paul@pauljohnston.com 416.897.5480
Salesperson, right at home realty inc. 416.391.3232

May 2010 – Because It’s Time to Really Take Stock

Jul 14, 2010 by Paul

Toronto Real Estate Under the Microscope

I’m really glad I’m not a scientist.  Sure, the prestige of high-level finite knowledge must be a turn-on of sorts. And white lab coats, I’m told, can be worn eitherside of Labour Day. No worry. But while my chosen career path may rob mankind of miracles I likely would unearth, it puts me at a certain advantage. People have a CLUE what I’m talking about…

That’s the pleasure of this profession – between friends, amongst colleagues, within the family – we all want to talk about residential real estate. Likely more passionately, or at least more frequently, than quarks or stem cells or phytochemicals. For the record, I have only the vaguest sense of two of those things. Just enough to end a conversation pretty quickly.

Of course, what we’ve been talking about of late has been the extraordinary health of the Toronto Real Estate market. I’ve had the pleasure of discussing it in the New York Times, but also on a much more intimate level with clients. We sat through a hailstorm of bad news from most international markets, that more or less missed us in Toronto. We’ve seen a rebalancing of residential real estate in virtually every developed market except for our own, and chalked it up to prudent banking, strong consumer confidence, national pride and hockey. Well, maybe not hockey, but pretty much everything else we can come up with.

But let’s be frank. Scientific or not, the exuberance of the market and the recent price strength has been a product of limited supply. Plain. Simple. Mostly, by the way, something that every real estate professional and avid market-watcher has pointed out in the last year. There simply hasn’t been enough “supply” (a word I loathe, by the way).

Right – so here’s where I’m glad I’m not a scientist. Have your eyes glazed over? Nope! I bet not! Because you too have an opinion, and I’m prepared to bet it’s something like “sure, Paul, but now it’s Spring and everyone on my street is listing so the prices are going to go down, right?” Or maybe you’re thinking “but then have we missed the boat, is it too late to take advantage of the market?” Or maybe you’re still wondering what phytochemicals are?


Yup, spring has sprung and the listings are coming. Yes indeed, more homes are being listed than we’ve likely seen in the last 12 months or so. Absolutely, we’re going into the Spring market with prices at virtually all-time highs. So what does that mean for prices? What’s going to happen to the value of my house?  Is it time to sell now, or will the market just keep getting better?

I’d say these are damned good questions.  But then, I’m no scientist.