Photo: James Bombales
Toronto realtors have been surprised to see that the spike in listings many experts had expected to overwhelm the housing market after Labour Day hasn’t materialized.
“First of all, I think all of us as realtors were expecting a big flood of listings in September,” Chris Borkowski, the outspoken Re/Max Hallmark broker — who previously welcomed a Toronto real estate correction while speaking on BuzzTV — tells BuzzBuzzNews.
But while Borkowski says buyers have returned to the market after moving to the sidelines, he isn’t seeing sufficient product to meet the returning demand.
“I’m seeing bidding wars,” says Borkowski. “There’s a lack of supply again,” he explains, adding, “We’re going to see prices keep going up.”
Borkowski is not alone in seeing competition arise from lower supply levels on the resale market. Ara Mamourian, owner of SpringRealty.ca, tells BuzzBuzzNews many properties in the areas he deals in are still drawing multiple offers.
Housing Market News Alerts
Sign up for news alerts on the Toronto housing market
“A lot of folks pulled their properties off the market because they weren’t getting the prices they wanted,” Mamourian, who focuses on neighbourhoods to the east of the Distillery to the Beaches in Toronto’s east end, recalls of the cooldown from March to June this year.
“I expected them to re-list in the fall (aka now) but that hasn’t yet happened,” he adds in an email.
Until about a month ago, John Pasalis, co-founder of the Realosophy Brokerage, was also prepared for a surge in listings. “But the market actually picked up in August. We had more sales in August than in July which is not normal,” he says.
According to the Toronto Real Estate Board, a total of 6,357 homes changed hands throughout the Greater Toronto Area in August, up from 5,921 in July.
“The market’s turned. We’ve kind of passed the free-fall phase,” says Pasalis.
“The momentum has shifted. We’re no longer on a way down. We’re kind of tipping back towards a market that is closer towards what it was in the past — I mean, certainly not as competitive, but what we’re finding is buyers are definitely back in the market,” he adds.