Toronto Real Estate News from Margie K Team April 2019   

 
When existing homeowners decide it’s time to make a move, they sometimes consider turning their old home into a rental property. This month's article offers some helpful advice if you’re facing this difficult dilemma.

There’s also a look at some of the latest gardening trends that are sprouting up as well as a few tips on how to get your bike tuned up for the beautiful spring weather that’s finally here!

Thanks so much for checking out this month's newsletter. Please get in touch if you have any questions or comments regarding the articles, or real estate in general. It'd be great to hear from you!

Penny & Margie

In this issue...
Toronto Real Estate Market Update 
Home sales nearly identical to same time last year.

Toronto Real Estate Board President Gurcharan (Garry) Bhaura announced that Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 7,187 residential sales through TREB’s MLS® System in March 2019.

This result was in line with 7,188 sales reported in March 2018. For the first quarter of 2019, sales were down by one per cent compared to Q1 2018.

While March and Q1 sales remained relatively flat compared to last year, new listings have declined more so than sales. March new listings were down by 5.1 per cent year-over-year and Q1 new listings were down by 1.5 per cent.

“The OSFI stress test continues to impact home buyers’ ability to qualify for a mortgage. TREB is still arguing that the stress test provisions and mortgage lending guidelines generally, including allowable amortization periods for insured mortgages, should be reviewed. The supply of listings in the GTA also remains a problem.

Bringing a greater diversity of ownership and rental housing online, including ‘missing middle’ home types, should be a priority of all levels of government. TREB is happy to be taking part in the City of Toronto’s consultations for the Housing TO – 2020- 2030 Action Plan and will certainly be raising the supply issue during these discussions,” said Mr. Bhaura.

“While the City of Toronto’s recently announced Housing TO – 2020-2030 Action Plan is exciting and commendable, and TREB looks forward to contributing solutions as a Member of the External Advisory Committee, the recently proposed increase to the Municipal Land Transfer Tax on higher priced properties is problematic. As the recent City budget process showed, the MLTT is not a sustainable revenue source from which to fund municipal programs. On top of this, additional MLTT on higher priced homes could have a trickle-down effect on the supply of homes throughout the housing price continuum,” said TREB CEO John Di Michele.

The MLS® Home Price Index Composite Benchmark was up by 2.6 per cent year-over-year in March, while the average price for March sales was up by a lesser annual rate of 0.5 per cent to $788,335. The average selling price for Q1 2019 was up by 1.1 per cent year-over-year.

“Market conditions have remained tight enough to support a moderate pace of price growth. Despite sales being markedly lower than the record levels of 2016 and early 2017, the supply of listings have also receded. This means that in many neighbourhoods throughout the GTA, we continue to see competition between buyers for available listings, which provides a level of support for home prices,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Chief Market Analyst.

Doors Open Toronto 
Now’s your chance to snoop around some of Toronto’s most amazing buildings!

Since its inception in the year 1999, Doors Open Toronto has attracted more than two million visitors to nearly 600 unique locations across the city.

In fact, it’s Canada’s largest Doors Open event and one of the three largest Doors Open events in the world!

This free event, which is held on Saturday, May 25th and Sunday, May 26th, is a great opportunity to take a peek behind the doors of over 150 buildings across Toronto, many of which are normally off-limits to the public!

Venues participating this year will include stately homes, museums, halls, architecturally significant office buildings and even a few old farmhouses.

This is an exciting year to attend Doors Open Toronto as they’re celebrating their 20th anniversary! This year’s anniversary theme is “20 Something” which celebrates the first 20 years of Doors Open Toronto while looking forward to the next 20 years. Hope to see you out and about!

Selling vs. Renting -- What Makes Cents? 
Not ready to sell your home? You could always rent it out instead!

Opportunities usually come out of the blue. For instance, there might be a temporary work contract that forces you to relocate.

Or perhaps a strong buyer’s market means it’s a great time to buy, but you don’t want to be forced to sell your current home at a loss.

