Skip to main content

Real Estate As outlook debated, home buyers comb meager late-year listings

One Toronto couple recently sold their house for $3.6-million in less than 60 days. They saw another property they liked and called on their real estate agent, James Warren, to put in an offer only to find the house had already sold.

"We went out to buy and we couldn't find anything," says Mr. Warren, who says he could sell two or three houses right now if only the listings were available.

"If there's something tasty out there it well get bought."

Story continues below advertisement

He's recommending that sellers who are thinking of pulling their listings off the market over Christmas wait at least another week because there are people out there who have sold and need to find a new place.

But in this waning market of fall, 2012, buyers are not in a hurry to pay full price and they are definitely skittish about multiple offers, agents say.

Mr. Warren says that Canadian ex-pats returning from Europe are looking for houses near good schools.

"There's no question Europe's in a recession," he says. "Ireland's a disaster, Italy's a disaster – and Greece and Spain are disasters. Canada continues on."

Meanwhile, economists generally agree that Toronto's housing market is weakening but there is a range of opinion on whether it will land gently or with a thud. At Capital Economics, economist David Madani says the slump in sales of condo units before construction points to a hard landing and he expects some hefty discounting in condo prices over the next year or two.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that condo developers slashed the number of project launches in Toronto to five in the third quarter, he adds. Guided by the recent past, Mr. Madani would have expected to see 13 projects unveiled in the quarter.

"Over all, the evidence suggests that Canada's housing market is unlikely to enjoy a soft landing," says Mr. Madani in a note to clients.

Story continues below advertisement

At BMO Nesbitt Burns, economist Robert Kavcic says the modest decline in Canadian housing starts in November does point to a softly-landing housing market.

"If anything, the recent cooling is a welcome phenomenon," he says.

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Cannabis pro newsletter