Red-hot Toronto a source not just of profits but also of dismay for agents

by Ephraim Vecina31 Mar 2017

While Toronto is currently the envy of other Canadian housing markets, the long-running climate of overheated growth has made life only harder for local real estate professionals, as home searches now take much longer and an increasing number of observers are nervous about the GTA market’s sustainability.

“People think this market is just awesome for agents,” Toronto real estate broker Chander Chaddah said in a recent interview with The Globe and Mail.

“I’m the guy who’s punching my client in the stomach,” Chaddah admitted, referring to all the times when he has to notify his clients who have not successfully acquired the houses they have placed bids on. “Unless you’re some kind of masochist, who enjoys doing that?”

Among the most notorious aspects of the Toronto market is the enduring lack of supply, which so far has not been able to keep up with the consistently elevated demand. Data from the Toronto Real Estate Board’s MLS systems revealed that as of February, the number of new listings has declined by 12.5 per cent year-over-year, down to 9,834.

Chaddah noted that this has led to intense bidding wars for houses and condo units, with some clients even going so far as making 6 to 7 offers to no avail.

“It’s demoralizing,” Chaddah said. “You get buyers who just give up.”

Real Estate Homeward agent Collette Skelly noted that a contributing factor is the mentality among some buyers who are prepared to pay far above the value of certain properties, as long as these houses are on their desired areas.

“This really feels like the top of the market,” Skelly said. “If we get a correction it may take three to five years before things return to normal and buyers might feel angry that they overpaid.”

Hamilton-based agent Chris Carroll of Royal LePage State Realty said that based on his transactions, the red-hot activity has already spread well beyond the megacity area.

“The Toronto influence has been so huge that people come in and throw money at the housing market in a way we’re not accustomed to,” Carroll said. “As long as Toronto remains unaffordable for a lot of people, Hamilton’s attractiveness will increase.”

Related stories:
Condos are king in the GTA
Observers now more uncertain about the future of the Toronto housing segment


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