By: Thomas Cook

Is Now a Good Time to Buy or Sell Real Estate?

Is Now a Good Time to Buy or Sell Real Estate?

Traditionally, spring is one of the busiest times of the year for real estate. But the coronavirus outbreak—and subsequent stay-at-home orders—led many buyers and sellers to put their moving plans on hold. In April, sales volume fell to its lowest level since 1984, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association.   However, while sales have fallen, prices have remained stable. The average home price in April was down just 1.3% from the same month last year.1 And in many metropolitan areas, prices have continued to rise. The Teranet–National Bank Composite House Price Index, which measures 11 major Canadian markets, showed home prices in April were up 5.3% from a year...Read More

By: Thomas Cook

May sales up almost 55% from April - listings increased by 47% in the same period

May sales up almost 55% from April - listings increased by 47% in the same period

In May, at the height of the traditionally busy spring market, sales were undoubtedly the lowest they’ve ever been since maybe the 1960s with a 54% drop from last year with just 4,606 houses and condominiums changing hands in all the districts.   Condo townhouse and high-rise suite sales were down by 58% with a 30% share of the market and just 1,371 units being sold.  This however is a 50% jump over April 2020 sales!   The May average sale price for all GTA homes came in at $863,599, up about $40,000 from the month before and a 3% increase compared to one year ago.   The active listing inventory is one of the strongest indicators of how slow or fast the market has b...Read More

By: Thomas Cook

4 Significant Signs You're Not Ready For A Mortgage

4 Significant Signs You're Not Ready For A Mortgage

Toronto’s real estate market has been going steadily upward since 1997 and, although 2016 had exceptional appreciation above 17%, the average has been about 7% over the last several years.  2017 was even higher! Then along came the Covid-19 outbreak which threw our economy and job stability into disarray.   Bullish outlook or the pandemic effects aside, there are still plenty of other challenges for many would-be buyers, from shaky credit to sputtering incomes and more. To be sure, the right time to pursue a home purchase is when you’re financially and emotionally ready.   Here’s a look at a few signs you may not quite be there.   Bruised Or Beaten Cred...Read More

By: Thomas Cook

How Much Can I Afford?

How Much Can I Afford?

  One of the most important things any buyer must do before getting excited about house or condo shopping is to find out how large a mortgage they could be approved for.  If you don’t  you might find out you're interested in homes that are out of your price range OR the opposite - you could actually afford a larger property or buy in a different neighbourhood.   There are two calculations that every lender takes into consideration… the Gross Debt Service ratio (GDS) and the Total Debt Service ratio (TDS).  These permissible numbers will vary depending on your credit score.   The GDS calculation adds up the total annual payment for mortgage prin...Read More

By: Thomas Cook

5 Things You Need To Ask Yourself Before Turning Down A Low-Ball Offer

5 Things You Need To Ask Yourself Before Turning Down A Low-Ball Offer

A low-ball offer on your home means that the buyer has offered significantly less than our list price for various reasons.  Often the seller  feels insulted, but, before you say ‘no,’ ask yourself the questions below.   Home owners usually have a deep attachment to their condos or houses… it’s where they’ve made memories or perhaps it’s the first place where they owned the bricks and mortar or, in the case of a condo, the concrete.  And that’s normal!   After being in Toronto’s real estate market since 1980 I’ve sometimes seen owners react badly when a low-ball offer comes in and occasionally they’re justif...Read More

By: Thomas Cook

Life turned upside down

Life turned upside down

In April sales were undoubtedly the lowest they’ve ever been since maybe the 1960s with a 67% drop from last year with 2,975 houses and condominiums changing hands in all the districts.   Condo townhouse and high-rise suite sales were down by 70% with a 30% share of the market and just 905 units being sold.   The April average sale price for all GTA homes came in at $821,392, down $80,000 from the month before and about flat compared to one year ago.   The active listing inventory is one of the strongest indicators of how slow or fast the market has been moving.  The inventory average for the month of April compared to historical numbers was lower by a huge 41.4% co...Read More

By: Thomas Cook

20 Ways to Save Money and Stretch Your Household Budget

20 Ways to Save Money and Stretch Your Household Budget

These days, it seems like everyone’s looking for ways to cut costs and stretch their income further. Fortunately, there are some simple steps you can take to reduce your household expenses without making radical changes to your standard of living. When combined, these small adjustments can add up to significant savings each month.   Here are 20 things you can start doing today to lower your bills, secure better deals, and begin working toward your financial goals. Refinance Your Mortgage - For prime borrowers, mortgage rates are at or near historic lows. Depending on your current mortgage rate and the terms you choose, refinancing could save you a sizable amount on your monthly...Read More

By: Thomas Cook

Get Some Timeline Guidance

Get Some Timeline Guidance

GET SOME TIMELINE GUIDANCE FOR MORTGAGE SHOPPING   Actually, it’s never too early to start thinking about how much of a mortgage you might qualify for.  Many people start looking at condos or houses online or at open houses 6-18 months ahead of when they’re thinking they might buy.   Having a realistic figure in mind about how large of a mortgage you could get approved for will save you a lot of time (and dreaming).   Another good reason to get an early pre-approval is that, in all probability, you will find out things about your credit or about what you need income-wise that you didn’t know before.    You can then use your lead time profitably...Read More

By: Thomas Cook

How Can A Buyer Agent Protect You?

How Can A Buyer Agent Protect You?

Prior to 1995 the rules were different as they pertain to who is representing whom in the real estate transaction.  At that time, both the listing agent, and the agent showing homes to buyers (called a sub-agent), were both working for the seller.    There was no confidentiality whatsoever.  For example if the seller asked the sub-agent ‘Will your buyer pay more?’ that agent was supposed to reveal anything that the buyer had told them.  For many of us however that didn’t happen.    Even though agency law supported the seller, we as agents showing houses and condos developed a bond with our buyers and we didn’t subscrib...Read More

By: Thomas Cook

Coronavirus Alarm Causes Massive Market Anxiety

Coronavirus Alarm Causes Massive Market Anxiety

In March sales were up 12% compared to last year with 8,012 houses and condominiums changing hands in all the districts.   Condo townhouse and high-rise suite sales were up by 6% with a 33% share of the market and 2,667 units being sold.   The March average sale price for all GTA homes came in at $902,680, up 14.5% from one year ago.   The active listing inventory is one of the strongest indicators of how slow or fast the market has been moving.  The inventory average for the month of March compared to historical numbers was lower by a huge 31.5% compared to last year at this time.   This inventory imbalance is causing price increase in many, but not all, GTA distric...Read More