Renting your home might be an option but there are lots of things to consider. For starters, you'll want to conduct an in-depth financial analysis. Here are a few other things to keep in mind if you’re thinking about renting out your home:

  1. Step Away - Being a landlord isn't always easy. You’ll need to detach yourself emotionally from your old home.


  2. Tax Talk - There may be tax implications, so contact your tax advisor as rules can vary depending on individual circumstances.


  3. Money Matters - Make sure to have a bit of extra money on hand in case the rent doesn’t cover your mortgage, taxes, utilities, insurance, etc.


  4. Playing the Market - You may be able to increase your equity as the market gains strength, but if it tanks, you could end up on the losing end.


  5. Be Prepared - The future's uncertain so always be prepared for unexpected repairs or if your tenant suddenly falls behind on their rent.


  6. Raucous Renters - Tenants aren’t likely to treat your home with the same level of care as you once did so when it comes time to sell, your home may need some work.

As with any decision, it’s important to weight the pros and cons. If done right, renting can be one of the best financial decisions you ever make but you'll need to treat it like a business, so evaluate the rental market and research landlord/tenant laws before moving forward.

If, on the other hand, you decide to put your home on the market, make sure you have a professional real estate agent to help advise you on how to sell your home quickly and for top dollar. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions regarding this decision, or any other real estate related matters.

The Secret Garden Inspiration 
Create a garden space that'll bring you health and relaxation!

It’s that fresh new time of year when many of us step outside, roll up our sleeves and bring our gardens back to life! Here are a few ideas to help inspire you this spring:

  1. Grow Local - Flowers, shrubs and grasses that are native to your area are easy to maintain and also provide a natural habitat for birds, pollinators and insects.

  2. Sky High - Vertical gardening is popular, especially for those with small spaces. All you need is a wall, fence or trellis to grow edibles, annuals and perennials. The sky’s the limit!


  3. Foodscaping - Instead of traditional vegetable patches, backyards are being transformed into edible landscapes that include vegetables, berries, fruits and herbs.


  4. Flower Power - Edible flowers such as red clover, bee balm, daylilies and borage are also surging in popularity as they look beautiful and taste even better!


  5. Child’s Play - It’s important to limit screen time and get kids back into nature so parents are encouraging their children to develop an appreciation for gardening.

The new generation of gardeners are interested in supporting the environment and growing their own food, which is slowly starting to change the way we live and eat. Gardening is also the perfect excuse to switch off your device and get in touch with mother nature!

Stay Tuned 
It’s time to haul your bike out of storage and give it a tune-up!

Riding a bike is a great way to get around as it’s environmentally friendly and a great form of exercise.

There’s no need for gas, insurance premiums, parking fees, etc. and best of all, it makes you feel like a kid again!

Whether you use your bike to get to work or you’re looking forward to hitting the trails, you’ll want to make sure your bike’s safe and reliable. Here are a few points to keep in mind:

  1. Get in Gear - Make sure your gears shift smoothly.
  2. Chain Reaction - Clean your chain before applying oil.
  3. Sick and Tired - Check your tread and the tire pressure.
  4. Pump the Brakes - Inspect your brakes for excessive wear and adjust your cables.

If you don’t feel comfortable tuning up your bike, take it to a local bike shop. It’s well worth it as regular maintenance will extend the life of your bike and it’ll also make riding much more enjoyable. Once you get your bike in tip-top shape, make sure you have a strong lock, a good helmet and a bright light!



PS Are you sick of scouring the paper and MLS sites looking for homes?  Tired of playing telephone tag with agents only to hear the home's already sold?  Sit back, relax and let us do the work for you!  Just visit our website and check off the features you're looking for.  Whenever a home matching your criteria hits the market, it'll be automatically flagged and emailed to you so you'll never have to worry about missing out on your dream home.


Not meant to solicit clients already under contract.