November 2020 GTA real estate review.
We sit down to talk with Milton realtor Chuck Charlton, team lead at Charlton Advantage, to talk about the November 2020 GTA real estate market.
Here, we’re talking more about the November 2020 GTA real estate market.
Chuck Charlton’s contact info:
Don’t feel like watching? Find the full transcript below!
Chris: [00:00:00] Today, I’m joined by Milton realtor Chuck Charlton from the Charlton Advantage Real Estate team, Chuck and his wife Melissa started their real estate journey 17 years ago. And over that time period, they’ve consistently been ranked in the top 100 realtors in Canada, which is quite an achievement. But besides all that, Chuck is a super, genuinely awesome guy who I love talking to. Chuck, thanks so much for joining me this morning.
Chuck: [00:00:31] Yeah, thanks. So appreciate that. We’re just getting started.
Chuck: [00:00:35] If you want to keep going, I mean,
Chris: [00:00:39] I think we pump the tires and I have lessons for you this morning.
Chris: [00:00:44] So yesterday TRREB released their real estate numbers for November. And just taking a quick look at this, some things pop up right away. I mean, I’m looking at year over year, total residential transactions up 24%. We have the selling price year over year, up 13 %. That’s an amazing return if you’re looking at investment listings way up. 33%. So you, with your experience as a realtor looking at these numbers, what’s your take on this? How do we make sense of it all?
What happened in November?
Chuck: [00:01:24] The problem when look at some of these stats is like, for example, you’ll see words like seasonally adjusted, you’ll see words like, you know, the trend and you know, it’s true. I mean, everybody now, it’s no secret that prices are up, right? I mean, everyone’s so surprised by the sale that happened down the street or in their neighbourhood. So, you know, 12, 13% is a very common thing to see depending on the area. I don’t like using the average price because you get into these.
Toronto has always been something where there are 10 or 15 pockets of really in-demand neighborhoods and then you’ve got some that are just OK. So you’ve got high performing areas, low performing areas. You’ve got the condo market which has shifted a lot too. Right? So right. You and I love using examples with each other. So the one I like to use is, you know, if if your head is in the oven and your feet are in the freezer, your average body temperature is just fine. But it doesn’t say a lot about single family homes have done very well. But you reach an affordability issue at a certain point.
Chuck: [00:02:32] And then what happens is people start to migrate out to areas like mine, like Milton, even people sell in Milton and they go to Dwell, Cambridge. So covid has accelerated that, too, because now you’re not as attached to the geography of I need to be close to work. There’s a lot more work from home trends happening. So there’s a lot within those average prices.
Changes in the condo market
Chuck: [00:02:55] The condo market has really seen a shift in supply. So I was looking at the numbers. So we’ve had two months in 2020 where the condo market has had, you know, 50 I think it was 5400 listings. 5600 listings to put that in context. 2017, There was no month where we were more than 2800 listings and that’s probably the most similar market of what we have.
Chris: [00:03:21] So Chuck, let me let me just ask you a question. You’re talking specifically about condominium listings? Condominiums.
Chuck: [00:03:29] Yes, in the 416 area, over 5000 new listings coming out in a month is just it’s a swelling of supply that has really changed the whole dynamics with the condo market. So. Right. Yeah. I mean, to have double the amount of listings in a month that you would find and the highest month in 2017, which was a very active market, you’re going to start to see some things shift there. I mean, and there’s two things that happened.
The average price sometimes may stay about the same, but you’ll find a couple of big sales and you’ll find a lot of low sales. So those low sales need kind of be worked out. So that can sometimes take 12 to 18 months to get those, because someone who really needs to sell in a market that’s oversaturated with supply, they’re going to have to sell for a lower number. Right. So that we have to see that stuff work itself out. And it doesn’t happen in two or three months. It takes time. We’ve seen that. 2008. 2012. We’ve seen times when that happens.
Chris: [00:04:35] So let me ask you a question there. So because of that, do you anticipate that in 2021 we will see some softening of these numbers, more normalization?
Normalization going into 2021?
