Spring Newsletter 2021
Real Estate Shines in Troubled Times
Direct: 416 252-2221
Award-Winning Sales Rep.
Right at Home Realty Inc.
REAL ESTATE SPRINGS BACK TO LIFE!
Prices Soar, Sellers Rejoice, Buyers Scramble.
Sales Explode! Condos Shine Again!
One year ago, in March 2020, Covid-19 rocked the world. I wrote: "A vicious Black Swan swooped down and smothered the planet with dark wings. A tiny virus ravaged bodies and minds with Biblical wrath. The global economy gasped and convulsed in shock."
When the pandemic first hit, Toronto real estate market choked. Sales plummeted 70% and prices plunged 20%. The world went from a buzzing beehive of trade and commerce to a locked-down prison with 8 billion inmates.
Many financial gurus, including RBC and CMHC, predicted gloom and doom but what actually happened surprised us all. A stubbornly resistant real estate market rebounded with head-spinning velocity. Double-digit price increases and record-breaking sales left us gobsmacked, as the British say. Armageddon was averted.
What a difference a year makes. Defying expectations, Toronto sales have exploded into a roaring Seller's Market. Cheap money and tight inventory are fueling our rocket recovery. House prices are skyrocketing to record highs. Detached homes sell in a flash with aggressive bidding wars and often fetch hundreds of thousands of dollars over asking. Lazarus has risen.
Condos are taking longer to rebound. Why? In 2020, tiny boxes in the sky lost their appeal. Many downtowners abandoned the condominium lifestyle in search of single family houses with more space, home offices, backyards, no elevators and fewer neighbours. But the condo exodus seems to be over. Attracted by affordability, buyers and investors are flooding back. Condo sales volumes shot up 64% in February 2021 and values are starting to edge up.
What is the main takeaway? Now, is the time to sell your house. If you are downsizing to a condo, this is your golden moment to buy low high and sell high. Opportunity knocks. Bargains await. Houses are red-hot, condominiums are lukewarm. The real estate stars are aligned. Act fast. Perfection soon vanishes.
For purchasers in today's booming market, it's another story. Mortgages at 1.29% are irresistible, but the challenge is to find an affordable house without 20 competing offers. Best survival advice for buyers: find a warrior realtor and a prescription for Ativan. Tallyho and good luck!
Stay well, stay safe,
Lynn's Crystal Ball Forecast
Our booming Toronto real estate market will likely continue throughout 2021 providing interest rates stay low and supply remains scarce. The two huge elephants in the room are affordability and a Third Wave.
Consider that the average housing price just topped the one million dollar mark. That is an astonishing jump of $135,000 since last year, but the median household income remained static at $86,000. Incomes are not keeping pace with spiking real state values. These double-digit spikes are not sustainable when buyers cannot afford astronomical prices.
If this demon virus mutates and the pandemic lingers, all bets are off. The Fall Market could transition to a subdued Balanced Market, The other wild card is government intervention designed to cool the real estate frenzy. If the policy-makers step in, as they did in 2017, our market could quickly tip into a Seller's Market with declining sales and softening prices.
How's that for hedging my bets with Delphic ambiguity? Sorry, but it is hard to be definitive with so many moving parts. My crystal ball has Covid-fog. Truth is, nobody knows for sure how 2021 will turn out.
My fuzzy prophesy, based on the wisdom of history, is that, even if storm clouds are brewing, the long-term forecast for real estate is always sunny. As my Mother used to say: "Everything will be alright, dear."
Here's hoping , we can soon share a rowdy toast to "normal" when Covid will be history. Cheers to that!
MARKET REPORT 2021
Sales Jump 52.5%
Houses Increase 20%
SOURCE: TRREB Statistics
Record-breaking gains continue in 2021. There were 10,970 sales in 2021 compared to 7,193 with the same month last year. Clearly, the market has survived and surpassed pre-Covid records.
Drilling down, detached homes are leading the recovery with a 20% price increase year over year. While the average sale for all areas was $1,045,488, homes in central GTA spiked at $1,684,073.
The average Townhouse reached $852,000 and the typical semi-detached home in Toronto has increased to $1,050,000. If you are looking for affordability, you will have to move to Moose Jaw.
Condo Sales Volumes
Surge 64% Year Over Year
The big news is that condo sales are turning the corner after an initial slump in 2020. Affordability and low lending rates are luring buyers and investors back into the high-rise market as evidenced by a dramatic 64% jump in sales volumes.
The average condo price is $642,000 and $686,000 in the core. Per square foot values range from $800-$1100. Ultra-Luxury condos in prime areas like Yorkville are exceeding $2000 p.s.f.
Condo values in the suburbs show a modest 3.2% gain since last year. Prices in other areas are flat or lagging, especially in downtown Toronto where there is an oversupply. As inventory decreases, condo prices will likely start to accelerate.
BUYERS CHANGE PRIORITIES IN 2021
TIPS FOR SELLERS:
THE 5 THINGS BUYER'S WANT:
After months of isolation escaping Covid's tyranny, consumers have reset what is important to them in a home. Sellers should be aware of these evolving priorities and stage their homes to reflect the trends.
