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The Toronto Real Estate Market

coleridge

TRIBE Member
I can't imagine there are a lot of first time buyers jumping into million dollar houses. But a couple that's been on the property ladder for ten years and has accumulated significant profit over that time and are both now earning a healthy dual income, making the move to a million dollar house is pretty feasible if they are willing to sacrifice a bit on some of life's luxuries.
 

acheron

TRIBE Member
Junction Triangle fixer-upper creates a frenzy | Toronto Star

It has a leaky roof and needs an “extreme renovation,” but the detached house in the sought-after Junction Triangle neighbourhood has gone so viral since being listed on MLS Sunday, realtors have had to do crowd control.
Close to 300 people have called, emailed or walked through the dilapidated house this week, which is listed at $419,900, causing traffic jams on the usually quiet Armstrong Ave. in the Wallace-Emerson area of Toronto’s west end.

The incredible part? The “as is” house with laneway parking for two cars and over 2,600 square feet of space on 2 1/2 floors needs about $200,000 in work.

“I tried not to be insulting in the listing,” says Royal LePage agent Ashley McInnis, whose MLS posting shouts, “Create Your Dream Home! Floor plans attached.”

He decided against posting the usual interior photos on MLS for fear of scaring off buyers. And McInnis uses air quotes to explain the layout of the house: The “living room” has a fireplace jammed behind a double bed. The “dining room” is cluttered with clothes.

“There is almost nothing here to salvage,” he warns buyers, which is why the owners, who’ve rented it out as two apartments for years, insisted he list it well below market value.

Traffic has been so intense — two potential buyers got into a shouting match Friday on the street — that McInnis has hired fellow realtors to be there when he can’t to keep things in check.

Even veteran west-end realtors are surprised by the frenzy of activity the home has created, but say it speaks to much bigger issues that are heating up with the spring market just around the corner.

Toronto Real Estate Board statistics show house sales nosedived 15 per cent in February over a year earlier. But that’s in large part because of a 32.5 decline in sales of luxury homes over $2 million.

All the talk of a housing bubble and a tightening of mortgage lending rules have undoubtedly pushed many first-time and move-up buyers out of the market since last summer. But they seem to have come back big time since Christmas.

Demand is especially fierce for houses under $800,000, especially in the City of Toronto and close to transit, as is the Armstrong house. But there remains a giant disconnect between buyers and sellers, with buyers looking for bargains and sellers holding out for high prices or holding off in hopes that the market picks up.

“Most of what’s being listed is awful and overpriced,” says ReMax agent Mary Nikles. “At least awful and underpriced is somewhat better.”
Part of the problem is that sellers have been staying put almost en masse since 2009 which, in more affordable, up-and-coming areas like the Junction Triangle, has translated into a 50 per cent drop in listings in the last four years, says TREB senior market analyst Jason Mercer.

One Toronto man, a part-time contractor, left his wife behind and flew back from a vacation in Brazil Friday, keen to get into the Armstrong Ave. home before bids are accepted Monday.

He drove directly from Pearson airport after spending days on a beach going over the MLS information, and arrived at the front door with a plan and price — considerably over asking — in mind.

He seemed unfazed by all the cars and the crowd of potential buyers going in and out.

“This house is going to be a gem,” said the 52-year-old man, a part-time renovator for the past 30 years who didn’t want his name used for fear of alerting his full-time boss.

“There’s only 15,000 houses available across the GTA and in good areas like this, there’s nothing.

“I have listings sent to me every day. My wife thinks I’m crazy, but this is the one that I want.”
 

kyfe

TRIBE Member
I can't imagine there are a lot of first time buyers jumping into million dollar houses. But a couple that's been on the property ladder for ten years and has accumulated significant profit over that time and are both now earning a healthy dual income, making the move to a million dollar house is pretty feasible if they are willing to sacrifice a bit on some of life's luxuries.
Sacrifice and Million Dollar home should never be in the same sentence:), if you cannot afford to carry a home without making concessions chances are that the price is to high.

My wife and I (and I'm sure you and yours) would fit the mold you just described, We've looked at 2, million dollar homes and in both cases decided it wasn't worth the risk and the sacrifices we'd have to make to comfortably carry the property.

On one I got really creative and made it so the numbers would work but in the end it was still a little big of crazy talk, We are looking for a second home and converting our current one into the full rev prop once I'm done with the reno's but our budget is around $6-750 and hopefully around the same area. At a million the extra carrying costs, purchase costs (2xLTT) and property taxes add to much to make it feseble.
 

kuba

TRIBE Member
I can't imagine there are a lot of first time buyers jumping into million dollar houses. But a couple that's been on the property ladder for ten years and has accumulated significant profit over that time and are both now earning a healthy dual income, making the move to a million dollar house is pretty feasible if they are willing to sacrifice a bit on some of life's luxuries.
You can't with less than 20% down and most FTBers don't have 20% down on $1M unless parents kick in.

Further the income level needs to be $200+ to even come close to qualifying assuming great credit little debt.

Although at today's rates its unfathomable how low we are.
 
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kuba

TRIBE Member
..and the stupid thing is, $601K for that dump was actually a good deal when you see the sold comparables in the area. So hello! on the agent for being stupid.
 

lucky1

TRIBE Member
Considering two bed condos sell for 400K and change, the price was low to entice bidding war. So dumb that the agent tries to play it off as far market value.
 

kuba

TRIBE Member
No I don't think they tried that, I think they knew there would be a bidding war.

If any agent said that was FMV then they should never be an agent again ever.
 
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lucky1

TRIBE Member
In the star article the agent is quoting as saying "he didn't want to offend people by pricing it too high". To me, it sounded like he was trying to hide the fact he priced it low to start a bidding war.
 

juice

TRIBE Member
Coach House just up the street from me for sale at $3.495M plus maintenance fees! (MLS® C2561388) To live in someones backyard. Probably over priced by at least $600K if not $800K. I hope this guy takes a bath on this. Not even sure how he got this through city approvals to build this place (pay off central).

At least he had some what of a sense of humour about this whole process as when the neighbours were complaining during the building of it he put up a pirate flag :)
 

acheron

TRIBE Member
who the heck are you paying maintenance fees to if it's a coach house? the guy who owns the driveway (i.e the actual house?)? wow.

that's simply amazing.
 
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coleridge

TRIBE Member
there are no measurements on the site, how do you know the lot size or are you just eyeballing because it looks a fair bit bigger
The lot is about 35 feet by 75 feet. Dwell Magazine article says the house is 30 feet wide. Using that I scaled the plan drawing.
 

kuba

TRIBE Member
No, but I would absolutely consider such a dwelling in the future. And we should be amending by-laws to encourage their construction.
Of course we should. And kyfe, really? Just because of lot size? How about condos? What lot size would you get for a condo this small? 0 by 0?

Laneway houses aren't encouraged in Toronto but if I was a single dude I would buy this if I had the scratch over any condo or townhouse.
 

le bricoleur

TRIBE Member
Laneway houses aren't encouraged because of water/treatment servicing and fire access reasons. Also, there aren't many undeveloped building lots adjacent to lanes. The lots used to building laneway houses are often severed from another lot fronting a street, proper. Then you have to jump through the zoning variances to retain the existing house on a reduced lot and contend with the floor space and set back issues for the new house.

Croft Street (College and Bathurst) is the ideal laneway infill strip. It contained turn of the century multi-residential buildings, which in turn paved the way for people, more recently, to convey part of the parcels off of Lippincott, tear down the laneway garages and building dwellings on the newly created lots.
 
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