Skip to main content
//empty //empty

23 Glengrove Ave. West in Lytton Park, Toronto.

Chestnut Park Real Estate Ltd.

The heatwave in the Toronto-area real estate market in July and August may give way to a slightly cooler September but buyers and sellers who haven’t secured a deal yet are not giving up.

Eileen Farrow, a real estate agent with Chestnut Park Real Estate Ltd., sold a grand Victorian-era house for $5.7-million in the second half of August after receiving three offers.

The five-bedroom house at 23 Glengrove Ave. W., in Lytton Park was listed earlier in the summer with an asking price of $5.995-million.

Story continues below advertisement

In addition to the three-storey house, the property has a renovated two-storey coach house, which Ms. Farrow hoped would draw buyers looking for a home office or grandparents’ pied-à-terre during the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Still, people were biding their time and, in late July, the price was cut to $5.395-million.

The five-bedroom house was listed earlier in the summer with an asking price of $5.995-million.

Chestnut Park Real Estate Ltd.

About three weeks after that, Ms. Farrow received one offer – soon followed by two more.

“I have not stopped all summer," Ms. Farrow says. “Between now and Nov. 1, I have eight closings.”

Patrick Rocca, a real estate agent with Bosley Real Estate Ltd., says Davisville and Leaside in midtown Toronto have been exceptionally busy as house hunters made up for time lost during lockdown in the spring.

“I’ve never had a July or August so good but I’ve also never had a March or April so bad,” he says. “We’ve gained all that back and more,” he says of the sales collapse in the spring.

Mr. Rocca found the last week of August slightly more quiet than the previous weeks. He says some people may be shifting their focus to the new school year or they may have been taking some time off.

Story continues below advertisement

In August, sales in the Greater Toronto Area soared 40 per cent from the same month last year, according to the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board. The average price jumped to a record $951,404 last month to mark a 20.1-per-cent gain from August, 2019.

The house sold in the second half of August for $5.7-million after receiving three offers.

Chestnut Park Real Estate Ltd.

New listings, meanwhile, swelled 57 per cent in August compared with August of last year. The 18,491 new listings in August were also slightly higher than the 17,956 new listings in July.

Mr. Rocca sees an increase in listings as a positive sign because demand is still strong.

“There still is very little supply,” he says.

Mr. Rocca has seen buyers moving for all sorts of reasons – from needing more space to downsizing from large homes. Others are leaving town but want to keep a foothold in the city with a condo.

Mr. Rocca has been advising clients who want to sell to list as soon as they are able because there is so much pent-up demand. Some needed more time to prepare and he is still getting lots of calls for evaluations from homeowners who plan to list in September.

Story continues below advertisement

Looking ahead, Mr. Rocca is still optimistic that the early part of the autumn will see lots of activity. He believes the late fall could see a market pause with the uncertainty around the U.S. presidential election and the outlook for economies and financial markets in general.

Programs that allowed homeowners to defer mortgage payments are also being phased out.

“My concern now is shifting to the spring of 2021,” he says.

Real estate agent Patrick Rocca has seen buyers moving for all sorts of reasons – from needing more space to downsizing from large homes.

Chestnut Park Real Estate Ltd.

Mr. Rocca says much of the concern about a potential second wave of the virus and the impact that would have on the economy has been pushed into the later part of the year.

He says some clients are getting back to work, while others are losing their jobs. Some are holding onto their jobs from now but they’ve seen lay-offs at their place of work and wonder if they’ll be next.

“No one really knows – that’s the big thing. There’s so much upheaval and so much uncertainty.”

Story continues below advertisement

Throughout his career, spring has typically been the best time to list a house for sale but he’s no longer certain that will be the case.

“Now I’m saying I don’t know what the spring will be like.”

Christopher Bibby, a real estate agent with Re/Max Hallmark Bibby Group Realty Ltd., senses that some of the activity that might typically happen later in the year has been pulled forward.

“We had a spring that didn’t exist,” he says. “We have a fall that’s already jump-started.”

Mr. Bibby says many buyers want front doors and backyards these days. Some are heading to Niagara or Collingwood to find them, while others are looking in the city.

“The freehold market is moving along quite aggressively,” he says.

Story continues below advertisement

Within the condo market, some segments are strong, while others are seeing properties sit.

Kitchen and dining area at 23 Glengrove Ave. West in Lytton Park, Toronto.

Chestnut Park Real Estate Ltd.

In downtown towers filled with former short-term rentals, for example, listings are high and some buyers with an investor mindset are holding off in the hope of bargain prices down the road, he says.

But in boutique buildings and more residential neighbourhoods, some units are fetching record prices.

Mr. Bibby recently sold a sub-penthouse on Scrivener Square in the Summerhill neighbourhood with multiple offers after five days on the market. The unit, with 1621 square feet facing south, sold for $3,276,000 after being listed with an asking price of $3,250,000.

A loft in the converted Tip Top Tailors building near Lake Ontario arrived on the market with an asking price of $1,069,000 and sold the first day for the full amount.

Mr. Bibby has noticed a clearheaded determination in sellers of late.

Story continues below advertisement

“You don’t really have people testing the market,” he says. “There are a lot of sensible choices being made.”

Looking ahead, Mr. Bibby also sees a lot of uncertainty as the cooler weather arrives.

“I’m looking at the market now week by week,” he says.

Your house is your most valuable asset. We have a weekly Real Estate newsletter to help you stay on top of news on the housing market, mortgages, the latest closings and more. Sign up today.

Follow related topics

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 ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies