Residential real estate : Sales, median price both up

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Millennial will have a limited supply of single-family homes to pick from as median home prices continue to rise and supplies of homes continue to be tight.

Realtors sold 609 single-family homes during March, the third greatest number during the past 12 months and highest since August, according to the Ocala/Marion County Association of Realtors. The data does not include homes sold by owners.

The number of closings during March was 12.4 percent higher than during March 2016 and up from February, when only 438 Realtor sales were recorded.

Along with more homes sold, the median sales price also rose to $142,000, up 11.6 percent from March 2016 and the highest since at least 2013. The year-over-year percent increase for the past 12 months has been in the double digits, with the greatest leap in January, when the median sales price increased 31 percent compared to the year before.

“I think we have healthy growth right now,” said Vicky Morrison, vice president of the Ocala/Marion County Association of Realtors. “And it’s growing steady and the prices are getting back to a normal market.”

Morrison is also the broker and owner of Bricks and Mortar Real Estate and Development.

Also reflective of a healthy market is the sales price in comparison to the original asking price. The median sales price for March was 96.2 percent of the original asking price. That was a 2.3 percentage points better than the same month in 2016. The 96.2 percent was the highest percent of the asking price since at least January 2013.

This is a good indicator of the recovering market, as buyers realize the market is starting to favor the seller.

Some of what’s driving the market could be more people moving to Marion County, Morrison said. She thinks new businesses setting up distribution centers here, such as Auto Zone and Fed Ex, are having an impact.

“Now we’re seeing a reflection in the housing market,” she said.

As sales numbers increase, the inventory of existing homes for sale is not keeping up with the demand. The inventory of active listings during March was 2,730 homes, a drop of 16.8 percent compared to March 2016. The consecutive year-over-year drop in inventory has been in the double digits since September 2016.

 

For More Information:- Fred Hiers

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Clearer process needed in hot Toronto real estate market, Tory says

Officials hint that new rules and tougher penalties could help in the drive to cool the market.

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Mayor John Tory and Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa have hinted that changes to real estate industry practices could be part of the solution to cooling — without killing — the over-heated Toronto housing market.

While he wouldn’t provide specifics, Tory said there needs to be more transparency in real estate transactions.

Asking prices for homes rarely reflect their true value and desperate consumers are subject to bidding wars often with little to no information on the number or the nature of competing offers, he said.

“How could that do anything but contribute to the frothiness of the real estate market and the frenzied increase in prices,” Tory told the Toronto Star on Wednesday.

He also said he is concerned that home buyers are being pushed to waive conditions such as home inspections, on their offers.

Some Toronto realtors say it’s common for the successful purchaser in competitive bidding wars to far exceed all the other offers on the table. Buyers can’t know what the competition is offering. Only the seller sees all the offers and realtors aren’t permitted to disclose that information.

Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) CEO Tim Hudak is calling for an overhaul of the 2002 provincial rules and code of ethics that govern real estate practices.

He says the majority of realtors are honest and ethical. But there are problematic practices including double-ending sales, says Hudak.

Double-ended sales, where one agent represents both the buyer and the seller, means more commission for the realtor and can potentially shut out competing offers.

Hudak called for tougher regulations and penalties for agents who break the rules. In a hot market, penalties meted out by industry regulator the Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO) can be just the cost of doing business, he said.

RECO registrar Joseph Richer said “If there is a call for greater fine level, certainly we can look at that.”

But in any market situation where there is more demand than supply, some people will take advantage, said Richer.

“When you have 10 or 20 people knocking on your door to buy your house, I’m not sure what the individual (realtors) could be doing to drive prices higher,” said Richer.

RECO fines range from about $5,000 to $25,000.

Toronto realtor David Fleming has called for more severe RECO penalties for some rule breaches. But on Wednesday, he accused the mayor of politicking.

Fleming said, the “easiest, slam-dunk policy change” to cool the Toronto market is a non-resident foreign buyers tax that Premier Kathleen Wynne was expected to announce as early as Thursday.

Foreign buyers “are getting rich off our backs and the hard-working, tax-paying Canadians that live here can’t afford real estate,” said Fleming.

The Toronto Real Estate Board referred questions about unethical or improper business practices to RECO.

“TREB members adhere to a strict code of ethics as set out by RECO, and TREB not only welcomes a review of the Real Estate and Business Brokers Act but has officially asked for it,” said the board’s CEO John DiMichele in an emailed statement..

For More Information:- John Tory

Is Real Estate Still A Man’s Domain?

Over the years, real estate has traditionally been a man’s domain. It was the men in the family who decided which house to buy or rent. But just like in any other field, women are making their presence felt in the real estate world too. Single as well as married women are realizing the importance of owning a property in their name. It is for this reason that, just like their male counterparts, women closely follow news and updates on the real estate scenario in their homeland. Women are gradually emerging in the forefront as they are making worthwhile contributions towards buying and selling homes. The last few years have witnessed the emergence of more and more female real estate agents. Here are a few reasons for the growing success of women in real estate:

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Women listen carefully

It has been proven time and again that men and women communicate differently. Women are known to be better listeners than men. This works to their advantage in a field like real estate because agent needs to listen carefully to their potential buyer’s needs. Only when you understand what the buyer is looking for, will you be able to make a successful sale.

Women are more detail oriented

This goes hand-in-hand with the first point. When you listen carefully to what your buyer is saying, you are able to pick on the details that are most important to him. For example, if the buyer addresses his concern about the neighborhood not being child-friendly, you can pick on his concern and address the issue by providing a solution. When the buyer is assured that his concern has been successfully taken care of, he is more likely to consider buying the house.

Women understand families and children better

Women are naturally more nurturing than their male counterparts, and this gives them an edge in a field like real estate. For example, if a family consisting of a mother, father, and two young children are looking to buy a house, they’ll opt for friendly neighbourhoods with lots of children and a good school nearby. Instead of showing them around 10 houses that may or may not meet their criteria, women are more likely to show them three or four houses that they’ll take a liking to immediately.

Women inspire trust

Buying a house is a huge emotional and financial commitment. It’s not like you enter a shop to buy a laptop, have a 10 minute conversation with the salesperson and walk out with your purchase. You need to build a relationship of trust and understanding with your agent and men and women both find it easier to establish a connection with female agents.

For More Information:- Munira Rangwala