Active Listings Increase in May

TORONTO, June 5, 2017 – Toronto Real Estate Board President Larry Cerqua announced that Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 10,196 sales through TREB’s MLS® System in May 2017 – down by 20.3 per cent compared to 12,790 sales reported in May 2016. Sales of detached homes were down by 26.3 per cent. Sales of condominium apartments were down by 6.4 per cent.

Active listings – the number of properties available for sale at the end of May – were up by 42.9 per cent compared to the lowest level in 15 years recorded in May 2016, but remained below the average and peak during that period. The number increased considerably for low-rise home types including detached and semi-detached houses and townhouses. Active listings for condominium apartments were down compared to May 2016.

“Home buyers definitely benefitted from a better supplied market in May, both in comparison to the same time last year and to the first four months of 2017. However, even with the robust increase in active listings, inventory levels remain low. At the end of May, we had less than two months of inventory. This is why we continued to see very strong annual rates of price growth,
albeit lower than the peak growth rates earlier this year,” said Mr. Cerqua. Selling prices continued to increase strongly in May compared to the same month in 2016. The MLS® HPI Composite Benchmark price was up by 29 per cent year-over-year. The average selling price for all home types combined for the TREB Market Area as a whole was up by 14.9 per cent to $863,910. Year-over-year price increases were greater for condominium apartments compared to low-rise home types. This likely reflects the fact that the low-rise market segments benefitted most from the increase in listings.

“The actual, or normalized, effect of the Ontario Fair Housing Plan remains to be seen. In the past, some housing policy changes have initially led to an overreaction on the part of homeowners and buyers, which later balanced out. On the listings front, the increase in active listings suggests that homeowners, after a protracted delay, are starting to react to the strong price growth we’ve experienced over the past year by listing their home for sale to take advantage of these equity gains,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Director of Market Analysis.

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7 Things to Look Out For When Buying a Home in Spring

spring, home

 

Spring is house-hunting season. It’s the time when we Canadians awaken from our wintery slumber and decide it’s time to get moving — the sun is shining, the ice begins to melt and everything looks shiny. But if you’re looking at buying a home in springtime, know what problems tend to present themselves after a long winter (and how to spot them) before making an offer.

Knowing potential problem areas before even stepping inside an open house will allow you to find your dream home faster — and not discover any unwelcome surprises once the deal’s gone through.

 

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7 Ways to Spot Housing Needs vs. Housing Wants

 

As the Canadian real estate market becomes even more competitive,  buyers are having to make tough choices when it comes to choosing between their housing needs and wants. Before you lose out on purchasing that potential dream home, learn how to weigh your wish list against a reality check.

Having a clear picture of what you really need from a house to support your daily lives — rather than a highlight reel of “Cribs” running through your head —  will help narrow down your search and get you into a new home faster.

 

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Get an A+ on your Home Search with the NEW School Tool

 

No matter what the occasion, whether it is the news your family is growing or a work promotion requiring your family to find a new place to call home, finding the right school in the right neighbourhood can be a difficult task.

We recently did a study with Leger that found that most Canadian parents (84 per cent) want access to information on schools during their new home search, and we listened. With that, we are excited to announce the RE/MAX School Tool! Learn more in the video below:

The RE/MAX School Tool gives families one less thing to worry about as we’ve made finding the right home near the right school a simple search on remax.ca. This intuitive feature is highly visual and can help you see various schools associated with a listing, and match schools to a specific home address.

Homebuyers now have the ability to see the location of 14,500+ public, separate and private schools and search listings within the catchment area of 9,000+ public schools on remax.ca. This easy-to-use search tool allows users the opportunity to review school options for a particular street address and assist you in your search process. What does this mean for you? It means your homework just got a little easier. It’s simple math, your perfect home plus the perfect neighbourhood minus the hassle of determining which school falls within the boundary, equals the perfect match.

Whether searching for a listing, a neighbourhood, or a specific school first, we’re committed to helping move more Canadian families into their ideal homes and neighbourhoods. We’re listening to Canadians and we’re focused on providing technologies like the School Tool making the search for your home easier and more efficient, so you can focus on the next soccer practice or helping to solve that tricky math problem during homework time.

