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Omicron COVID-19 variant likely to add fuel to real estate fire, realtors say – The Globe and Mail

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68 Dawlish Ave., Toronto.The Print Market

The Toronto-area real estate trends that have fueled a run-up in prices since the coronavirus pandemic began are likely to intensify in the early months of 2022 with the wave of infection caused by the Omicron variant, agents say.

Andre Kutyan, a broker with Harvey Kalles Real Estate Ltd., predicts that the first quarter of 2022 will look much like the fourth quarter of 2021 in the carriage trade segment of the market. People who are more inclined to stay home want to do so in comfortable surroundings.

“I think Omicron is just going to fuel their desire to improve their living space.”

Mr. Kutyan believes a lack of inventory will continue to constrain the real estate market in the Greater Toronto Area this year.

The four-bedroom house in Lawrence Park has an asking price of $6.495-million.The Print Market

The average price of a property in the GTA jumped 17.8 per cent in 2021 compared with 2020, according to the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB). The average price of a detached house in the 416 area code rose 16.2 per cent in the same period.

TRREB chief market analyst Jason Mercer notes that tight market conditions prevailed and that lack of inventory pushed prices higher.

Mr. Kutyan stresses that the increase across the broader market hides a lot of the variation in various houses and pockets of the city.

“There’s going to be a reality check for a lot of sellers – especially at the ultra-high end.”

Andre Kutyan, a broker with Harvey Kalles Real Estate Ltd., says he knows that buyers are still circulating in January this year.The Print Market

Mr. Kutyan says buyers are willing to pay a premium for additional space as they work from home and their kids attend school online. Society is back in partial lockdown and buyers who have the means to do so want to stretch out.

Many of his clients in the upper echelons of the market work in occupations that have not been hurt by the pandemic. Those who borrow in order to pay for a larger property are enticed by interest rates at historic lows.

“These are all move-up buyers. They want their dream home now.”

23 Lowther Ave., Toronto.Harvey Kalles Real Estate Ltd.

Mr. Kutyan says these trends are fueling demand for properties in neighbourhoods such as Lawrence Park, Lytton Park, Forest Hill and Rosedale. The area around Bayview and York Mills, where a surplus of properties sat on the market before the pandemic, is seeing huge demand today.

Rashi Narula, a real estate agent with McCann Realty Group Ltd., helped clients finalize a deal for a six-bedroom house on New Year’s Day.

The purchasers of 165 Teddington Park Ave., paid $9.16-million for the Georgian-style house after it was listed with an asking price of $11.995-million in the summer and lowered to $10.98-million in the fall.

Towards the end of 2021, Mr. Kutyan sold the two-bedroom semi-detached house for $6.3-million.Harvey Kalles Real Estate Ltd.

Ms. Narula says the real draw is the 100-foot-by-187-foot lot surrounded by mature trees; the buyers will likely tear the three-storey house down.

The buyers, who have been looking for more than two years for a finished house in price segments between $20-million and $25-million, could not find one that suited them, Ms. Narula says.

“We figured out that it is probably best they build their own house,” she says. “They have a big family. They want to be on a big piece of land.”

Teddington Park appeals to the large family because they need room for both parents to work at home and older children to study online.

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“They need not just bedrooms for them but school spaces for them and work spaces,” she says.

Ms. Narula put the first offer on paper near the end of October. The two sides negotiated until Jan. 1.

Ms. Narula says many properties she sees in the $5-million to $10-million range are selling with multiple offers.

In one case, clients were interested in a heritage home in Rosedale that was being quietly offered off-market in the $10-million range. Ms. Narula figures the house needs an additional $5-million to $6-million in renovations.

While her clients were deciding on an offer price, the house sold.

“Somebody else walked in and scooped it with no questions asked,” she says.

Rashi Narula, a real estate agent with McCann Realty Group Ltd., says many properties she sees in the $5-million to $10-million range are selling with multiple offers.Harvey Kalles Real Estate Ltd.

Another property in Forest Hill with an asking price of $8.5-million received four bids, including one from Ms. Narula’s clients, who missed by a small margin.

Ms. Narula says the common theme is that move-up buyers are looking for more space and they are not inclined to wait on the sidelines.

“They want to lock in as soon as possible,” she says.

Meanwhile, Mr. Kutyan says, houses in Yorkville and other downtown luxury neighbourhoods appeal to a smaller pool of buyers in the current landscape because they offer less room for a family. The downsizers who wanted to move to a condo unit or semi or townhouse in the core have put those plans on hold.

“It’s a tale of two markets,” he says, with move-up buyers driving more of the sales than empty nesters.

