August 3, 2012 -- Greater Toronto REALTORS® reported 7,570 sales in July 2012, representing a decline of 1.5 per cent compared to 7,683 sales reported in July 2011. The decline was most pronounced in the condominium apartment segment in the City of Toronto. Total sales in the rest of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) were up compared to the same period last year.
“Very strong annual sales growth in the first half of 2012 and an earlier peak in sales this spring compared to 2011 help explain more moderate sales this summer. New mortgage lending guidelines and the additional upfront cost of the City of Toronto land transfer tax also prompted some households to put their buying decision on hold,” said Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) President Ann Hannah.
The average selling price in July 2012 was $476,947 – up by four per cent compared to July 2011. The MLS® Home Price Index (MLS® HPI)* composite index, which allows for an apples-to-apples comparison of benchmark home prices from one year to the next, was up by 7.1 per cent year-over-year.
“The GTA housing market became better-supplied in recent months. Buyers benefitted from more choice in the market place, resulting in less upward pressure on the average home price in July,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Senior Manager of Market Analysis.
“The mix of homes sold in July 2012 versus July 2011 also appears to have changed, further influencing the average selling price. This is evidenced by the different annual rates of growth between the overall average price and the MLS HPI®,” continued Mercer.
For the first time in more than a decade the GTA condo market is showing signs of slowing down. Bad news for those trying to sell their unit perhaps, but great news for renters.
There so many new units coming on stream, prices are softening. Many owners who bought them as investments may have no choice but to rent them out rather than sell. This means plenty of choice, room to bargain and better prices if you want to rent.
In Toronto in June there were 13 per cent fewer condominiums sold than in June 2011. There are rumours that some projects may be put on hold. In many buildings, there are multiple units for sale and they have been unsold for more than 30-60 days, almost unheard of during the first three months of the year. Some blame the slowdown on the double land transfer taxes payable in the city of Toronto. Still, because interest rates should continue to remain at historic lows for the balance of the year, there should not be any major reduction in overall selling prices.
Here are some ways you can get a better deal if you are renting.
Ask if a parking spot is included in your rent. Many downtown condos do not have them.
Make sure that you insert a cap on the maximum a landlord can increase your rent in any year, for example 2 to 3 per cent. Rent review does not apply to condominiums, or any other apartment unit or home built after November 1, 1991.
Do not pay any deposits for keys or other entry cards unless they are refundable at the end of your lease.
Include a right to renew the lease for an additional year, at your option. This way, landlords cannot take the unit back for their own family use at the end of the first year.
Get contents insurance to protect your contents should something like water damage occur. Otherwise, you will not be compensated for this.
If you are asked to pay for utilities, ask for copies of prior bills to make sure you understand how much this may cost you going forward.
Visit the building during different times of the day. See how long it takes to get an elevator and how many people are using the swimming pool.
Make sure you are familiar with all the condominium rules before you rent. A swimming pool may not be suitable for you if you cannot swim before 7 a.m. If the declaration says no pets, then you can’t bring a pet onto the premises.
Landlords should still not be in too much of a hurry or panic before renting out their units. They still need to conduct the proper credit and background checks to make sure the rent is always paid in a timely manner, and that tenants take proper care of the rental unit.
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Forest Model : 2 Bedroom, 2 Bathroom , 1085 sq ft
Shamrock Model: 1 Plus Den, 2 Bathroom, 1002 sq ft
Address: 365 Prince of Wales Dr
Builder Name: Daniel
1. Grab them from the curb.
2. Make it sparkle.
3. Pay attention to color and light.
5. Consider replacing furnishings.
6. Invest in new artwork.
7. Make repairs.
8. Apply a fresh coat of paint.
9. Don't forget the floors.
10. Renew light fixtures.
Ravioli with White Wine Butter Sauce and Asparagus Tips
One 9 ounce package chilled fresh ravioli
One bunch asparagus (about 15-20 spears), trimmed and cut into two inch pieces. You can use just the tips or if you like lots of asparagus, use the stems as well!
2 tablespoons coarse salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon minced shallots
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 tablespoons cold butter, cut into cubes
3/4 cup white wine
2 tablespoons fresh chopped thyme, plus more for garnish
Shaved parmesan cheese for garnish
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add salt and olive oil, and then asparagus. Cook asparagus until just crisp-tender, about 2 minutes, and remove asparagus with a slotted spoon, leaving the water boiling.
2. Add one tablespoon of butter to a medium size skillet and melt over medium high heat. Add shallots and garlic and stir until soft, 2-3 minutes.
3. Stir in wine and simmer until reduced by half, about 2-3 minutes. Now add butter, cube by cube, stirring until each one is melted into the sauce.
4. While the sauce is cooking, add the ravioli gently to the boiling asparagus water (I like to lower them in with a slotted spoon) and cook according to package directions until just done, about 6 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and put in a single layer on a plate until the sauce is finished.
5. When all the butter is melted, stir in the chopped thyme.
6. Divide the ravioli between two plates, and tuck the asparagus tips in between the ravioli. Drizzle a generous portion of sauce over each serving, garnish with fresh thyme and shaved parmesan and serve at once!