In today’s vibrant, if not at times volatile, real estate market, the job description of a realtor is as fluid and momentum-filled as the market itself. It’s not just about matching property to person or buying or selling. Increasingly, as the real estate market (Toronto in particular) is oft the subject of headlines raising panic and alarm, there is an element of media interpretation that is becoming a necessary built-in dimension to being a top-producing realtor.
In fact, it’s not unusual for most doom and gloom headlines to result in the phone ringing off the hook by concerned Buyers and Sellers.
Regular readers of my blog will know that over my breakfast of soft scrambled eggs, home fries well done, and brown toast with jam I watch the headlines very closely – and often not without some trepidation – because sometimes I agree with the media’s point of view. In fact, much of the news as of late has been raising the same warnings that urbaneer has quietly, and without panic, been bringing to the attention of our readers. Click here to follow urbaneer’s response to a story in the Toronto Star posted last month, in which a cooling housing market is predicted rather somberly by Canada’s chief economists.
There was another recent article which said Canada’s housing market had peaked because Canada was demographically over the hill. I addressed this in my recent blog that asserts there are a myriad of other (if not equally crucial) elements at play in the Toronto market, that lessen the strength of the potentially downward demographic pull.
When it comes to interpreting many of these stories, I fully admit I don’t have a crystal ball, but my ability to calculate how the market dynamics might shift comes from over two decades of experience operating during a crash, a recovery, and an ensuing roller-coaster ride that has gone up far higher than its ever come down, even while many other nations derailed. It’s partly why I’m making some assertions that the spring market may bring a bumpy ride for participants, especially when the freehold housing market is frothy with bidding wars. You can click here to read my recent perspective.
Case in point. Despite the occasions for bidding wars for freehold houses, the condominium market is somewhat more muted. Last week the Globe and Mail printed a story called “Five Reasons not to Buy a Toronto Condo”. Urbaneer has long predicted that, if cracks were to appear in the veneer of Toronto market, they would first present themselves in the condo market, because of issues with potential oversupply and with the large number of condominiums being snapped up by property investors (as opposed to owner-occupied units), which creates another set of vulnerabilities to property value. And while this particular story addresses the statistical truth that condo sales are dwindling and inventory is rising, it doesn’t necessarily mean this perfect storm, real-estate style will ultimately impact property values across the board .
While Urbaneer does not expect Toronto’s market to continue with the same vibrancy and volume that it has for well over fifteen years (outside of a wee correction in 2009). However, we still contend that prime properties, whether that be freehold houses or condominiums with unique qualities and features, in desirable areas that subscribe to the ‘location, location, location’ mantra of real estate, are contenders to weather any storm. In fact, they may potentially see a continued slow and steady climb in value. The key is to have a realtor who knows how to help steer you into securing one of these, and not just any downtown dwelling.
What this latest report from the Globe and Mail does underscore to us, are the merits and value of having a good, old-fashioned dialogue with your trusted real estate allies. You see, if you can have a conversation with someone who has earned your trust, then you will be assured some context and understanding to what is an increasingly complex market. While these headlines make us nervous on the one hand, because they reverberate the current chant of the Toronto market, we love that they open the door in such a fabulous way to offer our clients support and guidance.
At urbaneer, we’re here to offer you our insights into the dynamics of the Toronto real estate market as they’re occurring, real-time! Operating in all four quadrants of the market – with Buyers and Sellers of condominiums and houses – we make it our business to have our fingers on the pulse.
~ Steven and the urbaneer team