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Toronto-area real estate market continues to slow down for third month – The Globe and Mail

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For sale sign outside a home in Toronto.

CARLOS OSORIO/Reuters

Along with many people who live in the city, the Toronto-area real estate market appears to be taking a bit of a breather in July. Fewer people are listing their homes for sale, and the languid pace looks set to continue through the summer.

“Things are kind of trodding along,” says Davelle Morrison, a real estate agent with Bosley Real Estate Ltd. “It feels like it’s slow.”

Ms. Morrison says pockets of action still exist: The lively downtown area near King Street West and Bathurst Street is attracting buyers who want to be close to the neighbourhood’s packed bars and restaurants.

Many single-family homes also still spark competition, but the bidding is not as intense and “days on market” tend to be longer. Altogether, the market remains hot – but buyers are not facing the blast furnace heat they experienced in February and March.

June marked the third consecutive month in which sales declined in the Greater Toronto Area. According to the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board, 11,106 homes traded hands in the GTA in June compared with 15,652 in March. New listings in the area fell to 16,189 in June from 22,709 in March.

Still, the average price in the GTA stood at $1,089,536 in June – a 17-per-cent jump from the same month last year.

Stephen Brown, senior Canada economist at Capital Economics, says that the same trends are happening across most of the country. Mr. Brown points out that a decline in listings means that prices look set to keep rising.

“While there is no doubt that the surge in prices – particularly for single-family homes – has priced many people out of the market, we suspect the more important factor behind the drop in sales is simply the lack of homes for sale,” Mr. Brown says.

Buyer snatches up off-market corner penthouse with $2.055-million bid

Buyer goes from lowest bid to highest to win small Liberty Village unit

Ms. Morrison believes many Toronto-area residents are enjoying their leisure time on the city’s outdoor patios or heading out of town now that COVID-19 lockdowns in Ontario are loosening up.

Condos west of Yonge Street are selling briskly, she says, while those on the east side of the main artery are sitting longer.

Ms. Morrison listed a one-bedroom-plus-den unit at 76 Shuter Street with an asking price of $640,000 – and instead of setting a date for submitting bids, she’s accepting offers any time. Potential buyers are booking showings, she says. But so far, the unit hasn’t sold, despite the fact that it’s close to the Eaton Centre’s shopping and dining.

She also listed a condo in the Yorkville area for $1.25-million, but it did not sell when she put it on the market in May. The condo has two bedrooms and two bathrooms in just more than 1,000 square feet, which is a size that typically appeals to the downsizing market, she says.

Davelle Morrison, a real estate agent, listed a condo in the Yorkville area for $1.25-million, but it did not sell when she put it on the market in May.

ORLANDO MAC/Elite Properties Toronto

And when she compared her listing with others on the market at the same time, only two of 16 had sold, she says.

“It’s really hard to get that higher-end market because people have taken off,” she says of the folks who moved full-time to their cottages up north. “People are done – and now that they’re vaccinated, they’re just taking off that much more.”

Ms. Morrison plans to bring the listing back out in the coming weeks at a lower price of $1.15-million.

Meanwhile, the west end is loaded with the huge developments at Cityplace and Liberty Village, among other projects. Since sales there are so brisk, it buoys the overall condo segment.

“Whatever is going on in C01 is going to skew those stats,” she says. Under TRREB, C01 covers downtown areas west of Yonge Street, including King Street West, Cityplace and Liberty Village. “There are a ton more condos on the west side than the east.”

Another listing she has coming up for a one-bedroom unit at 1030 King St. W near Shaw Street will likely sell quickly, she anticipates. The unit with 600 square feet of living space and a balcony is likely to appeal to a buyer who wants to be close to friends and entertainment.

“It’s still sort of the first-time buyer go-to,” she says. “I think the twentysomething and thirtysomething market likes the energy.”

Looking ahead, Ms. Morrison expects the fall market to feel relatively normal after some wild swings in both directions over the past year.

Ms. Morrison also listed a one-bedroom-plus-den unit at 76 Shuter Street with an asking price of $640,000. The unit has not sold, despite being close to the Eaton Centre’s shopping and dining.

Elite Properties Toronto

“I think September is going to be this big overhaul,” she says, as some people return to work in offices, students go back to school and international borders may reopen. But for now, she senses many people are still contemplating the changes that the fall may bring. “COVID has taught us that planning ahead is tricky.”

