June Real Estate Market Update

While the market is seeing some price dips April - May (and onward into the first week of June) it's important to note that prices are UP year over year in Toronto.  The sky is not falling and we are not having a crash. We are having buyer resistance to the obscene and crazy market of almost yesterday coupled with some interest rate hikes that may take some buying power out of the pockets of some.   And, as is typical, buyers react to this news before sellers catch up! 

So is the Toronto Real Estate market crashing?

The media has a great deal of influence on consumers - remember markets can be hyper local while it's my job to look at what's going on in many area, It's important to understand what's going on in your specific area of interest, because different segments can behave differently.  And when I say segments, I mean:

  • location
  • price point
  • type of property
  • features of property
  • renovations

As you can see, the Real Estate market can have many segments & even micro segments that all react differently to market changes

Here is some learning from the last market downturn (2017):

- not all types of housing are impacted the same

- some neighbourhoods go to sleep, meaning prices do not drop, they just do not rise and demand remains good

- lowest price range in any type of property drop the least as this is the most affordable housing

- with more inventory, buyers are pickier 

- beautifully renovated or properties with special features sell fastest and highest while average properties will linger

- in Toronto, the Central core out performs the other areas (with exceptions to pockets) overall and in Central from the Allen to Leslie and north

- the suburbs take the greatest hits - and 905 even more

- condos, those that are true filing-cabinets-in-the-sky such as 400-700 square feet, have problems

- condo buildings that are predominately owner occupied, upscale, fair well

- condo buildings with a dominant tenant base - hit hard

- despite all negatives, no matter how bad the economy, no matter how high interest rates - houses sell. Every day, houses sell. That simple from condos to mansions, priced right everything sells.

- the bottom rarely drops out - in Toronto a "good deal" is if you get a properly priced property for 95-99% of list price

- lowball offers insult sellers and rarely work in a buyer's favour

- Find listings that have been on MLS for a bit with, with motivated sellers and be realistic - but a good deal can be had with a skilled negotiator. 

- While it's virtually imp0ssible to time the market, there was a 5 month cycle last time we saw a market dip from when prices fell to when they started to rise

Here's my Video update of what's going on at the end of May & beginning of June: 

 Some sellers continue to test the market:  as a consequence, you will see homes staying for sale longer, as some sellers want to hold out for peak prices (we call these 'unmotivated sellers' - they are willing to wait out this cycle.

Offers anytime may still mean sellers want over asking price:  It used to be that there were 2 strategies used to sell a property: 1. List at a price that left room for negotiation and 2. List low to stimulate a bidding war.  Now there seems to be a 3rd strategy - if the property did not sell in a bidding war, the seller keeps the price low to encourage showings but still wants over the asking price. 

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A disturbing trend I've come across recently is the fraud in the rental space.   As an agent who handles a fair share of rentals; these issues have shown up over several ways this year.   I'll tell you about 3 instances I've had and the red flags that appeared with each! 

When I'm representing a landlord and an application comes in, I spend a lot of time going through an applicants documentation and getting references and looking through their background.  Here's what I do:

  • Call their employer by finding the employer's website and calling through their office to confirm employment.  I don't just call the supervisor on the application
  • Look carefully at the documents to see if they are real; company letterhead & credit reports can be faked or bought
  • Check social media & linked in
  • Call past landlords
  • Make sure there is a building at the address they're currently renting
  • Check that the landlords name and property owners names match.   If it's an apartment building call through the property management company if it's an apartment rather than calling the number provided.
  • Look at the credit report for signs of altering

With those things in mind, let's look at 3 things that have happened to me this year!

1.  Student rental Scam - fake rental and landlord

First of all, you should never have to pay to submit a rental application, or be asked for a deposit before you get a chance to see the place.   These scams are generally ads on sites like Kijijii and Facebook for rentals that look too good to be true.  They also steal MLS listings for homes and advertise them at lower rates.  I came across one recently through a family friend desperate for some student housing.  It was a big scam; and when I called them out they 'protested too much'.    Here's how to spot these scammers:

  • They demand payment to submit a rental application
  • They demand a deposit before you see the unit
  • Makes excuses why they are not available to speak to on the phone 
  • Will only communicate through messenger, text or email
  • The advertised price is way lower than other rentals
  • Their Facebook profile was just created
  • Their Facebook name does not match their user name ID (see the URL) 

2. Fake Rental Applications   

There are some very good forged documents out there.  I had some people submit an application on a lease I was advertising and here's what I found during the checks, among the other checks I did as above :

  • Inconsistencies in addresses on the application
  • Employment letter does not look real - no header or footer with information on the company letterhead

3. Forged Tenacy Papers

I had a call from a gal who had a great story, good employment, good credit, moving to Toronto from outside the city for work, can't come in to look for a place so needed virtual showings.  Could I help her find a place.  Sounds great right?  

Now I don't usually check tenants out before I help them (and I'd helped out a client with an out of town move this year already in a similar situation)  But with everything going on right now, I felt it couldn't hurt to see what her references would say.   So she sent in her application & 

then came the paperwork - the address of her job didn't match up with her story.  The company had never heard of her or her supervisor.  There was even no property listed at the home she had put for her address!  Other red flags for scammers include what she did:

  • get overly upset when called out 
  • provide complicated excuses for 'mistakes' on application forms
  • call the fact checker a liar, unprofessional, etc.

So be careful out there folks! 


A big thank you to the communities of Guildwood, West Rouge & Port Union for the terrific support last Saturday for my Community Shredding Event.  About 30 families participated - and their generous food donations filled our Jeep to the brim!   The food donations were taken straight to Feed Scarborough - the Scarborough Food Security initiative and will be distributed to local satellite food banks in the area.   Judging from the huge line up outside the Manse Rd. food bank Saturday, it's much needed. 

Chartwell Guildwood was my partner for this event and provided the venue and great snacks.  Thank you Kelly & Dianne for your wonderful support.  As always, Papersavers was gracious, friendly, professional and helpful!  

One interesting sideline - My husband, myself, Dianne and Alex from papersavers all grew up within the same area!   Such a big city/small world!