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Jeffrey  

I’m here again with Patrick Rocca of Bosley real estate and Patrick, why don’t you introduce yourself and tell the listeners what you do. 

  

Patrick  

Hey, good morning, Jeffrey. It’s happy to be here by the way, Patrick Rocca here with Bosley real estate. I’m a realtor broker here in the Midtown area Leaside Davisville area of Midtown Toronto. And looking forward to an exciting 2024 in the what I think is going to be an interesting and a positive market, hopefully.  

  

Jeffrey  

I think that we ended 23 with a little bit of a change in the market where I noticed that there were obviously a lot less available, but to also heard rumblings that it was actually a buyers market for a change. Let me know if you’ve seen that, and if anything has changed as we get into 2024.  

  

Patrick    

Well, you’re absolutely right. And you’ve nailed it on the head. The end of 2023 was definitely a buyers market. Of course, it’s a buyers market, if sellers are willing. And again, we ran into that issue where, you know, some sellers were unreasonable. But prices fell off, obviously, at the end of last year. And inventory was sitting, and there was great opportunities for buyers to get into the, to the market. Yes, rates are higher. But you know, there was transactions happening, I did a few deals towards the end of the year and trying to convince buyers that it is a buyers market is always a tough one. Because as we’ve discussed in the past, you know, buyers, they always, they always think they can time the market. And they always think that they’re gonna wait for the bottom. But as we’ve said many many times, there’s two things in real estate you can predict. And that’s the bottom and the top. Yeah, yeah, it was, it was a good time to buy. And it’s still a good time to buy. But I suspect we’re going to see a bit of a rebound here in the earlier part of the year. And yes, you’re right, there was no inventory at the end of the year. And some of the inventory that was sitting, much like the stuff that’s sitting right now was the stuff that was not realistically priced. And, you know, sellers were hanging on for their April prices when you know, we were in November, December.  

  

Jeffrey  

There’s a little bit of pressure now, from the external sources where the rumors that the Bank of Canada is going to start cutting rates. And so, we’ve already seen some of the big banks lower their rates in terms of their fixed term product. And so are you seeing or hearing from buyers that there is a pressure now to kind of get a property and lock in on a mortgage? 

  

Patrick   

I’m not necessarily saying that they’re going to they want to lock in on a mortgage, or that that pressure is there. But what I’m seeing is that buyers, I think are finally getting it in terms of you know, hey, maybe we should act now. Yes, you know, we’ve got a Bank of Canada announcement tomorrow, I suspect, as most people do, that they’re going to hold tight and nothing’s going to happen. The rumor is, is that we’re going to start to see rate cuts towards the second quarter, maybe towards the end of the second quarter, May, June. But, I mean, I think that buyers are feeling a bit more positive. Now we haven’t had a bank hike in, I think, three or four meetings. So I mean, I’m getting a ton of calls. Right now. I mean, I’m doing a lot of evaluations, I had many, many calls over the holidays. I’m talking to a lot of people who want to list because those people that were thinking of listing in the fall understood that it was, you know, kind of a quiet market and buyers weren’t out there. But now buyers are out there, I’m getting calls daily from buyers and from agents who are like, I had two calls yesterday from agents who are like desperate for inventory. There’s nothing on the market. We’re heading into the third week of January when you typically start to see more product come available. I mean, I’ll just take Leaside as an example. I mean, we’ve had one listing since the new year. And that was a listing that was on the market before Christmas, and didn’t sell. So we haven’t had any new product. And you know, but that’s not uncommon. We really do start to see stuff roll out. This week. We haven’t seen anything yet. But for sure next week. I have a new one coming out next week. I’m telling sellers now you should do it because buyers are out there and I’m hearing and it’s not necessarily in the Midtown area, at least David so I haven’t seen that yet. But I’m hearing through our company and in other areas in the city where you know, there are multiple offers. I mean, we’re talking I can condos situation we’re talking freehold situations where there are some multiple meetings happening again. And but again, I have to preface that by saying I haven’t seen that yet, and Leaside and Davisville. But who knows, but I mean, that just shows you that there are buyers out there who were not there in the fall. So it’s, it’s a great time to put your house on the market. And again, sorry, I’m rambling here, but, you know, we’ve got a funny sort of time over the next six weeks or so I mean, you know, we’ve got a good February, that’s probably going to happen, we’ve got a family day weekend in the middle there, which will quiet for that weekend. And then we head into March and March Break is for two weeks. I mean, you’ve got the public and private, but Easter is early this year, is at the end of March. So I suspect you’re gonna have two, maybe three weeks in March that are going to be very quiet, maybe not as much inventory. And, you know, talking with a few of my colleagues yesterday, the fear, I mean, not necessarily the fear, but I mean, people are going to load their listings on after Easter, and then you’re going to have a lot more product. And could that have an impact on, you know, on what’s happening, but I mean, if you’re selling right, now’s a great time to put your house on the market and buying there’s not a lot of products. It’s get out there and there’s there’s gonna be some good homes. I know. I’ve got a few good ones coming up.  

