Even in the summer heat, the real estate market was surely cooler than it had been in months. While the Toronto Real Estate Board reported in August that average prices in the Greater Toronto Area had seen a nearly 25 per cent decline since April, experts suggest the upcoming season will see prices heating up once again. So what’s a hopeful homebuyer or seller to do?
Before fall officially begins, and those in real estate head into a busy season, we asked a few of the industry’s biggest names in Toronto to offer up their one piece of advice for buyers and sellers in today’s market. Here’s what they had to say …
Darren Slavens, Vice President and Broker of Slavens & Associates
“It is so important to take the emotion out of the purchase. Create a budget and stick to it. Far too often I see buyers lose patience and throw everything they have at a home. It is so imperative to avoid a situation where you will become house poor. It’s also imperative that you plan for a downturn in the economy and raises in interest rates. Your house should be a source of joy and happy memories, not stress and worry. Stay within your means. … Ensure you have an agent looking out for your best interests. Ensure your agent discusses the realities of financing today. Your agent is there to protect you.”
Barbara Lawlor, President/ Broker at Baker Real Estate Inc.
“The biggest advantage to buying early in the new construction condominium process is the equity you earn over the time span of construction. My advice is buy early, it’s worth the wait!”
Michael Kalles, President of Harvey Kalles Real Estate
“This is a great opportunity for buyers as there is more inventory to choose from.”
Elliott Taube, President of International Home Marketing Group
“When I talk with buyers and the agents that represent them, increases in the price now being asked always come up especially in the pre-construction high-rise sector. They question how something that was $750 square feet not long ago is now approaching the $1,000-square-foot mark. My answer is simple and right to the point: Based on the current price being paid for land in this city, the long approvals process, removal of the OMB, increasing costs of construction and the additional fees the municipalities pile on, developers cannot sell for less and still make an acceptable profit based on the risk. Prices in high-rise are not going down and Toronto as a world-class city is still undervalued. The time to buy is now in my opinion.”
Hunter Milborne, President and CEO of Milborne Group
“Buy on the transit line or on the waterfront. Do not wait to purchase. Demand is very strong and prices could escalate more in the pre-construction sector of the market. Buy as much as you can afford but not more than you can afford, so you do not have to sell at the wrong time.”
Catherine Himelfarb Borden, Branch Manager at Forest Hill Real Estate, Yorkville
“The advice that I most often like to share with our clients and the agents in our office is to buy and sell in the same market. The Fair Housing Plan, introduced in April of this year, was only an issue for those sellers who missed the signals that a change was in the works and that it would impact the market in our city, in spite of the frenzy we were all experiencing. The fall market is no exception to that rule. Whether the prices are up or down, buying and selling in the same market ensures a market where all things are equal and the margin of error is greatly reduced.”
Debbie Cosic, CEO and Founder of In2ition Realty and Brokerage
“The investment hot spots are the suburban markets. Price growth will be unprecedented in these markets wherever major public transport hubs are in place, or coming soon. Look for developments on the Metrolinx, subway or Go Transit line extensions!”