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James Metcalfe BROKER
www.OurHomeToronto.com | Service@OurHomeToronto.com
REAL ESTATE UPDATE
Royal LePage Real Estate Services Ltd.
Johnston & Daniel Division, Brokerage
477 Mount Pleasant Rd., Toronto, ON M4S 2L9
NEW RECORD RESALE PRICE IN MAY
The average price of a resale home in the GTA in May was
$542,174 - which represented a 5% increase versus the May
2012 average price of $514,567. This also easily eclipsed
the April 2013 average price of $526,335 and established
another new record high price. Price growth occurred across
all key market segments as follows: single-detached homes
(+5%), semi-detached homes (+4%), townhomes (+2%) and
condo apartments (+2%). The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI)
Composite Benchmark was up by 2.8% versus last year. This
index factors out sales mix issues and is therefore a very reliable
indicator of real price changes. These results continue to support
the Toronto Real Estate Board’s price growth forecast of 3.5%
for 2013 as a whole.
From a volume perspective, the month of May witnessed
a 3% decline in sales (10,182 transactions versus 10,544 in
May 2012). Despite this modest downturn, it should be noted
that the rate of decline has now lessened substantially for the
second consecutive month. This recent strengthening trend
supports the viewpoint that a growing number of households
who put their decision to purchase on hold as a result of stricter
lending guidelines for government insured mortgages are
starting to become active again in the home ownership market.
Volume performance varied considerably by market segment as
follows: single-detached homes (+1%), semi-detached homes
(-4%), townhomes (-7%) and condo apartments (-9%).
GTA RESALE HOME SALES
8 9 10 11 12
GTA Resale Home Sales
MARJAN MAY SEP NOVJUL
GTA AVERAGE RESALE PRICE
8 9 10 11 12
sale Home Sales
MARJAN MAY SEP NOVJUL
Here are ten worthwhile home improvement projects and the
percentage of cost typically recouped at resale (in a seller’s
1. Painting: If you’re only going to do one thing, paint. Interior/
exterior painting is one of the very few improvements on which
you are likely to realize a proﬁt - as long as you choose tasteful,
current, neutral colours and the work is very professional.
Payback: As much as 300%.
2. Kitchen remodeling: Typically one of the most expensive
improvement projects, and you can quickly run up a huge bill.
Careful planning and shopping will help minimize costs here.
When remodelling the kitchen, remember to keep the project
in line with the style and quality of the rest of the house and
neighbourhood. Just as there’s no point in putting a pricey
granite countertop on dated-looking 1970s cabinets, there’s
no point in installing a $50,000 kitchen in a $200,000 house.
3. Bathroom addition: If your home has only one bathroom and
is meant to house more than two people, a bathroom addition
should be one of your top priorities. If most homes in your
neighbourhood have two, three or more bathrooms, and yours
has just one or one-and-a-half, you will deﬁnitely increase your
property value by adding a bath. Payback: 80-130%.
4. Bathroom remodeling: Upgrading a pokey bathroom will
enhance the value of your home and add to your daily comfort
and enjoyment. White porcelain is the safe, timeless choice
here. Payback: 65-120%.
5. Finishing unﬁnished space: Whether it’s an attic or a
basement, by ﬁnishing these spaces you add signiﬁcant value
to your home, increasing square footage without having to
build. Payback: 50-90%.
6. Window/door replacement: If your windows or doors
are wasting energy or simply decrepit-looking, replacements
can be an excellent use of your home improvement dollars.
Stick to standard styles; odd shapes and highly customized
arrangements do little for resale value. Payback: 50-90%.
7. Deck addition/improvement/expansion: Decks are one of
the few exterior improvements with any signiﬁcant return, apart
from painting. Payback: 65-90%.
8. Additions of bedrooms, family rooms, sunrooms,
conservatories, garages, etc: Increasing square footage is
almost always an excellent use of remodelling dollars, but don’t
expand your home so much that there’s little outdoor space
left. Payback: 50-83%.
9. Home ofﬁce remodeling: This project is becoming
increasingly popular. Be sure to plan for plenty of electrical and
cable outlets to accommodate all the required machines and
gadgets. Payback: 60-73%.
10. Energy efﬁciency retroﬁts: If your primary concern is return
on investment, proceed with caution. Some retroﬁts, like better
insulation and high-efﬁciency furnaces, pay for themselves
relatively quickly. Others, like solar panels, heat recovery
ventilators, and tankless water heaters, may take years to pay
for themselves. Payback: Highly variable.
Two projects that are unlikely to pay off at resale: swimming
pools (which may even adversely affect your property value) and
excessive landscaping (buyers may admire it but few will pay
extra tens of thousands even if that’s what you spent to improve
the grounds). And remember that badly done remodelling/
renovation projects will cost you in two ways. You won’t pay just
for labour and materials; you’ll pay when buyers see a project
that has to be redone.
This article was contributed by HGTV. Please visit them at www.hgtv.ca.
TEN HOME IMPROVEMENT PROJECTSTHAT ADD VALUE
WALKING AWAY FROM A HOUSE DEAL
Buying a home can be a tough decision, but once the decision is
made and the ball is rolling, you may not be able to change your
mind. Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions
regarding changing you mind on a real estate transaction.
Is there a buyer’s remorse period in Ontario?
If you are buying a new condominium from a builder, you
have 10 days to change your mind. You do not need a reason.
This does not apply if you buy a new house from a builder and
does not apply if you are buying a resale home or condominium.
Why condos only? The clause is included in the Condominium
Can a buyer sign an offer and then walk away?
The Ontario real estate contract gives a buyer 24 hours to pay
the deposit, once the offer is accepted by the seller. The buyer
cannot just change their mind or they can be sued. For example,
the buyer offers $300,000 for a house which is accepted.
The buyer changes his mind and doesn’t pay the deposit and
walks away from the deal. The seller resells the property for
$275,000. They can still sue the ﬁrst buyer for the difference,
Can buyers use conditional clauses as escape hatches?
Most real estate contracts are conditional on the buyer being
able to get a mortgage and being satisﬁed with a home
inspection. Other conditions include being satisﬁed with a
condominium status certiﬁcate when buying a resale condo.
Many buyers think these conditions give them the right to
just change their minds. It is not that easy. The case law has
demonstrated that buyers must try and satisfy any condition in
good faith. This means that you need a legitimate reason why
you found the home inspection report or condominium status
Who gets the deposit when buyers change their mind?
In most cases, the deposit is held by the seller’s real estate
brokerage, in trust. Under the law, when a deal breaks down,
the brokerage cannot pay the deposit to anyone without either
a mutual release or direction signed by both the buyer and the
seller, or an order of the court. As such, when deals do not close,
if there is no agreement, the deposit can be locked up for a
long time, and the buyer will not have access to it to make an
offer on another property.
Is there a “legal” way for a buyer to get out of a deal?
It depends. If, for example, there was a right on your title for
the City to access 20 per cent of your property for any reason,
known as an easement, and that was not disclosed to the
buyer, they can usually cancel the agreement without penalty.
However, there have been other cases that indicate if there is
a problem with a city work order or title problem for which the
seller can obtain title insurance to protect the buyer, then the
buyer cannot refuse to close. A buyer can also cancel if there
has been substantial damage to the property before closing,
such as a ﬂood that was not repaired. You can’t refuse to close if
the oven is not working.
The better answer in all of these situations is to be very careful
and serious before you make any decision to buy a home.
Changing your mind later can be very expensive.
This article was contributed by Mark Weisleder, a Toronto-based real estate lawyer and author. Please visit him at www.markweisleder.com.