How to Use the School Tool

  1. Visit Remax.ca
  2. Search the desired location
  3. Click on the green graduation hat in the top, left-hand corner
  4. Distinguish school type, grade, etc.
  5. According to your search preferences, relevant schools will pop-up

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5 Essential Tips for First-Time Homebuyers

 

Buying your first home can be a daunting experience.

For many, the real estate world is complex and confusing, and it’s tough to know where to start when you’re ready to search for your first home.

We reached out to our RE/MAX Influencers—a panel consisting of RE/MAX Sales Associates from throughout Canada—to discover their Top 5 Tips for first-time homebuyers.

Pre-approval, pre-approval, pre-approval

Our RE/MAX Influencers agreed that pre-approval is the most important thing for first-time homebuyers to think about so they understand what they can afford. Having this knowledge will make the entire homebuying experience easier and less stressful.

“Pre-approval is key! Make sure you have a mortgage broker who will work for you and has reviewed all of your documents so that you know how much purchasing power you have,” says Heather Forman, RE/MAX Little Oak Realty, Langley, BC.

It is also important to incorporate closing costs into the equation, and don’t forget about strata fees, if applicable.

“Be qualified and know exactly how much you can afford before you start looking. That way, if you see the right home, you can put in an offer right away,” says Patty Lew-Lapointe, RE/MAX iRealty Innovations, Calgary, AB.

Make a list and check it (more than) twice

It’s a good idea to write down a list of the things that are important to you when it comes to your first house. Separate the list into two columns: “must-haves” and “would-be-nice.” The list will come in handy when viewing homes, especially if a particular property shows well, but doesn’t have the things that matter most to you.

When viewing homes, keep notes so you can remember what features each property had.

“After getting pre-approved, I suggest prioritizing the needs and wants along with the long-term plan,” says Adrian Michelutti, RE/MAX Professionals, St. Albert, AB. “By focusing on their current and short-term needs, they will be able to find a home they can get started in, build equity, and eventually move on to the next home that meets their growing needs.”

Keep an open mind

It’s rare for a first home to be a 10/10 in all categories; however, it’s quite possible to find a home you fall in love with, which is also one that checks most of the things off your wish list.

In fast-paced markets where multiple offers are the norm, it’s possible that you may miss out on the first home you’re drawn to. It’s important to remember that the right home for you is still out there, and in some cases, you’ll be relieved you missed out on an earlier home if you eventually find something better.

“It’s easy to get caught up in the, ‘Is this the one?’ quest. Remember, this is not reality TV, and everyone feels the a-ha moment differently,” says Elisse Moreno, RE/MAX Excellence, Edmonton AB.

Ask questions

A good real estate agent will always take the time to answer all your questions; a great real estate agent will anticipate the questions you’re going to ask and provide you with the information before you even request it.

Many first-time buyers are hesitant to ask questions because they don’t want to be embarrassed if they’re not familiar with certain terminology. Professional real estate agents understand the confusing nature of the business, and are happy to help navigate you through the process.

“I will constantly ask my first-time buyer clients if they know what I’m referring to when I use certain terms, reassuring them to ask questions whenever something is unclear,” says Eric Steinbach, RE/MAX Kelowna – Westside.

Go with those who know

For many, buying a first home is uncharted territory; therefore, it’s incredibly important that you are represented by a professional agent with a good track record.

It’s also important that your real estate agent is very knowledgeable in the market you’re planning on buying in. Some agents even specialize in working with first-time homebuyers; therefore, be sure to research an agent who is the right fit for you, and who has the time to guide you through the process from start to finish.

“I always meet with first-time buyers face-to-face, and I have a step-by-step process I go through with them, which explains the entire process,” says Kelly O’Dwyer, RE/MAX of Nanaimo.

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RE/MAX Own It: Separating Wants From Needs

 

Distinguishing from what you want and what you really need in your new home can be tricky, because emotions can take over the decision-making process.

To stay on track, make separate lists of wants and needs.


Wants are features that would be nice to have. So ask yourself, “Can I live without it?” Needs are things you must have to fit your lifestyle.