Chuck: [00:04:45] I think more normalization. Right. I think the worst days are probably behind us for condos because people are looking at it now and now you’re in a position where the worst part has happened and people are really deciding, do I need to list my condo or not? So it’s not a matter of it’s like want versus need, right? It’s not not good conditions. It’s not favorable for a seller. So only the people that really need to sell will jump out there and eventually buyers will come around because it’s just it’s affordability. It’s a proximity issue. So I’m not worried about that.
If you bought, let’s say, early 2020, you know, your condos down a bit, you’re going to be OK over the long term. As you said, you’ve got equity pay down. The numbers will come back up. We’ll flatline for probably six to eight months and then we’ll just start seeing little signs of improvement.
Chris: [00:05:38] Right.
Chris: [00:05:39] So if I’m hearing you through this conversation, you’re really not losing any sleep about the condo market or the Toronto real estate market as a whole. You don’t think that that these numbers are indicative of a bubble or that things are accelerating too quickly? You think things are going to normalize and steady out in the future?
Is it a bubble?
Chuck: [00:06:02] I do think so, yeah. I mean, whenever I think of bubbles, I think of three years of double digit appreciation. I think of large volumes of of properties being purchased on spec. Right. Not I mean, the 10% per year. Absolutely average that out. It has happened. So we’re in a bit of the danger zone there. But I think we might start to see just a leveling off, but again, covid is is pushing the prices of the suburban markets like the one we’re in in Milton is pushing that up. I mean, the story of the year from Milton last week. 65 sales in Milton. 28 of them were over a million dollars, which is amazing.
It’s like you think of Milton as the suburban community half hour outside of Toronto. And it’s like there are a lot of big sales in this community. Right. So it’s it’s. Yeah. And you start seeing things like the average price in Ingolf and Cambridge has now sort of gotten up to six hundred something range. That’s a long way from Toronto. Right. London would at one point was the hottest market in Canada a few years ago. I don’t know if it still is so. So it’s the pushing out. It’s actually like the averages are now spread out. You hear about Toronto and New York. It’s commercial real estate. I mean, things have shifted, right? There’s definitely lifestyle shifts. You can sell your condo in Toronto and get a townhouse and you can get a detached home.
Chuck: [00:07:39] Maybe Ingolf like people are deciding everybody’s dream is to have that single family home. You know, the white picket fence. Right. All right. Yeah.
Impact of accelerated immigration
Chris: [00:07:51] Well, and Chuck, I did a video this week reflecting on the announcement by the federal government of very ambitious targets of bringing 1.2 million new Canadians into Canada over the next three years. And, of course, southern Ontario is the main destination. So, I mean, this is going to put more of a squeeze on the limited supply that we have. Prices are going to accelerate. Do you see it that way as well?
Chuck: [00:08:20] Absolutely. I mean, you have you have a situation where you’ve got immigration, obviously covid. I mean, this put a pause on that. But it’s not a hard stop. You have green belt legislation, limited supply, you know, and people my experience has been people don’t just move here and buy a home right away. There’s an incubation period that exists. They might have to work for a couple of years. Some people bring some savings, but in my experience, they don’t just kind of come within a few months even. You know, you’ve got to build some credit up in those kind of things.
That’s right. But, yeah, the future looks bright. Definitely. It’s that green belt legislation. Now, there’s even talk of by Ontario of reducing the power of conservation authorities. And I don’t know if I agree with that. But it’s I mean, there’s there is there trying to open up some of that inventory, because I think if prices rise too fast, eventually everything comes to roost. Right. It’s just you have to make sure that it’s responsible growth.
Chris: [00:09:22] Right. Right.
Chris: [00:09:24] Now, Chuck, I mean, this is fascinating stuff. And we could go on probably for another ten minutes talking about this.
What about timing?
Chris: [00:09:31] But I want to ask you one last question about timing, because I think that’s on a lot of people’s minds. I mean, I look at these numbers and I go this this feels a little bit scary, that things are accelerating quickly and a little perhaps a little bit out of control. So is now the time to jump into the market? If you’re thinking about it, should you wait? Should you can you time this market? What’s your advice to somebody wanting to sell and buy?
