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The sellers of this semi-detached house at 114 Albany Ave. ended the evening with $452,322 more than the asking price of $1.85-million.
The sellers of this semi-detached house at 114 Albany Ave. ended the evening with $452,322 more than the asking price of $1.85-million.

Bully bidders still running Toronto’s spring housing market Add to ...

Contestants in Toronto’s spring housing market continue to fight by lobbing whopping amounts above the asking price at sellers and fending off rivals with aggressive bully bids.

Residents of the Annex took note when the sellers of a semi-detached house at 114 Albany Ave. ended the evening with $452,322 more than the asking price of $1.85-million.

The renovated, four-bedroom house sold for $2,302,322, or 25 per cent above the list price.

Across from Trinity-Bellwoods Park, a semi at 115 Gore Vale Ave. sold for $1.45-million. That’s $151,000, or 11.6 per cent, above the asking price of $1.299-million.

The Toronto Real Estate Board reports that sales jumped 21.1 per cent in February from a year earlier. New listings rose by a slimmer 8.2 per cent in the same period.

That combination of robust sales and meagre listings pushed the average selling price up 14.9 per cent in February compared with the same month last year. The MLS home price index, which was designed to be a more accurate reflection of price movements, rose 11.3 per cent last month from a year earlier.

Geoffrey Grace, an agent with ReMax Hallmark Realty Ltd., says the double-digit year-over-year price increase is a strong figure, but he points out that the average price climbed 5.5 per cent just from January’s number.

March started with what felt like a flood of listings, Mr. Grace says, but he expects the tide to slow a bit in the next couple of weeks as school kids take their breaks and Easter approaches.

The forcefulness of one bully propelled the sale of 435 Valermo Dr. in Etobicoke in one day. Listing agents LeeAnne and Paul Francombe of Royal LePage West Realty Group uploaded the information to the multiple listing service for the Canadian Real Estate Association at about noon on Wednesday.

“By 9 o’clock it was done,” Ms. Francombe says.

The detached house in the Alderwood neighbourhood was listed with an asking price of $549,000. Almost immediately, a bully came forward with an offer that was set to expire that evening. Four other parties had already booked showings, so Ms. Francombe notified them of the bid and let them carry on. All four submitted their own offers, she says.

Bullies have become so common that prospective buyers aren’t too surprised when one applies the pressure, she says. “They almost expect it.”

The offers were close so the Francombes sent the other agents back to see if their clients would raise their bids. The bully was one of those who returned and ultimately prevailed with the high bid of $740,000, or 35 per cent above asking.

Ms. Francombe says the property’s lot, at 48 by138 feet, definitely attracted buyers who were interested in renovating or tearing down the existing house. “We had a number of builders at the table.”

She’s not sure if the buyer plans to live in the house as-is or redevelop it.

Ms. Francombe says a number of buyers are interested in Alderwood because the pocket near Brown’s Line and Evans Avenue is still relatively affordable compared with many areas of the city. The houses tend to be fairly spread out on tree-lined streets, the school district ranks well and the area has a mix of long-time and newer residents, she says.

“It’s a great family neighbourhood.”

Well-established and independent pizza places, barber shops and neighbourhood pubs line Brown’s Line, which still has a bit of a retro feel. A little farther south on Lakeshore Boulevard West, the strip east of Brown’s Line has recently seen an influx of new condos and townhouse developments. Those in turn have brought the chain retailers, including Starbuck’s, LCBO and No Frills.

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