SALES COMMENTARY

The Spring Market has arrived – about one month early. As reported by the Toronto Real Estate Board, sales in February were 7300 units – a 77% increase over February of ’09. Sales were higher than those in ’07 and ’08 and were in fact a record. Already March sales are tracking at 9,800 units which will easily surpass those of previous years and will be approaching April numbers. While a lack of snow is certainly a factor, it is apparent that everyone is in a rush to beat the self imposed HST deadline of July 1st!

Whenever a market is performing well, there are always people ready to downplay the results. Last weekend the Toronto Star ran an article showing how cheap Florida real estate was in comparison to the Toronto market. They showed a condo for $81,000 and then said a comparable unit would sell for $300,000 in downtown Toronto. Very interesting but that is only half the story!

Did you know you can buy a condo in Ontario for less than $50,000? There are lots of towns in Northern and even Southern Ontario that have these types of condos for sale.

GTA REALTORS® REPORTING MARCH MID-MONTH HOUSING STATISTICS

TORONTO, MARCH 17, 2010 - Greater Toronto REALTORS® reported 4,353 sales through the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) during the first two weeks of March. This represented a 70 per cent increase compared to the 2,562 sales recorded during the same period in 2009 when resale transactions had dipped markedly due to the recession. The mid-month sales total was also 16 per cent higher than the previous March midmonth high reached in 2006.

Many of my clients who are currently buying a property have been asking me the same questions...."Should I buy before the July 1st implementation of HST?"....my answer to the question is straight forward...."Absolutely!"....I don't say so solely based on the fact that real estate transaction costs will be increasing after July 1st, but based on the fact that real estate prices gradually increase historically, and have done so at a an accelerated pace over the course of the past year. Furthermore, I expect prices to continue their upward trend going into 2011.

The Competition Bureau has decided that real estate needs more competition and lower fees. They have not said if that will affect service but they are sure that is what consumers want. The proof will be sometime in the future.