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Can this summers' heated market lead to more tension for home-buyers this fall?

 

Overseas buyers are increasingly looking to buy in Toronto as Vancouver prices continue to skyrocket.

If you think Toronto's market is seeing drastic increases – consider the older 800 sq. ft., 1 bath, 2 bedroom homes being listed for as much as $1.9 million in Vancouver. This may seem absurd but it is the reality in many desirable Vancouver neighbourhoods - comparatively, Toronto homes are a steal.

 

The BC government introduced a 15 per cent tax for foreign buyers in July and the interest has shifted to Toronto homes more than ever. Although most of the current investors are after the luxury market – the activity will have a trickle-down effect to other markets. The new tax has intensified Toronto's appeal, butthe shift was already well underway.

 

The short window between the time the tax was announced and implemented left many buyers in a bind. The Ontario government has stated that there are no plans to implement such a tax in Toronto but foreign investors are not quite convinced and still looking for quick closes. TREB announced that they will be looking into foreign-buyer activity and issues affecting supply of properties.

 

Last month, active listings decreased by 38 per cent compared to August of last year. The substantial decline in listings hasn't stopped sales from increasing at a rate of 23.5 per cent from the same time last year – with the average price rising 17.7 per cent.

 

With all the drastic changes, many Toronto buyers still feel the urgency to get into the market before they are priced out completely, while others are opening up to the idea of purchasing away from the city and commuting to work. Even with higher availability and lower prices outside the city – bidding wars have moved as far out as Port Hope and Cobourg.

Those cautious about price, but insistent on location, are increasingly considering condo-living. Condo sales have increased 32 per cent from the same time last year.

 

With summer ending, and people returning from their vacations and summer engagements, many are hopeful that fall will bring new listings and more activity. We're not counting on supply meeting demand any time soon, but we are hopeful that more availability will decrease some tension this fall.

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