With home prices continuing to rise and the inventory getting lower by the day, owning a home in Toronto might seem quite the challenge. In such a dynamic environment, being informed can make all the difference. To give you a better understanding of the current state of the Toronto real estate market, we turned to Aleksandra Oleksak – one of the city’s top real estate experts.
1. Toronto home prices continue to rise. Do you see this stopping anytime soon?
I do not see it stopping anytime soon, in fact I feel it’s become more fierce out there for buyers. There is so much demand and not enough housing stock, especially for homes that are move in ready. People’s lives are changing and families are growing and condos keep getting smaller. Also the better the school zone, the more money people are willing to spend, it’s not about the house so much anymore, as it is the lifestyle and neighbourhood the buyers are buying into.
2. Is international demand increasing for homes in Toronto? Why is Toronto so attractive for international buyers?
Toronto is a safe place for international buyers to park their money. I especially see this in the condo market. Housing is still relatively inexpensive compared to where these international buyers live and our government keeps our housing market in check by constantly tightening the lending guidelines, which prevents Toronto from any housing bubble or crash and international buyers recognize that. Also as housing prices rise, buyers have to put off their purchases and save more money, therefore having to rent longer which is attractive for international investors, coupled with the fact that once again head offices are moving back downtown.
3. What are the advantages of buying versus renting in Toronto, in the current market?
With the rising housing prices and gentrifying neighbourhoods, building equity in your home has never been easier. Therefore why would you want to help someone else reap the rewards of equity building, when you can do it yourself. You can always buy a home or condo with an extra bedroom or basement apartment, and find a renter to help you pay down your mortgage and not be burden with the cost of homeownership all by yourself, which makes it more comfortable for yourself on a monthly basis.
4. What is your advice for a first-time home buyer in Toronto?
Most important piece of advice, be quick whether it’s to go see a property or make a decision. Most places are on offer deadlines for a short period of time and I’m also seeing a lot more bully offers (someone placing an offer before the offer deadline), so buyers don’t even get to see a property before it’s sold. To be able to make a quick decision it’s also important to have all your pre approvals in place as well as know your comfort level when it comes mortgages and monthly obligations. When buyers are not realistic on what their budget can buy them in Toronto, they get in way over their heads and they may not feel it now, but they will once interest rates eventually rise. It’s a fiercely competitive market out there, so you need to be prepared for the battle ahead.
5. Any other insights that you’d like to share?
As a buyer keep in an open mind and be realistic on what your budget can get you. Although some neighbourhoods may not seem so attractive now, getting in early will help you reap bigger rewards later on. Toronto is changing and we are running out of space, therefore the not so desirable neighbourhoods will change too, sooner than you think! A little patience now will go a long way later on.
About Aleksandra Oleksak
Aleksandra Oleksak is a sales representative for Sage Real Estate, buying, selling and renovating her way through one of the top cities to live in. She is a Torontonian who loves the city and is passionate about its real estate. When she’s not out in the real estate trenches making the real estate process for buyers and sellers fun and stress free, you can catch her on her snowboard exploring the world.