One of My Done Deals in the South Annex Was Featured in the Globe and Mail Today

April 19th, 2013


ASKING PRICE $1.05-million

SELLING PRICE $1-million

TAXES $5,167 (2012)


LISTING AGENTS Elli Davis, Royal LePage Real Estate Services Ltd.

CO-OP AGENT Noam Muscovitch, Royal LePage Real Estate Services Ltd.

The Action: This semi-detached heritage home was centrally located nearby eateries, entertainment and major educational intuitions, but some buyers couldn’t overlook the absence of a garage on the modest 20-by-95-foot lot, nor the steep ascension to the top floor.

During the course of a few weeks of marketing, there were two dozen showings and a price adjustment from $1.095-million to $1.05-million, which seduced a few buyers into drafting competing bids simultaneously.

What They Got: This 2,105-square-foot Victorian displays many of its late 19th-century trappings, such as a refurbished red brick façade, high ceilings, hardwood floors throughout, a fireplace in one of two entertaining areas and a separate dining area with side yard doors.

To address signs of aging, the roof and furnace were replaced; the galley kitchen was revamped with granite counters, pot lights and double garden doors; and a third bathroom was created off the master suite, which has a walk-in closet.

There are two second-floor bedrooms and a third-floor retreat naturally lit with a skylight and sliding doors to a two-tiered deck.

Storage areas include a 503-square-foot basement and parking off a laneway.

The Agent’s Take: “It’s was a great home with a lot of original detail, but it had a new kitchen and washroom,” says agent Elli Davis. “It was in move-in condition with a third floor that was added by the owner years ago.”

But more important, buyers liked local attractions. “It had a lot of activity because it was so close to Harbord Street and Spadina Avenue – to the university and to the great restaurants on Harbord Street,” Ms. Davis notes.

Sellers and buyers hone their tactics as Toronto home sales slow

April 5th, 2013

One of our recent sales was featured in the Globe and Mail:

Noam Muscovitch knows all about the angst of buyers. The agent with Royal LePage Real Estate Services Ltd. found himself sitting outside a mid-century bungalow last week when he was competing on behalf of his clients with 10 other agents.

On a lot with 78 feet of frontage, the house had an asking price of $1.088-million. Cars lined the street near York Mills and Leslie as the rivals all vied for the renovated bungalow with lots of light and air under cathedral ceilings.

“It was like a parking lot out there,” says Mr. Muscovitch. “It was kind of ridiculous.”

He had registered a bid on behalf of his clients early on the offer date because he had to be on the road for much of the day. At the time, one competing offer was already in place.

He says some bidders register early on in order to deter others.

“A lot of people don’t want to get into a multiple offer situation.”

When he checked in just before 8 p.m., he found out that the number had gone up to five.

With every additional offer, his clients became more jittery, he recalls.

In all, 11 groups ended up vying for the house. Later that night, each party was given a chance to improve their offer in a second round of bidding and the number dropped down to nine.

Mr. Muscovitch’s clients were a couple engaged to be married. They loved the house and tried to think of some creative ways to increase their chances of winning the competition. Mr. Muscovitch advised them to be very flexible about going along with the seller’s schedule. He let the seller know that the pair had no plans to demolish it as had been the fate of so many others in the area.

He also employed the delicate strategy of pointing out to the sellers that his buyers had done their research on the house and were knowledgeable about possible defects. Homeowners sometimes worry that a deal will fall through later on if buyers get cold feet.

“We understand any issues. We’re aware and we’re okay with them – and that’s good for you,” he says of his message to the sellers.

At the same time, his clients wanted the homeowners to know they loved the house the way it was.

“You’re not trying to offend them, that’s for sure.”

All the while, he was making frequent calls to the couple, who had brought one of their mothers along to a nearby McDonald’s “because you can stay there for a long period of time,” says the agent.

“You need to have them close in case there are changes.”

About midnight, Mr. Muscovitch began to have a good feeling when he began to see the red lights of one car after another reversing back down the street.

“Then finally I got the call,” he says.

