While home sales have begun to cool down in the GTA, home prices continue to rise, according to a new report by the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB).

 

The average price for a home in the GTA has surged by 3.5% since October 2022, now standing at an impressive $1,125,928 this October. Meanwhile, the benchmark price has seen a 1.4% increase, bringing it to approximately $1,103,600.

 


Jason Mercer, TRREB's chief market analyst, emphasized, "Competition between buyers remained strong enough to keep the average selling price above last year’s level in October and above the cyclical lows experienced in the first quarter of this year. The Bank of Canada also noted this resilience in its October statement. However, home prices remain well below their record peak reached at the beginning of 2022, so lower home prices have mitigated the impact of higher borrowing costs to a certain degree."

 

Detached and semi-detached homes, along with townhouses, have all seen their prices climb in both Toronto and the broader GTA when compared to last October. These segments have experienced increases of 6.1% to $1,450,112, 2.1% to $1,102,721, and 1.1% to $930,185, respectively. The only exception to this surge is the condo market, which has seen a 1.2% decrease, bringing the average price to $708,780 in the region.

 

The TRREB's report also highlights a decline in home sales. According to their findings, sales have dropped by 5.8% from 4,930 to 4,646 when comparing this October to the previous year. This trend also holds true on a month-over-month seasonally adjusted basis.

 

Stay tuned as we continue to evaluate the dynamic landscape of the GTA real estate market. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions!

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Every living space can benefit from a little upgrade. Not only do DIY projects serve as creative outlets, but they also offer cost-effective solutions to spruce up any outdated area. Here are five DIY projects to help breathe new life into your old space:

 

Reupholstering

 

Don't let the term "reupholstering" intimidate you. It's actually quite straightforward once you get the hang of it. This process involves covering outdated chairs, bed frames, or cushions with fresh, new fabric. Once you've found a fabric design you love, simply stretch it tightly over the object, staple it in place, and voila – you've got a brand new addition to your living room.

 

Statement Gallery Wall

 

As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. Instead of stashing away your cherished memories, why not display them for all to see? A gallery wall not only adds character and depth to your space but also serves as an excellent conversation starter when you have guests over.

 

Updated Hardware

 

One quick update you can do is to replace old, dull handles with fresh, modern hardware. While it may seem like a minor adjustment, it can have a significant impact on the overall ambiance of a room.

 

Large-Scale Artwork

 

Artwork can instantly breathe life into a room. Experiment with textures and shapes to create a traditional, family-oriented piece or a contemporary abstract masterpiece – it all depends on your style. All you need is a canvas, some paintbrushes, and paint that complements your current living space.

 

Faux Stained Glass Window

 

Faux stained glass windows are a timeless interior design hack that continues to win hearts. They're popular because they're budget-friendly. You can purchase pre-designed adhesive stickers or get creative with glass paint. Either way, your space will instantly brighten up and burst with colour.

 

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In the world of real estate, two terms that often get used interchangeably are "deposit" and "down payment." Despite their apparent similarity, these two terms bear significant distinctions, both in meaning and in how they impact your journey to homeownership. To help you determine the difference between the two, think of them in the following ways:

 

Deposit: A Show of Intent

 

A deposit is the financial gesture you make to demonstrate your genuine interest in purchasing a property. It's the sum of money attached to your offer, providing the seller with the assurance that you are a committed and financially capable buyer. A deposit is typically non-refundable, as it is usually absorbed into your down payment once the deal is finalized.

 

Down Payment: Sealing the Deal

 

In contrast, a down payment is a percentage of the home's purchase price that you pay at the closing of the deal, after the seller has accepted your offer. This amount is a critical component of your total home purchase cost and is paid through your mortgage. The size of the down payment varies but generally starts at 5%. However, if your down payment is less than 20% of the home's purchase price, you'll likely need mortgage loan insurance, a safeguard for lenders in case of buyer default.

 

The primary distinctions between these two financial commitments come down to the amount and timing of payment:

 

Deposit:

  • No fixed standard amount
  • Paid along with the offer

 

Down Payment:

 

  • Typically ranges from 5% to 20% of the home's purchase price
  • Paid on the closing day of the home purchase
  • Amount of Down Payment

 

 

Understanding the nuances of deposits and down payments is crucial as you embark on your home-buying journey, ensuring that you make informed financial decisions and set yourself on the path to homeownership.

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A second mortgage is essentially a secured loan that capitalizes on the equity you've built in your home. The amount you can borrow through a second mortgage is typically derived from the difference between your home's current market value and the outstanding balance on your primary mortgage.

 

There are two distinct types of second mortgages:

 

Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC)

 

This functions much like a credit card for homeowners. Instead of a lump sum, you're granted a line of credit based on your home's equity. You can borrow up to this limit for a set period known as the draw period, which typically spans 5 to 10 years. 

 

During this time, you pay interest only on the amount you borrow. You can opt for a HELOC with a capped interest rate to shield yourself from rising interest payments. After the draw period concludes, you enter the repayment phase, typically spanning 10 to 20 years, where you must pay back the borrowed sum along with the accrued interest.

 

Home Equity Loan (Refinancing Your Mortgage)

 

This involves replacing your existing mortgage with a new one, potentially at a different interest rate or term. Opting for a "cash-out" refinance increases the amount you owe but provides a lump sum of cash for your discretionary use. 

 

Home equity loans usually feature a fixed interest rate, ensuring consistency in your monthly payments. They also adhere to a fixed repayment schedule, meaning you'll make the same monthly payment throughout the loan term.

 

 

When it comes to second mortgages, both the HELOC and the home equity loan have unique strengths tailored to specific needs. Speaking to your financial advisor or real estate agent is recommended when considering which one to choose. As always, feel free to contact me if you have any questions!

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