I’ve received a number of e-mails over the past few weeks asking various, common questions that many homebuyers and sellers struggle with. Here are a few of the most common ones and an insight for each.
• Is it better to buy a house or a condo? — Asking this question is a bit like asking whether it’s better to buy an SUV or a convertible. Much of the answer depends on the goals, wishes and lifestyle choice of the buyer. Neither is necessarily the more affordable choice and closer analysis will show you that, given the right circumstances, either one can surprise you on how affordable, or not, a house or condo can be. It’s best to first understand the lifestyle that comes with both because that will help guide you towards answering the larger question of which is your better option. In other words, the better option isn’t an automatic decision, but an outcome of your circumstance.
• Is the market really going to crash? — This all depends on what you mean by crash, and which market exactly you’re referring to. The downtown condo market will continue to flourish in the sense that new condos will continue to arise and sell out. The appreciation, however, I expect to slow from previous years, albeit continue. It’s a relatively safe assumption that most of the GTA will continue to rise in property value but just not at as scorching a pace as the past two years have seen. The reason for this remains the same as why the market has surged in the first place. Supply, compared to demand, remains low, and on the global scale Toronto’s real estate prices are comparatively low. When comparing apples to apples of course, or The Big Smoke to The Big Apple, Toronto remains in good value standing.
•How will the new land transfer tax impact the market? — For those who fear a market decline, the new “416 tax” is almost always listed as a prime reason as to why. Here’s the reality. “Thriving -416”, including Downtown, The Beaches, King West and North York will see some impact in terms of sold prices. However, I don’t expect the norm to become an actual reduction in property value. “Reviving-416”, including areas like Scarborough, Malvern and the like will feel the tax the most.
This is simply because what these areas had to offer previously, consistently, was an attractive location for an attractive price. Now, while the location remains attractive the price factor becomes less favourable. I expect more people to consider areas that fall in the 905 area, bordering 416. I would expect prices to be affected most in these areas.
A wise man once said that knowledge is just a question you haven’t yet asked. Wisdom is remembering the answer and understanding how to apply it. The reality is you have to first ask the question, and never be shy to do so. I am always happy to answer any and all of your questions. Happy Hunting!