In the end, he thinks their strategy beat all of the others partly because the buyers made an emotional connection with the sellers.

“I think they responded to the fact that the young couple didn’t want to do anything to the house.”



Canada’s homebuilders scale back – Housing starts dropped sharply in January, far below expectations, notably in Toronto’s condo market

February 11th, 2013

Friday February 8, 2013

Byline: Tara Perkins

Canadian housing starts dropped sharply in January, coming in far below expectations, as homebuilders scale back, notably in Toronto’s condo market.

The number of starts sunk to 160,577 units during the month, down from 197, 118 in December, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. said Friday.

In Toronto the figure came in at 16,800 units for January, compared to 49, 800 in December.

“Home building, especially in multiunit starts, slowed in January after experiencing elevated levels of condominium apartment starts throughout 2012,” stated Shaun Hildebrand, senior market analyst for Toronto at CMHC. “Housing construction in 2013 is expected to remain lower than last year, but should continue to receive some support from strong preconstruction condo sales activity in late 2011 and early 2012.”

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce economist Emanuella Enenajor noted that the national figure of 160,577 starts during January was “miles shy” of the consensus expectation of economists for 195,000 starts during the month.

“While the series can be volatile during the winter months, particularly as December’s reading may have been supported by warmer-than-normal temperatures, the sheer scale of the drop points to an acute weakening in the homebuilding sector, consistent with the slowing trend in residential building permits seen in recent reports,” Ms. Enanajor wrote in a research note. “Today’s data suggest homebuilding is set to swing from an economic positive in 2012 to a drag in 2013.”

Toronto home prices jump even as sales decline

February 6th, 2013


Interesting Article from The

Tuesday February 5, 2013

Byline: Garry Marr

While January sales all but collapsed in the country’s most expensive housing market, Canada’s largest resale market held its own last month with a relatively small decline in activity and a jump in prices.

The Toronto Real Estate Board reported there were 4,375 sales through the region last month, a 1.3% decline from a year ago. The average sales price reached $482,648 last month, a 4.3% increase from a year ago.

“The January sales figures represent a good start to 2013. While the number of transactions was down slightly compared to last year, the rate of decline was much less than what was experienced in the second half of 2012. This suggests that some buyers, who put their decision to purchase on hold last year due to stricter mortgage lending guidelines, are once again becoming active in the market,” said Ann Hannah, president of TREB, in a statement. “It is interesting to note that sales were up for many home types in the GTA regions surrounding the City of Toronto. This is due, at least in part, to the additional upfront land transfer tax in the City of Toronto.”

The Toronto results come as Vancouver continues to suffer. The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver said Monday there were only 1,351 sales in the region in January 2013, the second lowest for the month since 2001 and 18.7% below the 10-year average.

The Vancouver board insists the decline has not led to panic among sellers but rather just a slowdown in activity. Critics suggest the next step in the housing market will be a slashing of prices.

In Toronto, realtors remain confident the market will be strong. “There will be enough competition between buyers in the marketplace to prompt continued growth in home prices in 2013. Expect annual average price growth in the 3% to 5% range this year,” said Jason Mercer, senior manager of market analysis with TREB, in the release.

The board’s statistics do show there is some upward pressure on supply. New Listings climbed to 10,624 last month, a 10.7% increase from a year ago.



January 31st, 2013

Toronto developers commence building 24,388 units in 104 projects


TORONTO – January 31, 2013:  Urbanation Inc., the leading source of information and analysis on the Toronto condominium market since 1981, today released its Q4-2012 market overview.

In the Toronto Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) there were 3,841 new condominium apartment sales in Q4-2012, an increase of 16% over the third quarter. Overall, 17,997 new units sold in 2012, between the five-year CMA average of 20,119 annual sales (2007 to 2011) and the ten-year average of 17,139 annual sales (2002 to 2011), but down from the record breaking pace set in 2011.

The Toronto CMA condominium market set several records in 2012 including: construction starts (24,388), active developments (355), total active units (89,251), and total units under construction (56,866).