Mr. Kutyan says buyers are willing to pay a premium for additional space as they work from home and their kids attend school online.Harvey Kalles Real Estate Ltd.

Towards the end of 2021, Mr. Kutyan sold a two-bedroom semi-detached house at 23 Lowther Ave. for $6.3-million after first listing the property with an asking price of $6.6-million and then reducing the price to $6.398-million.

Mr. Kutyan worked with the sellers when they purchased the property in 2020 for $6.25-million. By the time they paid transaction costs, they lost money on the trade.

“Certain types of properties are not appreciating the way others are.”

Mr. Kutyan represented buyers who submitted an offer for a house at 36 Berryman St., on Nov. 30. The two sides then wrangled for the next three weeks.

“I finally got an accepted offer on Dec. 21,” Mr. Kutyan says. “It was a lengthy, drawn-out negotiation.”

Mr. Kutyan says the trend for having more space is fuelling demand for properties in neighbourhoods such as Lawrence Park, Lytton Park, Forest Hill and Rosedale.Harvey Kalles Real Estate Ltd.

The detached house was unusual for the neighbourhood because it is a newer house with a garage, Mr. Kutyan says. The property was listed with an asking price of $7.55-million in 2020, then relisted in 2021 for 125 days with an asking price of $7.45-million.

“My clients saw it, loved it, but were not interested in paying seven,” he says.

Mr. Kutyan says the seller and buyers were dug into their positions.

“Verbally we were $25,000 apart on a $7-million deal and no one was willing to budge,” he says. “They have one mindset for what they’re willing to sell for and another mindset for what they’re willing to pay.”

Eventually the two sides agreed to a deal at $6.95-million.

To Mr. Kutyan, both sales show that there are deep-pocketed buyers who want to live in Yorkville, but they represent a smaller niche. Sellers, meanwhile, believe they can hold out for the price they want – especially if they have the only house listed in the area at the time.

The average price of a property in the GTA jumped 17.8 per cent in 2021 compared with 2020, according to the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board.Harvey Kalles Real Estate Ltd.

What sellers need to grasp, Mr. Kutyan points out, is that if there are 10 buyers who can afford a house in the $7-million range, nine of them will choose to buy a detached house on a large lot in an area where they will gain more space.

In the region of York, north of Toronto, there’s plenty of room to spread out, but sellers with asking prices in the upper echelons are also trying to draw a limited cohort of buyers.

Mr. Kutyan points to one property which is listed well above $10-million. The house has been sitting and the homeowners have been asking agents to evaluate the reasons why.

“There’s nothing wrong with the house – it’s your price,” Mr. Kutyan told the sellers. “When it’s been on the market for eight months and you haven’t found a buyer, the market’s telling you something.”

Mr. Kutyan says houses in Yorkville and other downtown luxury neighbourhoods appeal to a smaller pool of buyers in the current landscape because they offer less room for a family.Harvey Kalles Real Estate Ltd.

Mr. Kutyan says buyers with such a hefty budget have their pick of neighbourhoods. While sales in areas such as Vaughan and Markham are on fire in the $1-million to $1.5-million range, it becomes harder to find a large group of buyers in the luxury segment.

The buyers who would typically spend $10-million in York tend to be those who have a business in the area or family nearby.

“Somebody has to want to live there and spend that kind of money,” he says.

This week, Mr. Kutyan listed a four-bedroom house at 68 Dawlish Ave. in Lawrence Park with an asking price of $6.495-million.

While there are very few listings in January in a typical year, he knows that buyers are still circulating.

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Canadian Real Estate Prices Will Have A Hard Time With Higher Mortgage Rates: BMO – Better Dwelling

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Canadian Real Estate Prices Will Have A Hard Time With Higher Mortgage Rates: BMO  Better Dwelling



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Seeking BCREA Appointee to the Real Estate Foundation of BC – BCREA

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The BC Real Estate Association (BCREA) Board of Directors is seeking an appointee for the Real Estate Foundation of BC’s Board of Governors. This appointment term would commence April 1, 2022.

About the Real Estate Foundation of BC

In August 1985 the British Columbia real estate industry, in cooperation with the BC Ministry of Consumer and Corporate Affairs, established the Real Estate Foundation as a non-profit corporation under the Real Estate Act. On January 1, 2005, the Real Estate Services Act and the Real Estate Development Marketing Act replaced the Real Estate Act. The Foundation continued under the Real Estate Services Act.

The purpose of the Foundation is to undertake and carry out real estate public and professional education, real estate law reform, real estate research and other projects intended for the public or professional good in relation to real estate activities and to undertake and carry out projects and activities that the Minister designates as being in the public interest.

