With my first year of real estate blogging coming to end, I can’t help but jump on the bandwagon of looking back at 2012. The world didn’t end, our real estate market didn’t crash and Toronto restaurant go-ers seemed to accept the ‘no-reservation, cash only’ thing as normal.
Here is a look back at some of what we learned in 2012:
There really isn’t just one ‘real estate market’. 2012 saw the development of unique market behaviours in the condo and house sector. While overall, both the condo and house markets had great years, two distinct real estate markets have taken shape. While demand for houses remained strong, we saw a greater supply of downtown condos and buyers with a lot more negotiating power. Activity in the first quarter of 2013 will give us a much better idea of what to expect for the remainder of the year.
The Canadian government isn’t going to let the housing market collapse. While interest rates remained insanely low, new mortgage rules were announced in June (and again in November) to help slow down the market. Based on declining sales and prices in the last months of 2012, there’s little doubt those rules are accomplishing their goal. While it may be a pain for first-time and marginal buyers, the long-term effect will hopefully benefit all Canadians and home owners.
Buyers learned important lessons about buying condo-hotels and buying pre-construction. With disgruntled buyers of the Trump Towers condominium project in the news seemingly every day, it was a good reminder to: 1- Read what you sign; and 2-Remember that if it looks too good to be true, it probably is; 3- Work with a Realtor when buying pre-construction.
Our readers love a good rant. We love that people continue to ask us what ever happened to that Douchebag Realtor and sympathize with us over Realtors Who Don’t Care about Their Clients and Realtors Who Don’t Communicate. I don’t love that we rank in the top spot on Google for the words ‘Douchebag Realtor’, but hey, at least people care.
Buyers don’t just buy a house, they buy into a neighbourhood. Readers devoured our blogs about Toronto Neighbourhoods, from the safest, the best for singles, the best for return on investment and the best neighbourhoods for first time buyers. We also can’t seem to keep up with people signing up for the new BREL Neighbourhood Reports.
2012 was a a big year for BREL: we made the move to Sage Real Estate, started building our own team of kick-ass real estate agents and perfected the art of being paperless. We have some big stuff planned for 2013, so stay tuned…
Here’s to 2013!