  

Jeffrey 

Let’s take that one that you’re listing next week as an example. What sort of advice have you given to the sellers in terms of things like pricing, preparation, anything that they need to do in terms of making sure that they are able to get the best offer for their house?  

  

Patrick   

Well, I mean, you know, I hate to say it, but I mean, it’s an architect’s own home, so it’s quite a stunning home. It’s, gorgeous renovation, three bedroom, two story addition, prime location and south Leaside. It’s so good. But still, every house needs preparation. Every house needs staging. So we’re gonna be staging it this week, we’re gonna be doing photography and floor plans on the weekend, we’re going to be pricing it at realistic market value, we’re not going to underprice it. I still cautious about underpricing in this market, because I just don’t, I haven’t seen it yet in my area where you underprice something, which is something I’ve never done in the past anyways. So we’re going to price it, you know, to sell and we’re going to price it to what we feel is fair market value. And if we get more great, but you know, we’re going to be looking for offers, and it’s a great and we’re not doing an offer date. And it’s a great house. 

  

Jeffrey 

Like you said that’s the type of thing that, you know, people who do sell, you know, you do need to do some preparation. It’s like you, like anything else in this world, you do need to do your research, do some preparation, so that when you’re ready, you can look at, you know, how long is it going to take to sell the house? How long is it going to take to close? You know, what are my constraints in terms of timing, right, for first time sellers?  

  

Patrick   

You know, it, there can be a lot to consider. And, you know, that can really increase the timeline. Yeah, and I mean, you have to be realistic with your sellers. I mean, I’m still of the mindset that I’m advising my sellers that listen, you know, especially this one here, I mean, not necessarily saying they’re gonna be the guinea pig, but they’ll probably be one of the first listings out and Leaside. And, you know, it could sell in three days, it could, it could sell in two weeks. So, as long as you’re patient, as long as you know, you got a good home a good product, it’s priced, right, it shows Well, it’s marketed properly. I think you’re in good shape. But if you’re if you’re pricing and you’re still reaching for those prices of April of last year, it’s it’s not a it’s not a good thing, right? To be realistic. And I’ve said that time and time again. And I know I sound like a broken record. But sellers, sellers have to be realistic and buyers do too. I mean, buyers have to understand that when something comes on the market. You know, your agent should be able to justify why it’s good value and why it’s priced the way it is. I mean, there’s nothing more frustrating as a listing agent and I had one before Christmas, where I have people coming to me and wanting to lowball on already a lowball list price, you know something that was listed in 2023. That is basically a 2020 price. And I still got buyers and buyers agents who want to lowball that price and I’m like, do your homework and they’re coming to me to say why do you think it’s worth more? And I’m like, Well, you know, do your math. Do your homework. Do you like doing like do your research don’t ask me to do your research. Because there you know, there’s there was some good value there, right?  

  

Jeffrey 

Yeah. 100% agree on that. And like you said, when there were a lot Little bit fewer products on the market, you know, and people thought that, you know, they saw a little bit of a decrease in price, then they said, Well, I can wait or I can pressure the sellers, because I know they’re not going to get their price. But, you know, as with all stuff, you know, you can’t sort of force a situation and be able to kind of predict or say that, well, I think they’re going to take 10% less, you know, if, if that provides good value provides good value.  

