February 2016, Newsletter
MARKET COMMENTARY Last month, the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) released its first Market Year in Review & Outlook Report. After 2015’s record sales volume, the report offers interesting insight into the communities and product that drove the market, and the challenges and opportunities that exist in 2016. One key takeaway from the report is a very bullish prediction for the 2016 housing market. TREB is predicting 96,500 to 105,000 real estate sales for the calendar year. If January is any indication of things to come, we could be on our way to making that a reality. Last month, Toronto area realtors reported 4,672 sales. This represents an 8.2% increase over the same time a year ago.
Of course, many of the same challenges remain in place from a year ago, such as a lack of available listings. Across the GTA, new listings were down 6.2% while active listings were down a full 14.1% in January. This lack of availability continues to put upward pressure on prices. Case in point, the GTA’s average sales price of $631,092 represents a 14.1% increase from the same time last year, while the MLS Home Price Composite Benchmark Price, which measures the difference in price of comparable properties and serves as a better indication of real inflation in the market, was up 10.7%.
Looking specifically at the City of Toronto for January 2016, the average detached home sold for $1,061,789 and was on the market for 25 days, the average semi-detached home sold for $713,972 and was on the market for 20 days, and the average condominium apartment was sold for $416,104 and was on the market for 40 days. In competitive markets like this, the experience of a professional realtor will be your greatest asset. Let the Harvey Kalles Real Estate team help you achieve all your 2016 real estate goals.
As homes have evolved, our layouts have become increasingly less formal, more casual and family oriented. It’s not uncommon to find formal dining and living rooms replaced by larger kitchens and great rooms, as these two areas are used more than any other room in the house. The great room is where social activities happen, from watching movies to hosting gatherings, while the kitchen is no longer a room cut off from the rest of the house, realizing its true potential as the heart of the home. If you are undertaking a kitchen renovation, here are some considerations to get the most from your investment:
With technological advancements, a well-designed kitchen can become a communication centre where you can talk on the phone, Skype, check emails, play online games, bank, and more. With advanced wiring, built-in speakers, and even video screen backsplashes, a whole new world has opened up.
MATERIALS & FINISHES
With a variety of materials and finishes available, the kitchen and great room can be seamlessly integrated. Practicality is essential when it comes to multi-functional spaces, and it is not only important to use products that look good, but they should be durable as well. Colours are personal and having a range of options available helps to ensure a pleasing surrounding.
Green living continues to gain traction, and today there are more green products and materials than ever, from products built with renewable resources to recyclable cabinets to paints and stains with low VOCs, making for a healthier home.
An integral aspect of the cooking area is the inclusion of appliances that can be properly operated by all members of the family. Modern appliances have features that will allow anyone — from beginner to expert — to cook with ease, such as ovens that know how to cook your favourites exactly to your liking by simply inputting a few pieces of information.
Storage is often lacking in most homes. Smart design will ensure that every inch of the space is utilized properly in order to maximize storage. Remember that storage that is not easily accessible is still storage. We all have items that we use once in a while. This is where a little bit of impractical storage can prove useful. Drawers and rollouts are always very handy when it comes to utilizing lower storage spaces.