The average sold index price in the Toronto CMA was $536 psf in Q4-2012 (up 5.2% annually), while unsold suites were being offered at $568 psf on average in the fourth quarter.

Overall the active Toronto CMA new condominium market is 79% sold overall, down from 80% sold in Q3-2012 and 82% sold in Q4-2011, but above the ten-year average of 78%.

“Despite concerns over the level of unsold supply in the new condominium market, the ratio of sold to unsold units has consistently been above the long-run average in recent years” says Ben Myers, Urbanation Executive Vice President. “There remains confusion over unsold supply and standing inventory, to clarify, at the end of Q4-2012 there were just 613 completed and unsold new condominium apartment suites in the Toronto CMA – some would be rented out by the developer, some used for construction offices, and others used as model suites for subsequent phases, effectively lowering this standing inventory figure even farther”.

Overbuilding was a term cited quite often in relation to the Toronto condominium market in the second half of 2012, however, a survey of developers, lenders and brokers conducted by Urbanation in December indicated that just 11% of respondents indicated that over supply in the new condominium market was their top concern going into 2013.

The resale condominium market suffered from a lack of supply in Q4-2012, as just 3.2% of the 227,700 units (1,285 buildings) tracked by Urbanation were listed for sale in the fourth quarter, the lowest quarterly level in over 10 years. Resale activity declined 14% quarterly in the Toronto CMA to 2,941 transactions. Despite the decline in resale units traded, the Sales-to-Listings ratio increased quarterly to 40.2%, indicative of relatively balanced market conditions.

“Many investors chose to hold and rent their units in 2012 rather than sell them into uncertain market conditions” adds Myers. “This is contrary to the theory that condominium unit holders will panic and sell their suites at significant discounts during a softening market”.

Of the 2,941 resale condominium apartment transactions in Q4-2012, just 0.9% of these suites were sold for less than 90% of the list price. These 27 units sold at an average price of $641,000 ($282,000 over the average Q4-2012 resale price of $359,000), indicating that most of these luxury suites were owned by individuals with unrealistic value expectations, not investors looking to ‘cut their losses’.

Myers adds “We do not subscribe to the theory that a major correction in resale condominium pricing is forthcoming, the lack of recessionary conditions, the nearly non-existent foreclosure market, and the unwillingness of condominium sellers to accept low-ball offers will keep prices from falling to any significant extent in 2013.”

Overall, 15,292 resale condominium apartments traded in 2012, down from the five-year average of 15,609, but above the ten-year average of 13,486.

Urbanation is forecasting 14,500 resale condominium transactions in 2013 and 17,000 new condominium sales in the Toronto CMA. 53% of respondents to Urbanation’s industry questionnaire expected between 17,500 to 20,000 new condominium sales in 2013, while 42% expected sales between 14,000 and 17,500.


N+N Homes App available in iTunes Store!

November 9th, 2012


Now available in the iTunes Store:


N+N Homes – Davis Muscovitch Real Estate iPhone and iPad App Now Available

November 9th, 2012

Davis Muscovitch Real Estate – A Central Toronto Real Estate Team with Passion, Exceptional Service and Strategy. Buying and Selling Toronto’s Neighbourhoods with Insight and Understanding. Simple and Useful tools to guide you through the home Buying and Selling process: Features: Calculate the Land Transfer Tax when you intend to purchase a House, Condo, or Commercial Property in Toronto or in the Province of Ontario. Calculate the Land Transfer Tax if you are a First Time Home Buyer in Toronto or in the Province of Ontario (by calculating the rebated result) Make a better-informed financial decision with a comprehensive Mortgage Calculator Search through thousands of local Greater Toronto Area Homes and Condominiums with the easy to use search function. Property search based on criteria such as Price, bedroom, bathroom, and CitySearch for Properties near you via the GPS on your iPhoneSave Properties for easy viewing laterRecent property search functionSee timely Promotions Keep up to date on Home events Ask a question from Neely Davis or Noam Muscovitch, your trusted real estate source

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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