There are 2 articles by Susan Pigg published in Toronto Star a couple of months ago about the average house price in Toronto that I want to make reference to in this post. You can get to them here and here. Between them, the trend being pointed out is consistent: the average house price in Toronto keeps going up. For sellers, this could be good news; but for buyers, not so much. But what happens when you put those average house numbers in context?
WELL, WHERE ARE YOU GOING TO GO?
For anyone selling and buying in the same market, the average house price in Toronto will apply pretty much equally to both ends of your move. In this case, the only advantage the real estate market affords you is if you’re looking to change the kind of home you live in. Downsizing to a smaller house or a condo, for instance, can mean leveraging the market appeal of your current home against the purchase price of your new place. Depending on how different they are, you can potentially use the difference to kill debt or to free up some equity.
What’s my advice? Make sure the move is timed to meet your lifestyle needs, rather than being lead by the market.
At the end of the day, you have to like the home you live in.
For Toronto home-owners who are looking to get out of town, the opportunity to sell in an up market has its obvious advantages of course. Assuming the timing is within your control, the trick is to avoid waiting for the market to “top out.” In reality, the longer you wait, as the average house price in Toronto goes up, the more you’re likely to get when you sell. This being true, how do you decide when to sell? My advice is to look at the market you’re buying into instead. The comparative difference can be significant.
SO YOU WANT TO BUY, BUT HOW CAN YOU GET INTO THE MARKET?
Of course, if you’re new to the market, hearing about the ever-raising average house price in Toronto can be tough to swallow. There are no two ways about the fact that Toronto is a pricey and competitive real estate market, but it’s also a fact that people are successful in finding their first homes here every single day.
My advice is simple: to do everything you can to be the most effective and most attractive buyer you can be.
What do I mean by this? First, it always pays to know what you’re looking for. A realistic view of the market can hone your search, save you time, and set you up to make offers only on homes you have a realistic expectation of getting. As well, I’ve long held that there’s value in understanding that negotiating, and that successful negotiations aren’t always about money. There are tricks you can use to instil confidence in the seller regarding the strength of your offer.