  

Patrick   

Exactly. I mean, if you look at the Toronto real estate statistics that came out, just last week, or two weeks ago, I mean, the average price in December of 23, was actually up over the average price of December of 22. In the Toronto real estate board, and there was actually more transactions in December of 23, than there was in 2022. So I mean, it’s not like I mean, 2022 was bad. I mean, you know, there was, it was silent, it was very eerie in the fall, it was very quiet, this fall this past fall, 2023. But it was more active than 2022. So it’s not like, you know, the sky has fallen. I mean, we’re definitely not back where we were in 2021. But, you know, it’s, that’s the market, right. 

  

Jeffrey  

And I know, there’s some people who do read newspapers still, or, or look at news feeds that say that Toronto is real estate market is horrendously overpriced, and, and they’re waiting for the prices to come down. I’m reminded of a friend of ours who sold their house most probably 10 or 12 years ago waiting for the price to come down. And they eventually moved out of the city because the price never came down. Now, I’m not saying the price won’t come down. But you can’t sort of think that you’ll just wait. And again, like you said, be able to time the market or time a major decrease in prices, and let that dictate your schedule.  

  

Patrick  

Yeah, you know, it’s all about being in the market, as opposed to trying to time the market. So you have to get into the market. And you’re right, over time real estate increases. And I mean, we have the big thing that’s driving our market. You know, we’ve got record immigration. And we have a housing crisis we have, we have no housing. There is, you know, record immigration coming into the GTA, and by all looks, I don’t know until we have a change in government, I just don’t see it happening. And they’re not building enough. They say they’re building or they say they’re going to build, but I mean, you can’t have this amount of immigration, and no housing product and trying to catch up. I mean, it’s a it’s a losing proposition. I mean, something has to be done. Because, you know, the stuff that’s going on in our cities, in terms of, you know, immigrants coming in and living on the street and living in churches and basements. And it’s sad. But, yeah, we’ve got a housing crisis. And it’s, it’s linked to immigration, for sure. And there’s no place for people to live immigrants, let alone, you know, our Canadians or people who are trying to get into the market. 

  

Jeffrey 

You’re absolutely right. And, you know, if you look at on a long term, I mean, we’ve been in this house, over 20 years, and at the time, it was, you know, very, very scary to sign on the dotted line. And we thought we were basically buying at the top of the market. And, you know, again, I’m not predicting anything, but the prices have gone up, and we’ve been able to pay down some on the asset. And so, if you are, you know, renting or otherwise, you know, not getting into the market, you’re not paying down an asset, right, so you’re taking time away from the ability to increase the value of an asset and pay down so that you’re able to leverage that. And so I just want to caution everybody, you know, you may think that you’re going to save 10 grand, you know, by either under bidding a house or waiting it out, but over 20 years, you’ll put that amount will probably seem trivial and compared to the overall perspective of housing and your investment.  

  

Patrick   

You’re absolutely right. And I mean, I can use my own situation as an example of that. I mean, I remember buying my house, and I’ve been in it for at least 15 years. And at the time, I was back in the day and I mean, there were still multiple offers and, and I knew I overpaid and you know, you’re sitting there and you’re going oh my God, what did I do, but, you know, at the end of the day, it was in the market, I got a good house and you know, it’s worth way more than what I paid and that’s, that’s the way you got to look at it. It’s you know, you’re better to be in the market than outside and paying someone else’s Mortgage. 

  

Jeffrey 

That’s right. And, and that’s something coming from you as, as a real estate agent, you know, knowing that you overpaid, still feeling a little bit of angst on that, but then thinking long term, you know, it was in this market anyway, it was a good investment to get in on  

  

