Quick Hits!

You know something?  “Quick Hits” is taking over my blog!  It’s just so much more fun!  Bite-size facts and even more to argue about.  Who doesn’t like that?

(Painstakingly) Slow And Steady

Has anybody else noticed that the market has been slow to offer up juicy new listings in the past five weeks?

The fall market started with a bang in September, but October was non-existent.

The market hasn’t dropped from a price standpoint, but I have to think that new listings are down significantly.  And when the October numbers are released by TREB next week, even if we’re told that listings aren’t down, I still feel as if they are.

I think that crappy listings are up (that’s a real estate term, FYI), and it might be swaying the data to show that September and October were almost equal.  I think that there are so many garbage condos on the market that the numbers are telling a lie. 

“Listings buyers are interested in” are down, make no mistake about it.

“Listings you would never show unless the buyer is from the moon and is just happy to breathe fresh air” are up significantly.

I’m tired of sending out emails to my clients every week that say, “Just touching base….nothing new to report….hang in there.”  But whereas in the spring, we had ample supply to chose from, in the fall, we’re lucky to get a property every other week.  And I’m talking right across the board!  I have buyers looking as low as $250,000, and as high as $1.7 M.  I have buyers looking as far west as Bloor & Jane, and as far east as Danforth & Main.  No matter what the price point or location – I’m not seeing nearly the inventory of “quality” listings as we saw in the spring.

Confusing Contradiction?

You just can’t have it both ways, no matter how hard you try, and no matter how confusing you make something sound.

A listing came out this week for a midtown condo that was trying to advertise the benefits of being on the ground floor, but ensure that people wouldn’t worry about the drawbacks of being on the ground floor.  Sound confusing?  That’s because, it is.

But they certainly tried their best by using “main floor” and “ground floor” in the same phrase, which until this point, I thought were basically interchangeable:

“No need to use elevator as unit is on main floor.  But level is high enough not to be a security risk of ground floor.”

What constitutes a “security risk” is open to interpretation.  My neighbour at my old condo once awoke at 3AM to find a homeless guy trying to squeeze through her window, as he had climbed a tree from the ground level up onto her terrace on the second floor.

If a second floor unit can still be a security risk, then how can you say a “main floor” unit, which happens to be on the “ground floor,” is not?

Using my mind’s eye, I’m trying to picture this main-floor-ground-level unit, but I’m drawing a blank.  I suppose the unit is accessible from street level through the lobby, but perhaps you walk up a ramp?  Maybe the unit itself is six feet off the ground and thus is not truly on the “ground level?”

In any event, it’s one of those listings that proudly displays “NO PHOTO AVAILABLE” (thus demonstrating why not to hire an agent from Oakville who will work for 4%, but I digress…), so it’s not like we can see the building, the unit, the balcony, or anything to do with the unit itself…

No Need To Gloat…

Here’s a story that might rub some people the wrong way, but I found it to be so chalk-full of karma that I just had to put it on my blog!

A colleague of mine, who is also a close friend, was unceremoniously dumped by a couple of buyer-clients a few weeks back after having worked with them for months to try and find them a house.  Hey – it happens, no big deal.  It’s happened to every agent in the business, myself included.  Sometimes you get a “Thanks, but we’re going in another direction,” and sometimes you get radio-silence after speaking with the person every day for three months.  Personally, I like the former approach…

My colleague was offering on an east-end property with another set of buyers; in fact, she had set the bidding frenzy into motion by shrewdly submitting a bully offer on her clients’ behalf.

During the ensuing offer process, she happened to run into her old clients – the ones that dumped her, who were working with another agent and who were also submitting an offer on the property.

As luck would have it, her offer was accepted, and her buyer clients purchased a house that night.

And as karma would have it, her old clients ran into in the hallway just as the listing agent was saying “Great work, congratulations, you really deserved this and I’m so happy for your buyers!  They’re going to love this house.”

The old clients couldn’t help but notice that their old agent accomplished something their current agent, could not.

West Side Story

An update on the worst condominium development in the history of Toronto (where I happen to be a proud owner…): UrbanCorp has just asked us for four more occupancy cheques, which will take us into month sixteen of occupancy.

