Toronto Real Estate News from Helene Kerr March 2018   

We may see our pets as cute and cuddly but they can often pose a real challenge when it comes time to sell your home. This month's article offers a few tips for pet owners who are thinking about putting their home on the market.

There are also some tips on how to quickly declutter your space as well as a few of the latest tech trends from the Las Vegas Electronics Show!

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!


In this issue...
Toronto Real Estate Market Update 
Home sales down from same time last year.

Toronto Real Estate Board President Tim Syrianos announced that Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 5,175 residential transactions through TREB’s MLS® System in February 2018.

This result was down 34.9 percent compared to the record 7,955 sales reported in February 2017.

The number of new listings entered into TREB’s MLS® System totaled 10,520, a 7.3 per cent increase compared to the 9,801 new listings entered in February 2017. However, the level of new listings remained below the average for the month of February for the previous 10 years.

“When TREB released its Outlook for 2018, the forecast anticipated a slow start to the year compared to the historically high sales count reported in the winter and early spring of 2017. Prospective home buyers are still coming to terms with the psychological impact of the Fair Housing Plan, and some have also had to reevaluate their plans due to the new OFSI-mandated mortgage stress test guidelines and generally higher borrowing costs,” said Mr. Syrianos.

The MLS® Home Price Index Composite Benchmark was up by 3.2 per cent on a year-over-year basis for the TREB market area as a whole. This growth was driven by the apartment and townhouse market segments, with annual benchmark price increases of 18.8 per cent and 7.5 per cent respectively. Single-family detached and attached benchmark prices were down slightly compared to February 2017.

The overall average selling price for February sales was down 12.4% year-over-year to $767,818. However, putting aside the price spike reported in the first quarter of 2017, it is important to note that February’s average price remained 12 per cent higher than the average reported for February 2016, which represents an annualized increase well above the rate of inflation for the past two years.

“As we move further into the spring and summer months, growth in sales and selling prices is expected to pick up relative to last year. Expect stronger price growth to continue in the comparatively more affordable townhouse and condominium apartment segments. This being said, listings supply will likely remain below average in many neighbourhoods in the GTA, which, over the long-term, could further hamper affordability,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Director of Market Analysis.

In recent submissions to the City of Toronto and other levels of government, TREB has argued that housing affordability must continue to be a priority.

“It is encouraging that the City did not include demand-oriented tax policies in its Budget,” said Mr. Syrianos.  “TREB believes that all levels of government need to collaboratively develop solutions to increase the supply of housing, especially the ‘missing middle’. This was noted in our 2018 Market Year in Review and Outlook Report, which calls for more ‘gentle density’, including housing types like semi-detached houses, townhouses, multiplexes and apartments.”

The Green Living Show 
Take a trip downtown to shop, taste, play and discover all things green!

The Green Living Show is North America’s largest consumer show dedicated to providing simple solutions to help people lead a healthier and more sustainable lifestyle.

This three-day event features over 350 exhibitors who focus on local and organic food, wine and beer, eco home and garden design, health and wellness, eco fashion, green beauty, electric cars and nature exhibits.

The Green Living Show also offers engaging workshops, green car test drives and a variety of incredible speakers all under one roof at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

This family-friendly event is held all weekend long from Friday, April 6th to Sunday, April 8th. You can enjoy a discount if you buy your tickets online. Hope to see you there!

For Pets Sake, Don't Soil Your Sale 
Make sure your pets don’t become a buyer’s pet peeve.

It's important to present a top-notch first impression when selling your home. If you share your home with pets though, you'll need to work extra hard to ensure it looks (and smells) its best!

Although you consider your pets part of the family, potential buyers will likely view them as a smelly nuisance. If you own pets, here are a few tips that will help when it comes time to sell your home:

  1. Deep Clean - Steam clean all carpets, rugs and couches and be sure to vacuum your home every day.

  2. Do the Doo Doo - Don't forget to clean up outside before showings as people exploring your garden will be turned off by seeing it or even worse, stepping in it.

  3. Gone to the Dogs - Most people don't want to be greeted by a barking dog when they enter a home. A whining dog in a crate is also a huge distraction so take Fido out for a walk if you're unable to make other arrangements.

  4. Creepy Critters - Some buyers may be too scared to tour a room that contains pets such as snakes or rodents. They may even decide to leave your home altogether so try and remove any creepy creatures before putting your home on the market.

  5. Fur Real - Clean pet hair out from under the stove, tables, blinds and all crevices. Aside from its unsightly appearance, many people suffer from allergies and you don't want them sniffling and sneezing while they're viewing your home.

  6. Scratch the Surface - You're probably so used to your scratched and chewed up furniture that you don't even notice, but buyers will. Inspect your home thoroughly and repair scratched areas including window frames, doors, furniture and floors.

  7. Breathe Easy - Few smells are as offensive as those associated with animals. Buyers will be exploring the basement so make sure any litter trays are clean. Open up windows and simmer a few cinnamon sticks in water as buyers may be allergic to artificial scents.

It's also important to declutter and depersonalize your home before showings so don't forget to clear away pet beds, feeding bowls and toys from both inside and outside your home. Even animal lovers will be put off by the hair, smell and mess that pets can make so take these tips into account to ensure your furry friends don't soil your sale!

Fast and Furious Decluttering 
Decluttering your home doesn’t have to take all day.

Research suggests that cluttered homes cause stress and anxiety. Sometimes it’s hard to know where to start so here are 5 ways to conquer your clutter in less than 5 minutes!

  1. Medicine Cabinet - Check for expired items and carefully dispose of them.

  2. The Junk Drawer - Throw out trash and then try to find a permanent home for everything else.

  3. Clutter Chaos - Clutter is often a result of items that are just left lying around. Grab a box and return toys or magazines back where they belong.

  4. Tupperware Toss - Clear up space by going through your tupperware drawer and recycle anything that doesn’t have a mate.

  5. Car Clutter - If your vehicle’s full of receipts, empty water bottles and crumpled up wrappers then it’s time to clear out the trash and return other items to their home.

Try to always be on the lookout for items you no longer use. For example, if you no longer play DVDs or CDs, donate them so you can gain valuable space! Decluttering can make a huge impact on our lives because an uncluttered home will promote peace and calm.

Exciting New Household Tech Trends 
Today’s homes are continuing to get smarter and smarter!

Every year, the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas introduces new and exciting technology. Here are a few of the latest innovations in smart home technology:

  1. Laundry Folding Machine - Who’s got time for the tedious task of folding clothes? There’s now a cool new machine that will deliver a fresh pile of perfectly folded laundry!

  2. Smart Loo - The smart home revolution has reached the bathroom with toilets that are equipped with foot warmers, heated seats, mood lighting and music functionality!

  3. Mirror, Mirror - There’s now a mirror that comes with Alexa so now you can ask about the weather or the latest news while you’re getting ready in the morning.

These are just a few of the coolest technologies to hit the market this year. As homes get smarter and more connected, homeowners will continue to benefit by enjoying unprecedented levels of convenience and comfort.

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 me do the work for you! Just visit my 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 your dream home. This service is free and there's no obligation! Click here to get started.

Not meant to solicit clients already under contract.