very close to the activity in Bloor West Village and the Roncesvalles area.”


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