Chuck: [00:10:00] Well, you know, you don’t really know the bottom of any market until after it happens, right? That’s the that’s the difficult part. I think what people always at this time of year ask the question, should I wait till spring or should I do something now? As a seller, one of the best things for you is lack of competition. Lack of other options for buyers is going to help you sell your house. And so right now, the volume goes down.
So we have predicted pretty typical numbers for December, January so far. And then if we get into lockdown covid situations, those numbers just go down further. So we might grow to about 50% total volume. If there are a thousand sales in December or in a hot market like, let’s say, September, there might be 500 in December. So that’s all it is right, is the number of listings goes down, the number of sales goes down, and that’s normal. And that’s actually what happened during covid was we found March, April, May, the total volume went down, but the ratio between the sales and listings didn’t change.
The market is busy, the time to buy is when you’re ready
In other words, the buyers and sellers were there in the same numbers, just less so. That’s why when June came around and remember, this was it started off as a health crisis, not an economic crisis. When the safety was perceived as being OK, the numbers just picked up right where they left off pretty much June 1st. Right? Right. So all we’re going to see in the winter, if covid lockdown’s happen, is just the numbers are going to go down a lot. Days on market will extend, which is pretty normal for a December market. But if your patient, your price does not go down, usually hanging from the right buyer sometimes.
But remember, there may be half the number of buyers out there now, but the ones who are out there are pretty serious. Like you’re not just you’re not just checking in on things. If you’re shopping for homes in December, you’re pretty serious.
Chuck: [00:12:05] You want to buy a house, right? Yeah. Yeah.
Chris: [00:12:08] And I can tell you from from my own experience with clients that we we’re taking on for preapproval. There are, I think, more pre- approvals in December than I’ve ever had in my career. So people are active. People are looking.
It is a busy time for pre-approvals
Chuck: [00:12:21] Yeah, absolutely. And I think January I’ve looked at the stats for pre-approvals. I think that’s the highest month of the year for actually, because you get almost that resolution where it’s you know, let’s that this is the year we stop paying our landlord kind of thing. Right. Or this thing where we stop settling for our small kitchen and move into a bigger kitchen. Yeah. So, yeah. So I think that as far as timing the market. It’s always a situation of, you know, what you know now and you just don’t know what’s going to happen in the future. Generally, things look pretty positive.
I don’t think things are going to tank. It just doesn’t feel like the fundamentals. Interest rates are really the accelerator for all this stuff. You know, it’s absolutely it’s and it’s still the prices are high because interest rates are low. It’s like you can have it the other way. You can wait for the market to go down price-wise. But that’s usually because interest rates go up.
It’s always a question of affordability
Chris: [00:13:21] Right. So it’s all a question of affordability. What does it cost? Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Chuck: [00:13:27] Your monthly payments are the thing that matters. It’s like when you buy cell phones and you buy cars, how do they market those? They say this is how much up front this is how much per month. Right. Right. That’s what people care about. And that’s how you need to make your decisions is what’s important to me.
And then also, can I buy something that I’m not going to lose sleep over? You know, as far as, like, the payments, you want something that still fits your lifestyle and allows you to do things besides just pay your mortgage. And that’s why having somebody like yourself that, you know, is is so important, because you look at big picture things, not just here’s what the approval is. Just go do that. Right.
Chris: [00:14:07] So I appreciate that Take. Thank you, Chuck. And now listen, this has been an excellent conversation. I appreciate your time.
Chris: [00:14:18] I hope the viewers have enjoyed it as well. If somebody would like to get in touch with you and the team, is there a preferred way to do that?
How do I get in touch with Chuck?
Chuck: [00:14:27] Yeah, we so you can find us on social media to Charlton Advantage team. You can go to our website at CharltonAdvantage.com. They can see from that screen there. Our job is to create a five-star experience. And if you look at the Google reviews, I don’t know about you, but everything I buy now if I go on Amazon, I’m always reading the reviews to see what’s going on. And it’s really important to us that when you have a good experience, Chris, it’s like you don’t really tell anyone. But if you have a great experience, you want to share that with other people. So we’re really happy with the reviews that are online for us. So just check those out if you want to see what we’re about.
Chris: [00:15:06] Awesome. Thank you so much, Chuck. Have a wonderful day. And I look forward to doing this again, like in the future. Bye for now. Thank you.
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