A distinct shift is emerging among
current home buyers and new features
are popping up on their wish lists. A blip or lasting change? Time will tell.
BUYER'S WISH-LIST IN 2021
1. HOME OFFICE
Pre-Covid, it was a nice option to have a den or study. Now, a fully functional work space is mandatory. Sellers should stage a small area or spare bedroom as a work hub to attract offers. Transforming an existing area into a clearly defined work-at-home space adds huge value these days. In fact, if you can carve out " his and hers" work stations, your home will have enhanced appeal to buyers. Two offices are better than one.
2. HIGH WALKABILITY SCORE
Prior to the pandemic, proximity to highways and transit was a major selling magnet. Accessibility to work was paramount. Now, walking distance is an important prerequisite. Buyers want to be close to essential supplies like groceries, pharmacies, clinics, pet-friendly parks and nature. Sellers should highlight these neighbourhood features in their marketing campaign. Purchasers want convenient urban villages with lots of recreational space. Cars are less important. Jane Jacobs would approve.
3. GARDEN OASIS
More than ever, backyards, gardens and balconies appeal to buyers with acute Covid fatigue. Lockdowns created cabin fever and sparked a new appreciation of nature and the outdoors. Buyers are trading urban congestion for seclusion, privacy, green space and affordability in the country. In this market, sellers should strategically groom yards, patios, terraces and gardens to appeal to buyers.
4. CHEF'S KITCHEN
During Covid, we learned to cook. Consumption numbs boredom. The function of the kitchen has returned to basic food preparation. Sellers should stage minimalist kitchens with real working areas, small appliances, pots, pans and assorted cookbooks, especially bread-making! Storage, shelving and pantries are increasingly important. Prepare you home for market with this trend in mind.
5. HOME ENTERTAINMENT
The dining room is a renewed focal point. Buyers want family tables in addition to breakfast counters and barstools. Wine cellars and home bars are appealing. Small dinner parties with your "Bubble" have replaced restaurant meals. "Cacooning" is the norm. Props that connote happy times and happy hours assure buyers they can survive any future pandemic fortified with a martini or merlot!
CLICK BELOW TO WATCH
LYNN'S NEGOTIATION VIDEO
MY TOP 3 MARKETING TOOLS DURING COVID
OLD DOG, NEW TRICKS!
Covid revolutionized the real estate industry. Social distancing triggered creative solutions for marketing and showing properties. Computers, smart phones and tablets have replaced open houses and personal viewings. Realtor.ca gets about one million hits per day!
Speaking personally, the pandemic totally transformed how I conduct business. Instead of face-to-face meetings with clients, I pivoted to a 100% digital platform. New marketing technologies enabled me to conduct millions of dollars worth of real estate transactions in 2020 and I rarely left my home. This digital paradigm shift is likely to be the permanent face of real estate in the future.
1. VIRTUAL HOME STAGING
When Covid struck, traditional home staging became impossible due to restricted access to homes. Virtual Staging filled the void and became my new favorite marketing tool.
For a fraction of the cost, rooms can be creatively decorated, furnished and decluttered using computer wizardry. Voila! No muss, no fuss. A forlorn room is transformed into a showcase within minutes without any heavy lifting. Nice.
2. INTERACTIVE 3-D FLOOR PLANS
Using leading edge Matterport camera technology, buyers can now view a home at their own pace, wandering through each room, navigating different angles using an interactive platform.
These dynamic tours supplement photo galleries traditionally used by realtors. With 3-D floor plans buyers can envision ceiling heights, room proportions, light sources, furniture placement, structural anomalies and traffic flow. Your fingers do the walking.
3 AERIAL DRONE VIDEOS
Where permitted, small airborne cameras visually survey your home exterior and surrounding area. The finished video creates powerful marketing images, especially when promoting scenic waterfront properties, estate homes and expansive rural holdings.
The videographer needs a licence to operate a drone and in certain areas near airports, drones are not allowed. Drone tours are expensive, from $500 to $1000, but worth it, in my opinion.
These sweeping aerial vistas capture perspectives that are impossible to grasp at ground level. The results are thrilling, panoramic visuals which definitely help sell a home or condo.
I recently used drone photography to market a gorgeous waterfront listing. During the photo shoot, a nimble young techie set up his little whirling machine inside the suite, then guided it precisely through the patio doors, flying off the balcony into the sky where it turned and hovered magically mid-air. He caught a magnificent bird's eye video view of the terrace and full length of the unit while suspended 30 feet away from the exterior. Amazing!
I include all three of these latest tech-tricks in my listing package: Virtual Staging, 3-D Tours and Drone Videos. They work. They definitely help sell my listings quickly at record-breaking prices.
5 STEPS TO WINNING A BIDDING WAR
COOL TIPS FOR A HOT MARKET:
THE 5 P's FOR WINNING BIDDING WARS
So far in 2021, we are clearly in a sizzling-hot SELLERS MARKET which is heaven for sellers but torture for buyers. Inventory is low, competition is fierce and the prospects are grim for purchasers.