After meetings with city councillors and letters, emails, and all kinds of traction – this building is nowhere near being registered.

Ask me again for the bazillionth time why I don’t recommend investing in pre-construction condos and I’ll simply give you the number “sixteen.”  That’s a long time to be paying the equivalent of “rent” on a condo you own.

Rumours have been circulating (rumours which I couldn’t possibly believe or suggest any of you believe…), that the developer is primarily interested in finishing up the second phase of WSL and registering both buildings together.  Another rumour says that the developer wants to sell off existing pre-construction units before registration of West Side Lofts to ensure that resale units, via investors and owners, can’t compete.

As I said – this is all just conjecture and unconfirmed ballyhoo.  Nothing but tomfoolery and horseplay!

I mean, who could ever believe something like that anyways?

Libel

In a completely unrelated story, just what is “libel” anyways?

Liable

It’s that time of year when pool-owners close up shop and pray for better weather next year so that they can squeeze out a third month of actual, usable, pool weather, and I’m reminded of a few court cases which anybody outside of a lawyer would have a hard time believing.

Imagine a couple of drunk kids go fence-hopping and happen into your backyard.

Now imagine that one of them trips over a hose, stumbles into your pool, and almost dies before his friends rescue him.

Did you know that he can sue you?

Imagine that!  It’s like punching somebody in the face, breaking your hand, and then suing them!

But it’s happened before.  As ridiculous as it sounds, you can search Google and find cases of this – and other ridiculous lawsuits involving people breaking into homes and/or trespassing, and then suing the owner of the house after being injured!

I’m reminded of this because we had a discussion on the blog the other day about frivolous lawsuits, and I went searching for the most ridiculous…

How about this: a woman in the United States (no surprise) is suing security guards at a mall for laughing at her when she was too busy texting on her phone to notice a giant fountain, and subsequently fell in! 

Okay, okay – so there’s more to the story.  She says that it’s the mall employees laughing on the video, which perhaps is a litigious action.

But you can’t see her face, nor would you have any idea who the person in the video was……unless, she gave an interview about it and allowed a TV station to post her photo!  Now, everybody knows who she is, so she can claim that she’s been hard-done-by.  But does that make sense?  Is it fair to say, “Well, I can’t be successful in a lawsuit because nobody can tell it’s me on the video, so I’ll just give a TV interview and let everybody see my face, admit it was me, and then I can sue because everybody will know it was me.”

Lawyers?  Care to weigh in?

Greek Salad

Lastly today – can anybody explain, in layman’s terms, what is going on in Greece right now?

Is this a case of kicking a gift-horse in the mouth?

Are the Greek people truly saying, “We like our 15-hour work-weeks and we don’t care if our country is bankrupt?”

Or is there more to the story than late-night talk-show hosts would have us believe?

One Globe & Mail article stated, “The Greek decision is good for democracy,” but then you turn around and another media outlet is saying the exact opposite.

This reminds me of something VERY important………I haven’t been to Omnia in a really long time…

4 Comments

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  1. thecondofitz says:

    Ground level/main floor but high enough not to be a security risk can be non-contradictory in a building that is built on slanted land, if the unit is on the low end of the slope. Picture a building built on a ravine. Ground level can become 2nd floor if the decline is steep enough.

    -Devil’s advocate

  2. Joe Q. says:

    David — according to the TREB stats I’ve seen, the third quarter of 2011 had the lowest level of active inventory of any year since 2004 with the exception of 2009. We are about 10% below 2010 levels and 30% below 2006 levels.

    1. lui says:

      hopefully that would support the pricing,I also notice the lack of quality listings also.

  3. lui says:

    Whoa 16 months of Pre Occupancy?..at least when its registered you can sell it and make a decent profit.David Im following your suggestions no more pre occupancy for me,Im only looking at completed lofts these days,havent seen one new condo that really pops out with its layouts and fit and finish that has a “reasonable” price point.I going to buy property where I can feel the vibe of the neighbours and touch and see the final product,no more unnerving surprises from pre construction.

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