Call for Letters of Interest

Responsibilities include:

  • Governing in public interest;
  • participating in Board affairs;
  • understand the organization’s mandate;
  • participate in the development, review, and approve the strategic plan;
  • select, appoint, compensate, evaluate, and terminate the Chief Executive Officer;
  • review financial and corporate issues; and
  • review and consider staff grant recommendations.

The Board operates within the broad policy direction prescribed by section 93 (1) of the Real Estate Services Act.

If you are somebody who has the following attributes and competencies, we would love to hear from you:

  • strong real estate experience;
  • governance experience;
  • a commitment to advancing equity, diversity, and inclusion; and
  • a commitment to learning and strengthening relationships with Indigenous Peoples and governing entities.

For the full list of desired personal attributes & competencies, please click here.

While previous experience as a governor is not required, it is important that Governors understand the roles and responsibilities of a member of a not-for-profit governing board and have the necessary experience and demonstrated skills to enable them to contribute to board planning, decision-making and oversight.

Time and Term Commitment

The amount of time a Governor spends on Foundation business varies from month to month, and from person to person.  A Governor can expect to spend a minimum of eight in-person days on Foundation business throughout the year. This does not include committee, meeting preparation or travel time.

In addition, Governors are requested–individually or as a Board–to attend special events from time to time.

Each member is appointed for a one to three-year term and may serve up to six years in a row.

How to Apply

For the full Governor role description, click here.

If you have questions about the vacancy or wish to apply, please submit a letter of interest and current resume to the attention of the BCREA Nominating Committee at [email protected] by February 11, 2022.

The BCREA Nominating Committee thanks all applicants; however only those selected as potential candidates will be contacted.

To subscribe to receive BCREA publications such as this one, or to update your email address or current subscriptions, click here.

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Another record month for Woodstock-area real estate market – Woodstock Sentinel Review

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While the number of home sales in Woodstock hit a record high last year, real estate officials predict the ongoing shortage of housing inventory will continue throughout 2022.

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While the number of home sales in Woodstock hit a record high last year, real estate officials predict the ongoing shortage of housing inventory will continue throughout 2022.

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Last year, home sales totalled 1,888 units in the Woodstock area, Woodstock-Ingersoll & District Real Estate Board officials said, which was a 10.2 per cent increase from 2020.

Anthony Montanaro, the president of the Woodstock-Ingersoll & District Real Estate Board, said the surging home sales and scarcity of new listings were simply the result of an increased demand for housing.

“It’s basically the old supply and demand. Woodstock is in a lot of demand from outside our area,” Montanaro said.

He says this heightened demand is primarily coming from buyers in the Greater Toronto Area.

“A lot of people are migrating down the 401 (and) 403 corridors going out west, but we are also seeing some migration from Kitchener, Guelph and the Hamilton area,” Montanaro said.

Because of this new migration leading to a higher demand, the Woodstock area’s current housing shortage has only become worse.

“Although the number of newly listed properties during December was well above average for this time of year, it was still insufficient to keep up with the seemingly endless demand. As a result, overall inventory has dropped below 40 active listings for the first time in history. Without an influx of new listings, the ability of buyers to find a home that suits them will soon become severely limited,” Montanaro said.

At the end of this past month, active listings had fallen to 36, a sharp decrease of 39 per cent from December 2020. This was the lowest number of active listings for the month of December in past three decades, real estate officials said.

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Despite this shortage, Montanaro said that demand will only continue.

“There’s no inventory – the demand is tight because of that – so it’s going to be more of the same. We are going to see repeats of this going forward into 2022,” he said.

A recent population study by Ontario’s Ministry of Finance also predicts Oxford County’s population will increase by more than 35 per cent by the year 2046, adding to the demand on the local market.

In light of this, Montanaro said there are more and more buyers competing for the same homes, resulting in “multiple-offer situations” and contributing to rising home prices in the region.

“It’s being fuelled by people coming from the Greater Toronto Area area,” Montanaro said.

The benchmark for home prices – measured by the MLS Home Price Index, which was used to calculate the standard prices of houses in the region in December 2021 – had reached $641,400, a 32.4 per cent from December 2020.

The total dollar value of all homes sold last month was $82.4 million, a 56.2 per cent jump from last December and an all-time record for the month.

“With fierce competition for such few listings, it’s no surprise that both average price and the (benchmark price) set all-time records in December,” Montanaro said.

Looking ahead to 2022, Montanaro said the market would be dictated by inventory levels.

“If inventory starts to increase, then I think you can see prices kind of level off but, if the demand is still there – which we forecast that it still will be there – and the inventory is low then, yes, I can see prices increasing a little bit this year,” he said.

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