Going, Going….GONE!

My watch must be broken.

My internal clock on my laptop as well.

And my desk calendar—-the one made from paper, well that one is, um…broken.

I’m pretty sure it’s the week before Labor Day, typically the slowest time in real estate!

Don’t tell that to the four agents that last night, got their clients 130% of list price or more…

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The reason I went to Mexico last week was because the last two weeks of August are typically the slowest two weeks in the 52-week real estate calendar.

Right now, as I sit at my desk at Bosley Real Estate, there are five cars in the parking lot out back. There is one agent on this floor with me, and he is stretching in the conference room as he is getting ready for his 10K run.

I just talked to one of the busier agents here at Bosley, and asked him “So you got like ten listings in your pocket ready for Fall?” He simply replied, “Yep.” I furthered my inquiry, and he informed me that he has SEVEN listings already signed up that he will be putting on the open market anywhere from September 5th to September 27th. This doesn’t take into account the prospective sellers that he has yet to sign up, but will probably represent come the Fall.

I currently working with six active buyers, but all but two of them are either on vacation or have informally said “We’ll start up our search again come September.”

There are only a few downtown listings right now that I would deem worthy of purchase, and the real estate offices are so quite that our admin staff may as well make a BBQ pit at the front desk upstairs and make Smores

However, last night something unbelievable took place. I had to rub my eyes this morning like an astonished cartoon dog to make sure I was seeing it correctly.

Four houses in the GTA sold last night for 130% of listing price or more.

The most unbelievable part of this is that there are no similarities between the properties whatsoever!

You might assume that four properties all selling for 130% of asking price might be in the same hot neighborhood, they might all be recently renovated properties, or for that matter—dilapidated properties with land value. Perhaps they are all semi-detached houses in the $450,000 range in Leaside. They could all be listed by the same company. Or maybe they all have a pot of gold buried in the backyard!!

Nope.

They are all, for lack of a better word, different.

They go east, west and central.

They range in price from the low-$200’s to the almost-$700K.

There are semi-detached, detached, and row-houses.

And their internal features and finishes couldn’t possibly be more diverse.

Is this an anomaly in the real estate market? Or were there just a few very patient, very astute buyers who picked their spots and were still looking when nobody else was? (Although based on the number of offers, it would seem that EVERYBODY was looking “when nobody else was….”

Here is the rundown:

149 Hillingdon Ave

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List: $289,900

Sale: $372,700 (129%)

Near Danforth and Coxwell, this self-described “starter home” is the end house on a small complex of row-houses. Situated on a very small, insanely narrow 13 x 100 foot lot, this 2-bedroom, 1-bathroom house is really a condo alternative as space is quite limited. It has been recently renovated and shows quite nicely, and a very large wooden patio has been built out back that comprises half of the backyard. Proximity to TTC, “The Danforth” and the quiet street and neighborhood are all huge selling features.

336 Forman Ave

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List: $519,000

Sale: $685,000 (132%)

This is a 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom semi-detached house on Forman Ave in Davisville Village. The house sits on a generous 18 x 150 foot lot that has a huge, treed backyard, a 300 sqft back patio, and a backyard shed complete with working electricity. The interior is absolutely stunning, with a gourmet kitchen, open concept main floor, new hardwood floors, and fully dug-out basement with 8-foot ceiling height—this is a very rare feature in an original Davisville semi! All the bells and whistles have been installed, from central-vac, to the in-ground sprinkler system, to the speaker wiring throughout all three levels, and both gas and wood-burning fireplaces! I’m not surprised at all to see this semi-detached house sell for almost $700,000. This is a price range many of us predicted two years ago in this area, and its finally coming to fruition.

908 Eastern Ave

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List: $229,000

Sale: $304,000 (133%)

Here we have a detached, 2-storey house on Eastern Avenue near Leslie. I wouldn’t quite call this fabulous Leslieville, but clearly somebody didn’t see it that way. While the marketing blitz may say things like “Heart of the Film District,” “Short walk to the beach and bike trail downtown,” and “Browse nearby Queen Street shops and restaurants,” it doesn’t hide the fact that this house is on EASTERN AVENUE. This street is hardly what I would call “residential,” and is a constant throughfare for traffic. It’s still very industrial in this area, despite the false allure of “The Film District,” and simply put: this house is rather ugly! See the massive brick wall right next door—that’s a commercial building! In the end, no house sells in Toronto for $229,000, so perhaps this was a supreme job of underpricing. Renovate and jazz-it-up all you want, it’s still an ugly house on Eastern Avenue…one that somebody paid dearly for…

94 Lincoln Ave

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List: $479,900

Sale: $652,000 (136%)

Wow! 136% of list price! Funny that the other day I wrote about Bloor West Villageand how so many people are unaware that this area even exists, and now a house sells there for almost $200,000 over asking price. This is a detached, 2-storey home about two blocks from Bloor Street in the heart of the village. With 2-bedrooms and 3-bathrooms, $479,900 seems a little underpriced, yet $652,000 seems kind of maddening! Despite some recent renovations, the house still contains elements of “old” with the wood-beam-ceiling in the kitchen and living room (ski lodge, anyone?) and the older kitchen and bathroom decor. There is no driveway, and no parking spaces, but street permits are always available. I just don’t feel like I’m coming “home” at night when I park in front of somebody else’s house because that’s the closest spot. C’est la vie. In any event, this small 22 x 100 foot lot is now home to somebody with a $3,500+ monthly mortgage payment…

So what does all this mean?

Is it just coincidence that FOUR houses sell for 130% of listing price or more on the same day?

And what happened to “real estate is dead in late August?”

Well, coincidence or not, the market is red-hot right now.

It scares me to think that when real estate is “dead,” houses are selling for 30% premiums, and one month from now we’ll be in the hottest market of the calendar year!

Something tells me I’ll have no shortage of stories to write about bidding wars come mid-September…

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  1. Beatrice Eastend says:

    Hello David, doesn’t surprise me that houses are selling over listing price. Having bought 4 houses in my lifetime, I know that it’s a daunting task to find one you like. Then you worry about not getting it! Nevertheless, it’s shocking that so much is going on during the traditional slow time… Thanx for shedding some light on this!

TWEETS