Toronto Real Estate News from Margie K Team September 2019   

It’s easy to "go green" when tackling a home reno as most contractors offer a variety of environmentally friendly alternatives. This month’s article offers a few ideas on how to make your home more eco-friendly.

There are also tips on how to prepare your home in case of a blackout as well as some advice on how to get your lawn ready for the colder months that lie ahead.

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 
Homes sales up compared to same time last year.

Toronto Real Estate Board President Michael Collins announced that Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 7,711 residential sales through TREB’s MLS® System in August 2019.

This result represented a 13.4 per cent increase compared to 6,797 sales reported in August 2018. On a month-over-month basis, after preliminary seasonal adjustment, sales were up by 0.8 per cent.

“GTA-wide sales were up on a year-over-year basis for all major market segments, with annual rates of sales growth strongest for low-rise home types including detached houses,” said Mr. Collins.

"This reflects the fact that demand for more expensive home types was very low in 2018 and has rebounded to a certain degree in 2019, albeit not back to the record levels experienced in 2016 and the first quarter of 2017. The OSFI mortgage stress-test continues to keep some would-be home buyers on the sidelines."

Market conditions also became tighter in August 2019 compared to a year ago because, while sales were up year-over-year, new listings were down by three per cent over the same time period to 11,789. Year-to-date, growth in sales has well outstripped growth in new listings. This is why overall active listings counted at the end of August were down by more than 11 per cent compared to August 2018.

“The GTA’s strong economy, cultural diversity and internationally recognized quality of life continue to attract newcomers to the region each year. This needs to continue for it to remain competitive on the global stage,” said TREB CEO John DiMichele.

"However, our housing supply has not kept up with population growth, which has led to pent-up housing demand. The Province of Ontario, City of Toronto and other GTA municipalities have recognized that housing supply is a key issue and are working toward solutions. With the federal election less than two months away, all political parties should be making their housing policy stance clear as well."

The MLS® Home Price Index Composite Benchmark for August 2019 was up by 4.9 per cent on a year-over-year basis. The average selling price, at $792,611 in August 2019, was up by 3.6 per cent year-over-year

Both the MLS® HPI benchmark prices and average selling prices were up on an annual basis for major market segments. The condominium apartment segment continued to lead the way in terms of price growth, followed by higher density low-rise home types and finally detached houses.

“This year’s market through August has been characterized by receding listings and increasing sales relative to 2018. Competition between buyers has increased, which has led to stronger annual rates of price growth, most notably during this past spring and summer,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Chief Market Analyst.

"Right now, the overall pace of price growth is moderate. However, if demand for ownership housing continues to increase relative to the supply of listings, the annual rate of price growth will accelerate further. This underpins the importance of solving this region’s housing supply issues, which will go a long way to insuring a sustainable pace of price growth over the long term."

Nuit Blanche: An All-Night Affair 
Don’t miss this amazing all-night, city-wide contemporary art event!

The magic of Nuit Blanche returns to Toronto on Saturday, October 5th when hundreds of artists transform the city from sunset to sunrise with contemporary art projects!

The theme for the 14th annual event is “Continuum”. Shifting boundaries, new developments and changing perspectives means the city is invested in the desire for a change in experiences, viewpoints, landscapes and ideas.

There will be over 300 local, national and international artists participating this year and art enthusiasts will be able to experience artworks at both the Scarborough Centre neighbourhood and the Fort York National Historic Site in addition to the downtown exhibition sites.

There’s also a huge buzz around “Peace to the Past, Reach for the Future” which is a huge 18-foot sculpture that honours the last 25 years of the Toronto Raptors!

It's easy to access the all-night art show by foot, bike, transit or car. There will be extended TTC service on part of the subway line and partial road closures will make access easy for pedestrians. Experience the exhibitions, explore different neighbourhoods and take in the all-night art party!

The Green House Effect 
Homeowners everywhere are demanding eco-friendly choices.

A “green home” not only helps protect the environment, but it also yields long-term financial benefits. Here are a few environmentally friendly ideas to consider if you’re looking to update your home:

  1. Floor It - Consider naturally durable, environmentally friendly flooring options such as cork, reclaimed wood or bamboo.

  2. No Tanks - A tankless water heater may cost more initially but you’ll save money in the long run as the water's only heated when in use.

  3. Breathe Easy - Avoid using materials that contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) as they’re extremely hazardous.

  4. Reuse & Repurpose - Using reclaimed building materials will add both character and style to your home.

  5. Sunny Side Up - Solar panels will cut the cost of your electric bill and contribute to the fight against global warming while also adding value to your home.

  6. Window of Opportunity - If you plan on adding an addition, strategically place your windows in order to take advantage of the sun's natural warmth.

When it comes to remodelling, there are numerous environmentally friendly options for virtually any project. Buyers are always looking for greener alternatives, so these kinds of changes will definitely pay off down the road when it comes time to sell.

Don't Get Left in the Dark 
Being properly prepared is critical when facing a potential blackout.

Losing your power can be a scary prospect, especially for long periods of time when the weather turns nasty. Here are a few tips to help you cope if you suddenly find yourself in the dark:

  1. Take Stock - Stock your pantry with water and non-perishable food items.

  2. Request Backup - Purchase a portable power supply to charge essential electronics.

  3. Match Box - Store matches, candles, batteries and a multi-bit screwdriver in a central location.

  4. Let There Be Light - Ensure each family member has a flashlight stored in a designated spot.

  5. Keep Your Cool - Don't open your freezer or fridge unless it’s absolutely necessary.

  6. Stay Tuned - Have a battery-operated radio on hand so you can receive local news updates.

  7. Check Up - Check on residents in your community, especially if they’re elderly or on their own.

  8. Flip the Switch - Turn off the thermostat and all electronic equipment to prevent damage from a power surge when the power’s restored.

Blackouts can catch us off guard as we often take everyday essentials like light and heat for granted but by properly preparing for a blackout, they’ll be no need to panic. You can instead relax and have fun playing board games and telling stories by candlelight.

Don't Let Your Lawn Fall Apart 
Now’s the time to start preparing your lawn for the cold months ahead.

It’s important to properly take care of your lawn in the fall if you want it to look its best next year. Here’s what you should do to prepare for the spring:

  1. Rake It - Remove excess leaves as they’ll block light and trap moisture.

  2. Feed It - Fertilize your lawn in the fall to help repair any damaged roots.

  3. Seed It - Spread grass seed on bare patches to prevent future weeds.

  4. Drop It - Adjust the lawnmower down a level for the last mow of the season.

It may seem pointless to spend time working on your lawn now that summer's starting to fade into fall but if you take the time to do it now, you’ll thank yourself next year when springtime rolls around!

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.