By: Thomas Cook

Not All Toronto Real Estate Board Agents Are Equal

One of the criteria in any business or profession when you're deciding who to work with is what is the level of their experience.  With professions such as accounting or medicine, we just assume that the practitioner has had lots of training and is experienced in what we want him or her to do. In the case of specialists such as lawyers who are litigators, you wouldn't want them doing a divorce or a real estate transaction.  Same with a brain surgeon - they probably  wouldn't do so well with doing heart surgery. In the real estate profession, the public tends to think that all Realtors are equal - everyone having the same level of knowledge and experienc...Read More

By: Thomas Cook

Two-Bedroom Toronto Condo Rents Increase

Condo-buying investors might be pleased to know that the Toronto Real Estate Board has reported an 18 per cent increase in condo rentals during Q4 of 2013, compared to the same time last year. Rents for two-bedroom condos increased by 3.7 per cent in the 4th quarter over the same time last year, to $2,165. One-bedroom average rent dropped by 1.6 per cent, but remains at $1,600. "The construction of purpose-built rental properties has been a tough sell over the past decade," said Dianne Usher, Toronto Real Estate Board president. "This means that investor-owned condominium apartments in popular neighbourhoods close to work and leisure opportunities have been focused...Read More

By: Thomas Cook

Counting Your Blessings, Or Feeling Grateful?

“Counting your blessings” isn’t really being grateful. Yes, it’s bound to lead to some level of gratitude when you take a break, reflect and realize all the good things you have in your life. But you could do this – and some people probably do – without feeling especially grateful. It’s more difficult to do the latter. Especially when there are things for which you’re thankful that you wouldn’t exactly count among your “blessings.” But, as I’ve written before, we should be thankful not just for the sunshine and rainbows in our lives, but for the difficult times as well. The challenges and trials of your life hav...Read More

By: Thomas Cook

1,908 Luxury Toronto Homes And Condominiums SOLD in 2013

Five-year Growth Rates Are Moving Into Double Digit Territory And Higher The RE/MAX Luxury Housing Report for Canada was released today showing increased demand for luxury Toronto homes and condominiums priced above $1.5M.  This demonstrates the continued strength of Canada's 2013 real estate market. Here's what the report says... Mississauga, ON (January 28, 2014) -- Significant gains at the top end of the country’s housing market continued to demonstrate the overall strength of Canadian real estate in 2013, according to a report released today by RE/MAX. The RE/MAX Upper End Report, highlighting trends and developments in 16 major Canadian centres, re...Read More

By: Thomas Cook

Toronto New Condo Market Takes A Breather In 2013

A shortage of new Toronto condo projects, held back by lack of consumer demand, held the sale of new high-rise condominiums to 16,201 units in 2013 - down 23% from the 10-year sales average and 13% lower than in 2012. This is actually a good thing - whether by design or happenstance, the market has reacted the way it should to slow the number of new product launches and let demand and prices stabilize before moving forward again. A record 19,626 Toronto and GTA condo suites were rented on the MLS system in 2013 leaving this important segment of the rental accommodation market with a 1.4% vacancy rate.  Those units averaged a rent of $2.75 per square foot and were just 10 day...Read More

By: Thomas Cook

Could 30 Be The New 40? Not In Years, But In Work Hours

You read that headline and assumed that it referred to age. But it doesn’t. People have been saying forever now that 40 is the new 30 when it comes to aging adults. The headline above actually refers to another kind of time: work hours. A new book released by the New Economics Foundation suggests that it would be better for the economy as well as individuals’ well-being to shorten the traditional 40-hour work week to 30 hours. The book argues that we need to re-think the way we divide our paid and non-paid activities, and the time we spend doing them. As you might know, the idea of time being valuable is certainly nothing new to me. You’ll never catch me arguing...Read More

By: Thomas Cook

Eliminate "Zero Days"

I’m one of those people who is always interested in productivity. Over the years, I’ve read a ton, written a ton and experimented a ton when it comes to ways to increase productivity. Yet it wasn’t until just recently that I heard a productivity trick that I previously had never come across. It was in advice given to someone I read about online. The advice/trick was: Don’t have any zero days. By “zero days,” the advice-giver meant to eliminate the days on which one makes zero progress, or doesn’t accomplish anything, toward a goal. Immediately, you probably get the vision of someone lying on a couch all day, flipping between channels ...Read More

By: Thomas Cook

Toronto Home Prices Increase 12 Per Cent In First 14 Days Of January 2014

Toronto real estate transactions through the Toronto MLS Listings dropped slightly from 1,396 to 1,287 during the first two weeks of January 2014 compared to the same time period in 2013, but new listings were also down by 20 per cent. The average selling price for homes sold through the Toronto MLS Listings is now $515,990, up 12 per cent from the first 14 days of January in 2013. Dianne Usher, the president of the Toronto Real Estate Board, said: "The expectation is that home sales through the Toronto MLS System will be up in 2014. This is because the cost of purchasing an average priced home, including mortgage payments, property taxes and utilities, will remain affor...Read More

By: Thomas Cook

2013 Toronto real estate sales were 4th best ever in MLS history

Sales were about average for December with 4,078 houses and condominiums changing hands in all the districts. Condo townhouses and high-rise suites increased their share of the market slightly to 34% with 1,251 units changing hands. The December average sale price for all GTA homes came in at $520,398– up 8.7% from 2012. I’ll show you a graph of the average sale prices over the past several years in just a moment. The active listing inventory is one of the strongest indicators of how smooth or outrageous the market is going to be. We had an almost 19% decline in inventory for the month of December compared to historical numbers and lower by 14% from last year at th...Read More

By: Thomas Cook

Toronto Real Estate Board Calls On City Of Toronto To Repeal Land Transfer Tax After Budget Review

The Toronto Real Estate Board has again called on the City of Toronto's Budget Committee to repeal the Toronto Land Transfer Tax, calling it the "Toronto Home Buying Tax", in a press release after the Budget Committee finished its review of the 2014 Budget in early January. The Toronto Land Transfer Tax can increase the cost of buying a home by thousands of dollars, and could be putting off some first time buyers' plans to purchase a home in the city. "The Home Buying Tax hurts people when they can least afford it. It penalizes people like growing families or retirees. City Council should do its part in keeping Toronto affordable by providing relief from th...Read More