Meanwhile, some owners of detached and semi-detached houses are also accepting offers with conditions attached, which is a signal that the days of pressure-cooker competition are in the past. Buyers have a slightly better opportunity to negotiate a deal for a house, Ms. Morrison says, but they still need to be aggressive if they see a property they really want. As for sellers, she observes that some homeowners decided to list when health restrictions were eased, but she is advising most of her clients to wait until the fall unless they need to sell urgently.

“I think a lot of us are telling people it will be better to list in the fall. Everyone will be back in town – they won’t be on vacation.”

Looking ahead, Mr. Brown at Capital Economics predicts the Bank of Canada will continue to keep an eye on the rate of employment in this country – along with house price inflation – as economists try to gauge when the central bank might raise interest rates.

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Tight real estate inventory and lower sales in the capital region in July – Times Colonist

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A shrinking number of properties for sale in Greater Victoria is translating into fewer sales, despite strong demand.

“The real estate story right now continues to be inventory,” David Langlois, president of the Victoria Real Estate Board, said Tuesday as July sales statistics were released.

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At the end of July, there were just 1,270 listings — down by 52.1 per cent from the 2,653 properties on the market at the same time a year ago.

Inventory dropped by 7.6 per cent, or 1,375 listings, last month from the previous month.

“The market is driven by inventory and fewer home listings lead to fewer home sales,” Langlois said. “In that context, these numbers do not reflect a downturn in our market but reveal sales falling due to this continued trend of low inventory.”

A total of 835 properties sold last month, down by 14.7 per cent from the 979 sales in July 2020, the board’s report said.

Elton Ash, regional executive vice-president for RE/MAX western Canada, said the real estate market is returning to normal patterns, as sale are typically lower in July and August after a stronger spring.

He predicts inventories will rise in the capital region because that’s what happening in major markets across the country. “We are seeing inventory levels starting to increase. I’m confident we will see it higher in Victoria as well.”

Prices in the capital region have remained strong so far this year.

The benchmark price for a single-family home in the core was $1.082 million in July, up by 1.7 per cent from June.

A year ago, that benchmark was at $909,900.

Benchmark refers to the value of a home in a particular area over time, a method the real estate industry says more accurately reflects the market than average prices.

In May, the benchmark price for a single-family house in the core topped $1 million for the first time, although the average price had surpassed $1 million previously. The core consists of Victoria, Esquimalt, Oak Bay, Saanich and View Royal.

For many people, a single-family house in the core area is financially out of reach, a factor driving condominium construction and sales. Condos are typically less costly than a single-family house.

The benchmark value for a condominium in the core in July was $535,100, an 8.1 per cent increase from $494,900 in July 2020, the board said.

Langlois said it’s important for the long-term health of the housing market that the region maintains a “strong focus” on developing new homes to meet growing demand.

For the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board, north of the Malahat, where inventory is also tight, 450 single-family homes were sold, down 15 per cent from 531 in June. In the condo apartment category, sales dropped by seven per cent from June. However, row/townhouse sales rose by 29 per cent from the previous month.

cjwilson@timescolonist.com

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Could Montreal be Canada’s next real estate investor favourite? – Montreal Gazette

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Expect demand to surge when international travel opens up again.

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It looks like the real estate buying frenzy may finally be starting to calm down a little. While homes in Montreal are still selling much more quickly than they used to in pre-COVID days — in June more than twice as fast, on average, compared to last year — real estate brokers, especially those outside of the city, say they are not seeing the same intensity of competition among buyers as they did a few months ago. The pace of growth in sales and prices also seems to be slowing down.

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It’s not just Montreal. The annual Engel & Völkers Mid-Year Canadian Luxury Real Estate Market Report, released late last month, described a “wave of market normalization” in major cities across the country following an unprecedented growth in sales over $1 million in the first half of the year.

Sales of luxury homes in Montreal increased 134 per cent year-over-year from January to June. Yet in May and June, new listings in Montreal were getting fewer visits and offers than earlier in the year, the report noted. While bidding wars were still fairly common, the competition was more likely to be among just a few buyers, not dozens.

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According to real estate broker Patrice Groleau of Engel & Völkers Montreal, competition for properties in the outer suburbs appears to be decreasing as more homes come on the market, but he said demand for high-end properties in the city remains strong because there is so little supply.

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Patrice Groleau, owner of real-estate agency McGill Immobilier.
Patrice Groleau, owner of real-estate agency McGill Immobilier. Photo by Pierre Obendrauf /Montreal Gazette files

“It’s going to be a soft landing for the entry-level real estate,” Groleau said. “The luxury segment still has a lot of momentum going on.”

