MARKET UPDATE FOR THE WEEK ENDING MARCH 13TH, 2020
Stocks have fallen hard in the last couple of weeks, so does that mean Toronto Real Estate is the new gold? Sales of houses and condos for the first week in March were up 47% over the same period last year and average prices rose 18%. Sales are still strong, there are still plenty of bidding wars, and open houses are still busy. There has also been a sharp decline in interest rates for all kinds of borrowing including mortgage rates. These lower interest rates have sent the mortgage industry into a frenzy, as buyer’s race to take advantage of cheaper loans. A five-year fixed-rate loan is sitting as low as 2.29%, close to the record low of 2.09% offered in November 2016, after oil prices crashed and the central bank had to cut rates to stimulate the economy. But could these rate cuts be a warning sign about a lack of security for jobs and incomes? The one good beacon of hope is the health crisis appears to be fading in China and South Korea, creating the possibility of future positive surprises.
The Toronto Real Estate board announced the stats for the month of February, and it was all positive news. For the City of Toronto, the average sale price was $989,218 up 17% from a year ago. The number of sales were up by 31% and new listings were up 6.6%. Double-digit average rice growth was experienced for most major segments with detached homes leading the way up 14.4% to $1,485,304.
The condo market is still going strong. The average price for a condo in the City of Toronto is up 18% to $722,675 compared to last February which was $612,488. As market conditions tighten, competition between buyers has clearly increased. Last week 71% of condos sold in multiple offers. That’s the highest percentage we have seen in awhile.
Bosley Real Estate Ltd. is a full service boutique brokerage operating in Toronto, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Port Hope and Cambridge Ontario since 1928. We have four centrally located offices and over 250 sales representatives selling and leasing homes and condominiums in all the vibrant communities we work in. Our brand is well recognized internationally thanks to our unique affiliation with Leading Real Estate Companies of the World. Our sales teams meet weekly to discuss market conditions, trending topics, and anecdotes that more accurately reflect the true temperature of the real estate market.
COVID-19 Response, March 30th, 2020
On March 24th, 2020, Real Estate was numbered among the businesses deemed essential for the province moving forward. Ridiculous, you say! Perhaps not, if you consider the following:
Most real estate transactions take 60 to 90 days to close, before the funds are transferred, the keys exchanged and the new owner takes possession. In the meantime, inspections are done, problems remedied, conditions are met and the deposit monies are placed in the Brokerages’ trust account. All of these actions are organized by the buyer and sellers’ REALTOR and his/her brokerage firm.
Today, Brokerages have hundreds of transactions waiting to close on the contracted date. Now, more than ever, it is imperative that we do everything in our power to ensure a successful transfer of ownership.
We must also consider the people who have successfully sold their home, but have not purchased or even rented another. Your REALTOR has the ability to virtually show you homes available and in some cases, particularly where the property is vacant, arrange a physical showing. In these uncertain times, it is more important than ever that your purchase contract contains clauses which to the best of our ability, can protect you from non-completion of a firm deal.
Our Bosley agents have been advised that any new business must only arise out of dire need, for example, someone who has bought but has yet to sell their property or someone who is in critical need of reclaiming their financial investment in their property. We will follow a strict COVID 19 protocol for all showings and our contracts will contain clauses intended to protect the integrity of the deal. Make no mistake. This is not business as usual.
As has been the case, for the past 93 years, Bosley Real Estate is here to serve our communities, neighbourhoods and families. We are all in this together.
The Bosley Family
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update - March 13th, 2020
To our valued friends, neighbours and clients,
As a family company, we feel it is our responsibility to ensure our team, along with our valued clients are well cared for and safe in their environments. As such, we have provided our representatives with strong recommendations pertaining to their daily activities in light of where we stand today with the outbreak of COVID-19. We are not looking to incite further fear or concern, but rather to take a calm and measured approach to the best of our ability in an effort to protect your health and well-being.
First and foremost, it is vital that we work together to have open communication. We have advised our representatives to immediately self-isolate in the event that they are feeling ill in any way. We have also recommended that representatives self isolate if they have travelled anywhere in the last 14 days. We request that you notify your representative on the above matters as well. Transparency is key to maintaining our overall health and comfort levels. Additionally, we have provided open house and showing protocols which include hand sanitizer at the door, an updated open house sign in sheet gathering recent travel information, a full disinfectant wipe down of all commonly touched surfaces as frequently as possible and so much more.
On the corporate front, we are practicing social distancing by requesting our Realtors work from home whenever possible. We have postponed any planned large gatherings and moved our educational sessions to a remote platform. We have also ensured that our service offerings to you will remain uninterrupted and regular operations will continue.
As we navigate these trying times, it is important to keep calm and carry on! Interest rates continue to decrease, the new mortgage stress test rules will be implemented on April 6th and there remains plenty of pent up demand. Last, but not least, economic predictions for the remainder of 2020 continue to be optimistic. All in all, we believe we still have a stable 2020 real estate market ahead of us.
In conclusion, we thank you for putting your trust in Bosley and our incredible representatives. Rest assured, we will continue doing everything we can to ensure a smooth and healthy sales process for you.