Next, determine if a feature could be changed or added later. If you had your heart set on a deck or hardwood floors, ask your agent to help you determine the cost of adding them down the road. Talk it through with your agent so you can keep your emotions in check so you’ll find the home that’s just right for you.

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Strong Growth in New Listings in April

TORONTO, ONTARIO, May 3, 2017 – Toronto Real Estate Board President Larry Cerqua announced that Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® entered 33.6 per cent more new listings into TREB’s MLS® System in April 2017, at 21,630, compared to the same month in 2016. New listings were up by double-digits for all low-rise home types, including detached and semi-detached houses and townhouses. New listings for condominium apartments were at the same level as last year.

Total sales for the TREB market area as a whole amounted to 11,630 – down 3.2 per cent year-over-year. One issue underlying this decline was the fact that Easter fell in April in 2017 versus March in 2016, which resulted in fewer working days this year compared to last and, historically, most sales are entered into TREB’s MLS® System on working days.

“The fact that we experienced extremely strong growth in new listings in April means that buyers benefitted from considerably more choice in the marketplace. It is too early to tell whether the increase in new listings was simply due to households reacting to the strong double-digit price growth reported over the past year or if some of the increase was also a reaction to the Ontario government’s recently announced Fair Housing Plan,” said Mr. Cerqua.

The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) Composite Benchmark Price was up by 31.7 per cent year over-year in April 2017. Similarly, the average selling price for all home types combined was up by 24.5 per cent to $920,791.

“It was encouraging to see a very strong year-over-year increase in new listings. If new listings growth continues to outpace sales growth moving forward, we will start to see more balanced market conditions. It will likely take a number of months to unwind the substantial pent-up demand that has built over the past two years. Expect annual rates of price growth to remain well-above the rate of inflation as we move through the spring and summer months,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Director of Market Analysis.

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7 Simple Ways to Invest in Your Yard for Big Returns

To potential buyers, what’s out in the front yard and in behind a house can be just as important as what’s inside it. Spending a little time (and money) elevating the outdoor areas can have a significant payoff when the offers start rolling in this selling season.

Colour Blocking
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Take a page from a popular fashion trend — colour blocking — and transpose its traits into your landscape design. Pick out a patio wall and paint a bold colour (or, if you’re feeling adventurous, two or three in the same tonal family) or colour block your flower beds! It creates a visual frame to highlight any outdoor amenities such as an outdoor fire pit or a row of potted plants.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Flower Power
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Whether making a good first impression with a potential suitor or blowing away a potential buyer, flowers are always a good idea. Armed with a spade, some potting meal and slew of bright buds in a single colour, line front pathways, ring trees and fill porch pots for instant curb appeal.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Play It Forward
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In 2017, backyards are going beyond bench seats and flower boxes — one of this year’s biggest landscaping trends is having a place to play. Be it a backyard-sized bocce ball court or custom-made Cornhole set, setting up something fun for the future owners to play with could really pay off.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Lawn Yawn
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Instead of investing hundreds of dollars trying to fix a neglected lawn, take the path less trodden. Lawn alternatives, such as wild grasses and wild-flower mixes, are starting to sprout up everywhere, thanks to growing awareness around traditional lawn maintenance (fertilizers, water usage, etc.).
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Light It Up
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Give the backyard a boost with a set of café string lights crisscrossing just so. Illuminating outdoor spaces with these trendy trestles creates an inviting vintage vibe that begs potential buyers to pull up a chair and settle in for the night (and every night after that).

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Eat Up
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Harness the momentum of the “foodscaping” movement and plant a vegetable garden. A couple of box planters brimming with fresh parsley, salad greens and zucchini vines shows that this home is all about homegrown — and who wouldn’t want a slice of that?

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Swing Shift
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Have you ever seen a porch swing and not wanted to sit on it? Installing one of these sweet swingers on the front porch (or any other pretty spot on the property) is a surefire way to get potential buyers to picture themselves rocking their way right into a full-price offer.

When it comes to outdoor living spaces, small investments can make a really big impact. Which one will you be adding to your open house to-do list?

You may also like 7 Creative Ways to Landscape Your Yard for Optimal Privacy on HGTV.ca.

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