Sellers in the Toronto real estate market have reason to be happy with the recent news that Toronto is still the most expensive city in Ontario. The Toronto Real Estate Board has partly attributed this to increased demand and more limited supply, with Toronto real estate prices now rising 7% year on year to an average of $843,637.
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As if this wasn’t enough of a sign of a healthy Toronto real estate market, the city’s Bay Street is still the prime location for office locations, according to a new report. According to other reports, the largest price increases for Toronto real estate have been in condos, which have seen a 9.5% jump in price since 2018.
What else is boosting Toronto real estate?
Legal and regulatory changes in the Toronto real estate market have played a significant part in boosting the health of the market. Proposed changes by the Ontario provincial government are being hailed for their potential to enhance professional standards in the industry and provide better protection for customers.
The Trust in Real Estate Services Bill proposes a raft of changes such as more consumer choice in real estate transactions, greater emphasis on ethical requirements for real estate professionals, and an upgrade to the operating model for real estate agents by allowing them to form personal real estate corporations if they so wish.
There is also a considerable boost to the Toronto real estate data available to buyers thanks to a 2018 Supreme Court decision that rules against the Toronto Real Estate Board. The ruling has now allowed for greater disclosure of sales prices in particular areas, offering a clearer and more informed experience for buyers when deciding how much to bid for a property. It is a step towards eradicating the risk of real estate brokers manipulating sales figures to overstate the value of a property they are selling.
However, even the healthy Toronto real estate market is not immune to outside market pressures, according to experts at the recent Toronto Real Estate Forum. Ongoing geopolitical issues show no signs of abating in 2020, with the US-China trade war, Brexit in the European Union, and the 2020 US presidential election all having potential knock-on effects for market trends in many areas of business in Canada, including real estate.
The key role of real estate brokers
Even with the added protection proposed for consumers by the new Ontario government Bill, it is vital that anyone involved in Toronto real estate transactions receive appropriate professional support and expertise from their real estate broker. Real estate transactions are often complex, and trends and data develop and change quickly, so Toronto buyers and sellers need to carefully search the database of more than 120,000 registered real estate agents across Canada.
The key attribute to seek out is the Fellow of the Real Estate Institute designation, which has national recognition and guarantees a degree of expertise and insight, as well as identifying an agent who is looking to advance their practice to a higher level. Taxation is a key area of real estate, with the Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) leveling penalties in 2019 of over $57 million for irregularities in tax returns, meaning Toronto real estate dealings must be reported. Real estate brokers can play a role here and apply knowledge and expertise to their client’s transactions.
In Toronto real estate, buyers and sellers will also call on support from real estate agents in the preparation of all related documentation associated with sales and purchases, including receipts and accurate records of what has been paid. Homeowners need to be aware of changes in ownership, such as where someone is added to the deeds of a property to create joint ownership while passing properties on to family members attract tax-related issues that can create precarious pitfalls for those, not in the know.
Toronto real estate is moving increasingly online
With new so-called disruptor firms launching in Canada to shake up the national real estate market, Toronto real estate has an increasingly online basis. Property viewings can now be conducted in a virtual format, with online 3D video tours of properties now widely offered to potential buyers. The entrance to the market of iBuyers, or institutional buyers, has also had a dramatic effect on the nature of searching for and buying property. The iBuyer system works by using online algorithms to calculate the market value of a property and automatically make an offer, sometimes without even seeing it.
Toronto real estate is in a healthy current position and with technological developments becoming increasingly sophisticated, the opportunities for buyers and sellers to take advantage are growing.