Buying a home has become a "blood sport" where you have to fight for what you want and there is only one man standing at the finish. You need to be bold and aggressive. Your best friend is an experienced Sun Tzu realtor who is a skilled strategist and tactician in the art of bidding wars.
Here is a short survival guide to help you obliterate the competition and win in the property battle.
1. PREPARE - Do your homework in advance. Study comparable sales, know values, get pre-qualified by your money lender, have a home inspector on call and arrange to have a certified deposit. Most importantly, set your upper limit in terms of affordability. Stick to your budget.
2. POUNCE- Act fast, don't wait for the offer date, submit a pre-emptive "bully offer." Currently, houses sell in less than 10 days and some are snapped up within 24 hours of listing. Ready, set, go!
3. PERFECT OFFER- Submit the cleanest offer possible with full price, or more, and no conditions. If you must have a condition, on financing, inspection or status certificate, tighten the time to one or two days. Don't low-ball or dicker over small issues.
4. PERKS - Include special terms in your offer to sweeten the deal from the seller's point of view like a flexible closing date or a larger deposit. Consider allowing the sellers to extend the closing or lease back for a short period until they find a home.
Understand the seller's situation. Find a need and fill it. Be creative. You could offer to buy some contents or to transplant a treasured rose bush to the seller's new home. I sold a home where my client was downsizing and moving to a retirement home. The successful bidder agreed to take the antique piano and the dog!
5. PERSONALIZE YOUR OFFER - Make your offer stand out. Attach a copy of your mortgage approval letter to assure there is no risk to the seller. Include a friendly note to the seller explaining why you love the home and how you will look after it. Kind words and courtesy work wonders. Send a bottle of champagne to be opened on closing day. You get it. In bidding wars, if you snooze you loose, but if you schmooze you win! :)
LYNN'S FEATURED CONDO LISTING
480 Queens Quay W
Suite 302 W $949,000.
Reduced for action! 1600 SF. Serious Seller. Flexible Floor Plan, 5-Star Building
Every Amenity: Pool, Gym, Golf, Spa,Tennis!
Irresistible Price. Only $600 psf, Excellent Investment. Parking and Large Locker
NEW LISTING FOR RENT
Stately Beach House
1 Sussex Drive. (Mimico)
Royal York and Lake Shore Blvd.
$5600 + Utilities
Rented in one day! Rare waterfront estate home, over 4000 sq.ft., 5 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms, private beach!
Stunning lake views, parks, trails, nature.
EXECUTIVE CONDO FOR RENT
480 Queens Quay W.1102W
$5550 Per Month
Sprawling 2100 sq. ft. residence. Two entrances, 2 terraces, 2 parking. Long lease possible. Pet-friendly, 2 dogs allowed.
SOLD - $2.49M
5 Marine Parade Drive
Total Reno,$600K Spent
Humber Bay on the Lake! Architect's own home, Dream Kitchen, 3-Bd, 2 Huge Terraces. Sublime views! Private Garage.
SOLD - $1.49M
58 Marine Parade Drive
Breathtaking Lake Views! Magazine Decor. Immaculate. Two Spacious Patios. Double Locker, 2 Parking.
Exceptional Real Estate ... Exceptional Realtor
WHAT PEOPLE SAY ABOUT LYNN TRIBBLING:
"Lynn Tribbling is in a class by herself. I work with realtors all day long, and no one is as creative and meticulous. She is unique and really understands the psyche of the high-end market. Her knowledge of condominiums is like an encyclopedia and her sense of humour really makes my day!" (Diane Verity, Post Newspaper)
“Lynn Tribbling is a dynamo with the Midas touch." (Vancouver Province Newspaper)
"You are an exemplary real estate professional. It is easy to understand why you win all the awards." (Dr. Avis Glaze)
“I am over the moon with excitement! You helped us through the whole process of staging, sold our home in the Kingsway quickly and found us our dream condo downtown. You are amazing. Thank you." (Elizabeth Flavelle)
"Lynn has sold 2 properties for me and made the complex process a pleasant experience. She is more than a sales person. She becomes your friend and really looks after your interests. Her concern is genuine and really comes from the heart." (Dr. Janjua)
"Lynn is a fabulous agent. I cannot thank her enough for helping us. I am sure Trib will be our realtor for life." (Patricia Hughes)
"I owe you a dozen roses, six kisses and a pocketful of thanks for all the real estate advice you gave me. You are a superb teacher and inspiring role model." (Irene Robinson)
THE LIGHTER SIDE
I'm a Perfect for handymam or horror movie bufflick here to add your own text and edit me. It's easy.
Sales Representative, Right at Home Realty Brokerage
DIRECT: 416 252-2221 OFFICE: 416 383-9525
CLICK ANY BUTTON TO CONTINUE...
Still staying home and socially distancing, but gearing
up for a smooth landing soon!
ISSUE: Spring 2021
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(**DISCLAIMER: Not intended to solicit listed properties or buyers under contract. All information is approximate and subject to change. Non-proprietary photos courtesy of Google images.E.& O.E. )