January is usually a quite time for the real estate industry. Buyers aren't excited to go from viewing to viewing in our bitter winter weather and sellers are bogged down with getting back into the swing of things. There's been talk and speculation about a housing bubble, the demise of the condo market and a price correction (I did say it was speculation, didn't I?). January of this year started off with a bang as reports of bidding wars in the city surfaced! So let's put those terribly negative speculations to rest and see what's really gone on this year.
To many people's surprise, prices were up 4.3% - bringing Toronto's average home price up to $507,859. It seems like the industry, who may have come down with a cold for a few months, is getting healthier. The mortgage restrictions that were put in place last year helped stabilize the market and forced first time buyers to rethink and save a bit more money. They have saved that extra money to allow them to enter the market again. This is the first domino that will keep the market strong all year. People have to remember that when you hear of sales being down that doesn’t mean values are down, and that’s what’s important.
While TREB predicts prices will grow 3-5% this year, the condo market is still a bit shaky with sales falling 5.1% and prices dipping 1.2%. But, already in 2013 there's been over 166 condo resales in the core alone. I have seen multiple offers on condo’s recently which is encouraging for sellers.