October 5, 2015 -- Toronto Real Estate Board President Mark McLean announced that Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported a record number of transactions for the month of September through TREB's MLS® System. There was a combined 8,200 home sales reported for September 2015. This result was up 2.5 per cent compared to September 2014.
TREB MLS® sales through the first nine months of 2015 amounted to 80,331, which also represented a record result and a 9.5 per cent increase compared to the first three quarters of 2014.
"We are on track for record home sales reported through TREB's MLS® System this year. Barring a drastic shift in the economy over the next three months, total transactions reported by TREB Members in 2015 are expected to be at or near the 100,000 mark. This is a testament to the importance that GTA households put on home ownership as a long-term investment," said Mr. McLean.
The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) Composite Benchmark Price was up by 10.5 per cent year over year. The average selling price for all home types combined was also up by 9.2 per cent annually to $627,395. Growth in the MLS® HPI Composite Benchmark and the average price was driven by the low-rise market segments, including detached and semidetached houses and townhouses.
"While September was the second straight month where annual growth in new listings outstripped annual growth sales, total active listings at the end of the month still remained below last year's level. This, coupled with the record pace of sales experienced so far this year, suggests that competition between buyers will remain strong as we move into the fourth quarter. Expect strong rates of price growth to continue through the remainder of 2015 and into 2016," said Jason Mercer, TREB's Director of Market Analysis.
You probably already have a good idea of where you'd like to live. Still, before sealing the deal on anything, be sure to check out proximity to grocery stores, transit, schools, or any other relevant amenities. Some resources available to you in this capacity is this very site's neighbourhood guide, the TDSB's school finder, and the city of Toronto's neighbourhood rankings.
2. Don't be afraid to ask/pay for upgrades
If you're shelling out mad cash for a pre-owned condo, do not hesitate to ask the former owners for upgrades before your move-in date. If you're buying pre-constructed, it pays to invest in the right upgrades right off the bat. You'll reap the rewards later. What should you do? Here are two lists of suggestions for Toronto condo upgrades.
3. Assess the building's overall physical condition, inside and out
Some faults are easy to spot, while others pose more of a challenge. Hiring a home inspector is less common for condo units, but the investment is typically minimal ($100-200), and could prevent a lot of headaches down the line. Find a home inspector using this directory. Another option? Bring an experienced friend/relative/advisor.
4. Meet the building staff
This one is pretty much a given - if you like the people working there, chances are you're going to like living there. Plus, if ever anything should go wrong with your unit, it pays to have the staff on your side. The same rule applies should you need to bend the rules: extra parking passes are a sweet, sweet gift.
5. Research the condo developer and corporation
You don't want to put your faith in a developer with little experience building condos nor you certainly do you want to be buying into a place that's loaded down by debt. Researching those who are behind the construction and management of your condo is crucial. Review the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation's tip sheet for buying a condo, which covers the basic research you should do.
6. Make sure you won't lose your view
What's being built next door? If another sky-high condo is in the works and threatening to block your hard-earned view, you may want to steer clear. You might be able to check this just by touring the neighbourhood on foot, but you'll want to also check the Toronto Development Applications website.
7. Evaluate the building's current residents
Is your home to be comprised mostly of renters? Do the current residents seem loud, or, on the other hand, intolerable of noise? Your condo's demographics are likely to have some impact on resale value - not to mention the happiness of your residence there. This can't be internet research; you have to speak to staff and current residents to sketch the picture.
8. Ask your realtor to provide you with a detailed history of the place if it's been previously owned, and to provide you with a future projection of the resale price
Condos.ca is a good resource for some of this information, but it's a good idea to test the mettle of your real estate agent. Find out how much the unit sold for previously and try to determine how much money you can expect to make down the line. Market trends change, but it's key to go through these exercises before buying.
9. Buy a parking space if you can
It might sound counter intuitive with condo dwellers increasingly giving up on car-focused lifestyles, but even if you don't drive, if you're buying a new condo, make sure to fork out for a parking space. When it comes time to sell, you'll thank yourself for it.
10. Beware of occupancy fees
There's always a period of time between when you take occupancy of your condo and the building becomes officially registered in Ontario, during which you must pay occupancy fees or what is sometimes called "phantom rent" (because it doesn't go to your mortgage). This is unavoidable, but the period is generally shorter when dealing with 1) experienced developers and 2) the higher up your unit is (low floors move in sooner).
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1. Clean house at the old place. Even before you make an offer on a new place, get ahead of the game by starting this process. 2. Start with the bedroom. It's where you'll be spending almost a third of your time when you're at home, after all. If you're on a tight budget, opt for new bedding first, but don't skimp on thread count! 3. Don't buy everything all at once. Live in your new house for at least two months before you make any significant purchases. How you think you're going to use the house and how you actually live in the house are commonly two different things. 4. Fight the urge to match. Retail stores love to perpetuate the fallacy that everything has to match. They would love for you to buy everything in sets, but don't do it! A few pieces with the same styling are fine, but any more than that and your home has the lifeless, generic look of a furniture showroom. 5. Tie everything together with color. If you've moved into your first place with furniture that spans the 1960s to now, don't worry. The easiest, most economical way to overcome this seemingly insurmountable problem is unifying through color. 6. Solve practical problems inexpensively. If your kitchen cabinets are drab, for instance, freshen them with paint and change out the hardware.
• One batch unbaked piecrust
• 4 apples, peeled and cored (I like Macintoshs for this, but up to you)
• ⅛ cup brown sugar
• 1 teaspoon cinnamon
• 8 cloves
• Maple syrup for garnish
• Powdered sugar for garnish
1.Preheat oven to 400 and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper, nonstick foil or a silicone baking mat.
2.Divide the piecrust into 4 pieces and roll flat.
3.Place an apple into the center of each piece of piecrust. Mix brown sugar and cinnamon together and shake some into the core opening of each apple.
4.Press the edges of the pastry up and around each apple until it is fully covered. Flip the apple over and put it on the prepared baking sheet. Press a clove or two into the top to make a "stem" and bake for 30 minutes.
5.Cool slightly. Pour a little puddle of maple syrup onto each plate and put a dumpling in the middle, sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve!
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