The TO condo market is back to business, picking up right where it left off in 2017. Despite what all the "experts" predicted.
Two weeks into 2018 and the condo market hasn't missed a beat. There are a lot of buyers out there who thought about buying in late 2017 but ultimately decided to hold off their purchase until January or February. Why? The argument was that the new stress-test for mortgages together with the rise in interest rates would create a buying opportunity in early 2018. And, on paper, that seemed to make sense.
My counter-argument to all these folks is that markets will fool you. No market will do what you think it should and waiting to buy TO real estate, especially condos, has never been the right move. Granted there have been short-term slow periods, and even periods where prices dipped that looking back were real buying opportunities. But anyone who waited for those slow periods to finally arrive ended up paying more just by waiting, and if they didn't jump in at precisely the right moment, the opportunity was gone.
And so while January 2018 was supposed to be that buying opportunity everyone was waiting for, I will tell you that it is the exact opposite.
January is typically quiet. The market shakes off the dust of the holidays, tries to get used to the frigid weather, and listings start popping up for folks who were wisely advised not to list in mid-December, right before Christmas. So you'll see a few listings here and there and buyers will start poking around to see what the market has to offer.
How is 2018 starting off?
Minimal listings and tons of buyers ready to pounce. Sound familiar?
Last year I was fortunate to have several active clients right at the start of the year, which allowed me to see first hand how crazy things were and how much crazier they got through the spring. And, without making a prediction (because you all know how I hate making predictions), 2018 is starting off pretty much the same way.
I'm working with a number of active clients at the moment with various budgets - $350k, $600k, $800k, and $1MM+, all looking for condos in the core and up to Yonge/Eglinton. And in the past week alone I've been involved in two bidding wars for units with set offer presentation days (both of which sold well over ask with several offers), and I've seen half-a-dozen units sell within 24 hours of being listed. Last week a unit in my building (The Berczy) had 40+ showings in 5 days (it sold way over asking), and a unit just listed at 25 The Esplanade had 60+ visitors during their open house.
Does this sound like a buyer's market or the slowdown everyone was thinking would happen in January?
Last night, while waiting to find out if my clients won a bidding war for a unit in the St Lawrence Market neighbourhood, I was doing my usual ranting to my wife. (I work from home so the minute she sets foot in the door I'm like a little puppy, running to see her and tell her about my day and all my adventures. I think I spend too much time alone :)
I was telling her how a unit in our building sold with 5 offers last night and how my clients are offer #9 on this other unit and how some maniac buyer snapped up a unit at Yonge/Eglinton sight-unseen for $10k over ask before I could even book a showing for one of my clients.
She looked at me and said "sounds like this time last year all over again."
And she's right.
January to April 2017 was the most hectic time in history the Toronto real estate market (I've spoken to several veteran agents who have been in the biz forever and they had never seen anything like it). And the euphoria spread to both single family homes (houses) as well as condos. So far, very early into 2018, I'm starting to feel that same sense of buyer urgency that I felt in early 2017 in the condo market - low inventory, tons of buyers, and bidding wars. The good thing is that it's not indiscriminate buying like it was last year, where anything and everything sold in a bidding war. Even crap. And yes, I will call some condos crap if you ask me about them. But if you see something listed today in a good building, that's a good layout, for a fair price, I can guarantee that the buyers will flock to it ready for a fight. Even though the market was supposed to slow down in January. So far, there's nothing slow about this 2018 market.
We'll see how the spring market progresses and if listings balance out the demand I'm seeing right now. But don't expect any "deals" out there anytime soon, despite what everyone in the media predicted.
If you have a comment, feel free to leave it below. And remember, if you haven't already, please "like" my Facebook page, follow me on Instagram and check back regularly!
Your Toronto condo lover,
iPro Realty Ltd, Brokerage
Direct: 647-223-1679 (call/text)