Patrick   

For real estate in general, I mean, if you, you know, I’ve bought a lot of real estate in my time and property in the States. And, and, you know, it was scary buying them too. But I mean, again, it’s the market over time, unless you’re, if you’re a flipper, and you’re in it for, for, you know, trying to make money short term is dangerous. And it can be dangerous, because you can buy high and, you know, you look at people that bought in 2022, in the spring, and by 2020 22, in the fall, their property was worth 20%. Last, right. So, but if you’re, if you’re in it long term, you don’t have to worry. Yeah, yeah. And, and this advice probably doesn’t apply to somebody who is buying a property as an Airbnb, for instance, to rent out or stuff like that, right? Those are more like completely different situations, we’re probably we’re talking about houses that you are going to occupy you’re going to live in, and like you said, you’re going to live in, not for the short term. Correct? Correct. Yeah, you know, in investment, inventory and purchases, I mean, in air being and renting, that’s, that’s become a bit of a quagmire in terms of, you know, landlord and tenants and dealing with all the other things that come along with that. So I mean, you’re going to start to see a bit of a downfall of that, because, you know, what happened during COVID was, you know, tenants not paying their rent, and it’s carried over. And there’s still lots of issues going on. And I think you’re going to start to see in the next few months, and we’re seeing it already. We’re landlords are one of the landlords anymore. Yeah, there’s, there’s no incentive in it for them. I mean, that the Tenant Protection Act, gives them no protection, it protects, the tenant gives them all the rights. And why would you want to own property? I mean, when I get people coming to me, and they say, Well, we could sell or we could rent, and I’m like, you could rent. And I’m happy to help you with that. But you don’t want to do that. Because here’s what I’ve experienced in the last six months, and I’ve experienced more clusters in the last six months with tenants than I’ve ever experienced in my career. It’s just not a good situation.  

  

Jeffrey  

That reminds me of got my vacant house form that I had to fill out for the City of Toronto, where, you know, they’re trying to get more houses into the market for rentals or whatever. Have you seen any effect of that over the past couple of years? 

  

Patrick 

How do I answer this politically correct? Because I don’t want to get political. But I think that is BS. I mean, this whole vacant home tax is ridiculous. I still don’t know. Nor have I seen the the cost versus, you know, the effect on this, in terms of you know, what it’s cost the city to do this and then how much they’re making on it. I think it’s ridiculous. Is it going to put any more inventory into the market? Absolutely not hadn’t seen it? Is it going to cause issues? Yeah, I mean, I got older clients. I mean, I sent out a reminder to all my clients last week to file before the February 29 deadline, and I had people coming back to me saying, well, we felt we did it last year. And I’m like, Yeah, but you got to do it every year. I had a client last year. And this is a sad, sad story. And this tells you how much of a cluster our city is. There, their son passed away. They had fought unexpectedly and tragically, they had filed with the city, the vacant home tax. And, obviously, obviously, there’s exemptions, and this was one of them because of a death. And they get a tax bill and now the city tax because it was a vacant property. They lost the paperwork, they it took months to figure out and the stress, I mean, you know, the stress on a family that’s dealing with, you know, the death of a loved one, and you got the city coming in and doing this for what mean it’s, it’s asinine. It’s just a waste, in my opinion. You know, attack and tackle the issues at hand, build housing, do it now. You know, list the barriers and the issues with getting permits and, you know, it’s just, it’s ridiculous as they get home tax is ridiculous that people don’t understand they have to do it every year. And if they don’t bring that into the tax bill, and good luck with the city trying to figure it out. Yeah, that that would be a great reminder.  

  

Jeffrey  

Honestly, I actually forgot until I got a reminder about doing it. So, to everyone listening, it’s in Toronto, please do fill that out every year. Or as Patrick says, you will get something in the mail and you will not be pleased. 

  

Patrick   

But this has nothing to do with getting more housing into the market. This is strictly the city trying to get money. And I don’t know how much money they’re getting versus what it costs to set this program up. 

  

Jeffrey 

Yeah, that would be a question for another call. But if, if people want to get a hold of you, what’s the best way to get a hold of you?  

  

Patrick   

Well, as always, you can call me directly through my office at Bosley at 416-322-8000. If I’m not in you can just leave me a voicemail and I return my calls like literally immediately. And or the best way to get ahold of me is via email. And I’ll get back to you as soon as I can, which is usually within the hour. mail@patrickrocca.com.  

  

Jeffrey 

Fantastic. Well, Patrick, it’s been great to chat as always about what we’re, we’re hearing and what you’re seeing in the market. And I look forward to touching base maybe later on in the spring or early summer to see what other changes have been in the works for the market.  

  

Patrick   

Absolutely. And I appreciate your time, Jeffrey. Yeah, I think I think our next phone call, or I hope our next call will be a positive one. And I’m always the glass is half full type of guy and I I suspect it will be in. It looks promising, I think for 2024.  

  

Jeffrey 

Yeah, fingers crossed. All right. Thanks again, Patrick. Take care.  

  

Patrick   

Thanks, Jeff.  

  

 

So, what do you think ?