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The right house still attracts multiple offers, but the frenzy of last spring is gone. (Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail)
The right house still attracts multiple offers, but the frenzy of last spring is gone. (Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail)

The Toronto housing market now: Calmer, but no fire sales Add to ...

The recent action on Fuller Avenue in Parkdale provides a good snapshot of Toronto’s real estate market at the moment. Three houses sold within about a week of each other.

Real estate agent Chander Chaddah was representing the sellers of a red-brick Victorian renovated with panache. It’s the kind of property that might have attracted 16 or 17 bids and at least one bully offer back in the spring.

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“I thought for sure it would go in multiples,” says Mr. Chaddah, who set a time to review the bids. “We got one offer.”

The house sold not far off the asking price for less than $900,000. It was a nice, sedate transaction instead of an all-out brawl.

The night before, another house on the same street with an asking price of $940,000 sold for $1.060-million. And a smallish semi recently sold well above the asking price as well.

So houses are still selling but not with the hysteria of the recent past, says Mr. Chaddah.

In some cases, houses are not selling on the offer date at all. On Geoffrey Street in the High Park area, one large Edwardian recently sat for a week or two and then was relisted with a higher asking price.

Canadian Real Estate Association numbers show that sales in Toronto dropped about 21 per cent in September compared with the same month in 2011.

The latest numbers from the Toronto Real Estate Board show that sales dropped 10.5 per cent in the first half of October compared with the same period last year. New listings rose 5.5 per cent.

Meanwhile, the prospective buyers for entry-level properties are still finding the competition fairly tense. Mr. Chaddah is working with a couple of sets of first-time buyers who are looking to spend less than $500,000.

“A couple of them got beat up in the past couple of weeks so being able to buy without going into multiples hasn’t been something we’ve experienced.”

By “beaten up” of course he means they were the dejected losers in the contests for two houses. In one case they walked away from a small house in Mimico because too many offers were already listed.

“I told them it’s going to get nutty and we didn’t even throw our hat in the ring.”

But Mr. Chaddah’s prediction is that the market will slow even more before the end of the year – partly because it always does in November and December but also because buyers don’t seem to be feeling the same sense of urgency.

But if things slow down much more, the market could draw back some potential buyers who were so put off by the zaniness earlier this year that they stepped out of the house hunting fray.

Mr. Chaddah had a couple of potential buyers like that last spring.

“The trick is to have the confidence to jump back in and be a contrarian,” says Mr. Chaddah. With his clients, so far that hasn’t happened.

“They’re still on hiatus.”

Follow on Twitter: @CarolynIreland

 

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