So we’re officially 2 weeks into the fall market and it feels a little like this:

Bidding War Cat GIF

Here’s what we’ve been seeing and hearing in the field:

  1. There was a ton of new inventory right after Labour Day. Buyers finally had numerous properties to see at the same time, instead of just 1 – crazy! Listings were strong both east and west of Yonge. Buyers finally believed their agents who’ve been counselling them to be patient since August – we can only hope new houses will continue to get listed for the next month.
  2. Bidding wars were frequent and fierce. There was the story of the Roncesvalles house that sold for more than $300K over the asking price in a bully offer on the first day. There was the story of the people who bid $250K more than the asking price for an Annex house and didn’t win. There was the story of the married real estate agents who were in 4 bidding wars in 2 days and the wife won 100% of the bidding wars she was in and the husband won 0%. But I won’t name any names. Brendan. Looking more carefully at the data:
    • 132 houses sold between September 9 and September 19 in central Toronto
    • 79% sold at or above asking
    • 86 houses sold above asking (65%)
    • Only 19 houses sold at 98% of asking price or less (14%)
  3. Some good houses that should have received multiples offers didn’t get ANY offers. Maybe it was because multiple similar houses in a neighbourhood were taking offers on the same night (we call that “offer splitting”) or maybe it was because people were intimidated and thought the house would sell for more than they could afford. You can’t win the house if you don’t play, people! There were deals to be had when bidding wars didn’t materialize.
  4. The bully offer reigned supreme. As predicted [Related: Predictions for the Fall 2015 Market], Buyers are tired of the Sellers having control and have been circumventing the “offer night” process with big unconditional offers on day 1 or 2. It seems to be paying off for them.
  5. The sick carousel of I-want-to-sell-my-house-but-not-until-I-buy-a house continued.  Fear of not finding or getting the right house continued to delay potential Sellers, exacerbating the inventory problem. Not that I can blame them.
  6. Condo sales continued to be strong. 34% of the 136 condos sold between September 9 and 19th sold for 100% or more of asking – there were even 17 condos that sold above asking.
  7. Quick decision makers were the real winners of the first 2 weeks of the fall market. Jumping on properties that didn’t get multiples or aggressively making bully offers was key to success.


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