While the pandemic spurred many Montrealers to make drastic lifestyle changes such as moving from the city to a bigger home in the country or buying a second home in cottage country, with vaccination rates rising and reopening well underway, Groleau said it’s becoming trendy again to buy a place in the city.

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“People took permanent decisions in a temporary situation,” Groleau said. “It was easier to go out (of the city) but coming back in is going to be harder.”

In the Quebec Professional Association of Real Estate Brokers’ most recent quarterly market update, analysts pointed to the same trend and noted that the price acceleration seen in the past year in Montreal is not sustainable long-term.

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Director of Market Analysis Charles Brant said that affordability issues due to mortgage rate increases, market-calming measures implemented by governments, and changing spending habits as the COVID crisis eases are likely to result in a decline in sales levels by the end of the year.

“Even though records were still being set in the second quarter of 2021, the pace of sales growth has slowed,” Brant said.

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The reprieve may only be temporary, however, thanks to pent-up demand for Canadian real estate from international buyers shut out of the market due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Because international borders have been closed since the beginning of the pandemic, the Engel & Völkers report predicts that when international travel resumes, there will be a new surge in interest from foreign buyers looking at Canada’s metropolitan areas — particularly in Vancouver and Montreal. With a relatively low supply of luxury properties available in both cities, a new wave of international buyers could “significantly strain the market,” the brokerage’s report noted.

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It is Montreal that is pegged to be Canada’s next investor favourite. Prices are still much lower than Vancouver and Toronto, and the city is also on the cusp of a boom in development, the report notes, with an estimated 60,000 new construction projects expected to enter the market over the next three years.

While some international buyers are purchasing vacation homes or properties they can rent out, most in Montreal are buying a home to live in, whether for themselves or their adult children, Groleau said. Even if they do not intend to remain in Canada permanently, because Canadian homeowners do not pay capital gains tax when they sell their primary residence, real estate is a practical investment for those who can afford it.

“If you have money and you’ve come here, you’re comparing the price tag to London, to Paris, and so on. (Montreal) is still way more affordable than most major cities around the world,” Groleau said.

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Recent Commercial Real Estate Transactions – The New York Times

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Recent commercial real estate transactions in New York.

The building at 266 Wyckoff Avenue, left, and one at 242 Jefferson Street were sold together. 
Bestreich Realty Group

$2.9 MILLION

266 Wyckoff Avenue (between Linden Street and Gates Avenue)

242 Jefferson Street (between Knickerbocker and Wilson Avenues)

Brooklyn

These two buildings in the Bushwick neighborhood total 8,543 square feet and were sold as a package in July. The one at 266 Wyckoff Avenue was built in 1920 and has four one-bedroom apartments, one two-bedroom apartment and a retail space occupied by a deli. The one at 242 Jefferson Street was built in 1931 and comprises six two-bedroom apartments, five of which are rent-stabilized. Both properties are three stories and were last sold in 1994.

Buyer: Joseph Jemal

Seller: Maria Coniglio

Brokers: Derek Bestreich, Steve Reynolds, Tom Reynolds, Brian Davila and Sean Mashihi of Bestreich Realty Group

Google Maps

$100/SQ. FT.

$120,000 approximate annual rent

119 Fifth Avenue (at Sterling Place)

Brooklyn

The restaurant Harlem Shake signed a 10-year lease for 1,200 square feet in this 3,200-square-foot building in Park Slope as its second location. Harlem Shake will share the building, which was built in 1920, with M&C E-Bike II, a bicycle repair shop. The property also includes an occupied three-bedroom apartment above the restaurant.

Tenant: Harlem Shake

Tenant’s brokers: David Yablon of Katz & Associates and Sherry Naquin Sanchez and Spencer Bowman of Resolut RE

Landlord: 119 Park Slope

Landlord’s broker: Meyer Dagmy of Alpha Acquisitions Realty

B6 Real Estate

$14 MILLION

8 East 41st Street (between Fifth and Madison Avenues)

Manhattan

Built in 1921, this eight-story, 15,550-square-foot building in Midtown contains five floors of office space, two floors of salon space and a retail space at ground level. Two of the office spaces are occupied, and a hair salon is on the second floor and a spa on the third floor. The building was last sold in 2000.

Seller: 41st Street Levy

Brokers: Brock Emmetsberger, Zachary Redding and Cameron Stafford of B6 Real Estate and Nancy Cibrano of N Cibrano Realty

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