condo

Why You Should Consider an Apartment

Photo by   Pixabay   from   Pexels

Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

You deserve to live in a home that you love. It needs to have all of the amenities and features that not only provide convenience but offer you comfort and relaxation. While a single-family home can provide all of this for you, plus much more, it isn’t the only housing option you should consider. An apartment or condo are housing options that have many benefits but are often overlooked. Here are several reasons why you should consider renting an apartment. 

1. The Finances

One of the benefits of choosing an apartment is the cost. Over the past several years in the Toronto area, housing prices have increased. This has made it increasingly hard for many individuals, particularly first-time homebuyers, to purchase a home. They do not have the down payment and other expenses saved up to qualify for a home loan. 

When you choose an apartment, this is not a worry. Rent is much less expensive each month than a monthly mortgage payment in the GTA. You also don’t need the money to pay for maintenance and expenses on the home. If money is already tight, you can keep yourself in a much stronger financial situation with an apartment. 

2. The Responsibility

There are many benefits to owning a home. However, with these benefits comes much responsibility. It will require a substantial amount of time, energy, and money to keep your property in tip-top condition. However, this is not the case with an apartment. In most situations, the landlord or a handyman hired by the landlord will handle all of the maintenance and repairs for the apartment.

3. Location

Photo by   Burst   from   Pexels

Photo by Burst from Pexels

No matter what part of the city you choose to live in, you can typically find an apartment available. This is beneficial if you want to live right in the heart of downtown to make commuting and proximity to various amenities much easier. However, keep in mind that when you live closer to downtown or in busy and popular areas of the city, you will find higher monthly rent rates than elsewhere. 

4. Flexibility

When you purchase a home, you will want to reside in the area for several years. If not, you may find that you lose a considerable amount of money when selling your home. It can also be a major hassle to move from one area to the next. However, this is not the case with an apartment. Moving from place to place is as simple as canceling an upcoming lease. You don’t need to go through any complex or overwhelming selling processes. This is particularly ideal if you do not like your apartment or your current location. 

Living in an apartment has many benefits but it may not be the best choice for all individuals. Before you decide whether a single-family home or an apartment is the right choice for you, you will want to weigh the pros and cons of each and look carefully at your own financial situation and housing needs. 

Get in touch to learn more. 

Can I Afford a Condo in Toronto?

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It is no secret that condo prices in Toronto are high, but how high are they? 

During the first quarter of the year, condo prices have increased by 3.6%. With this increase, the average condo price in Toronto is now $600,000. These high and crazy prices have made it difficult for many homebuyers to afford and even consider condo living in this city. 

Are Condo Prices Expected to Keep Rising?  

While condo prices certainly rose during the first quarter, this was actually the slowest increase since 2015. The price per square foot for a condo also saw its lowest increase since 2014, which was only 3.3% or $683. This may mean the market is slowly cooling off but if you have any plans to purchase a condo in the future, you will still want to prepare accordingly. The average price for a 3-bedroom condo in the city is $800,000 while a studio condo will still cost you half a million dollars. 

Additionally, condos may become more affordable in the future due to their heavy supply. According to Urbanation, during the first quarter of 2019, there were 71,378 condo units under construction.

How to Improve Your Chances of Purchasing a Condo in Toronto

If you are interested in purchasing a condo in Toronto, you will need to prepare. The high prices will make it harder to qualify and become approved for a mortgage. Here are just a few things to consider before you seriously begin the house hunt. 

Improve Your Credit Score

Your credit score tells lenders about your financial history and habits. If you have a high score, lenders are more likely to let you borrow large sums of money and you will qualify for lower interest rates. If your credit score is low, it is in your best interest to work on improving it before the pre-approval process.  

Pay Off Your Debt

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Your debt not only plays a role in your credit score but also in whether a lender will approve your loan. Ideally, all of your debts should not exceed 40% of your gross income. These debts include your housing, automobile, consumer debts, etc. If you have a substantial amount of debt, work on lowering it before you jump into the real estate market. 

Work With a Qualified Real Estate Agent

If you are interested in purchasing a condo or another housing option in the Toronto area, you want to work with a qualified real estate agent. This professional knows the ins and outs of the market and can help you find a home that you will love and can afford. Make sure to discuss your budget with your agent and some of the features you want and desire in your next house.  

While there are signs of the condo market slowing down, prices are still significantly high. Be prepared for purchasing a home by improving your credit score, paying off debt, and working with a qualified agent who can help you find the right home at the right price. 

Get in touch to learn more. 

Market Watch - June 2019

TORONTO, July 4, 2019 – The new President of the Toronto Real Estate Board, Michael Collins, announced that Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 8,860 sales through TREB’s MLS® System in June 2019, representing a 10.4 per cent increase compared to June 2018. Over the same time period, total new listings remained at a similar level for the month of June and active listings at month-end were down by 5.7 per cent.

Sales and new listings statistics for the first half of 2019 compared to the same period in 2018 painted a similar story to that of June. Sales were up by 8.5 per cent, while new listings were up by less than one per cent. This shows that sales accounted for a greater share of listings compared to last year, which means that competition between buyers increased, resulting in renewed price growth in many segments of the market.

“As I start my term as President of the Toronto Real Estate Board, I am proud to say that the Greater Toronto Area continues to grow, in terms of employment, population and overall diversity. As people are attracted to our region from all around the world, they obviously need a place to live. Over the next year, as demand for ownership and rental housing continues to grow, my hope is that we will see more movement from policy makers on two fronts: alleviating the constrained supply of housing and providing more flexibility around demand-side policies, including the OSFI two percentage point mortgage stress test and allowable amortization periods on insured mortgages,” said Mr. Collins.

The overall average selling price in June 2019 was $832,703 – up by three per cent compared to the average of $808,066 in June 2018. Price growth was driven by the higher density market segments, including semi-detached houses, townhouses and condominium apartments. The MLS® Home Price Index Composite Benchmark was up by a similar annual rate of 3.6 per cent. For the first half of 2019, the average selling price was $810,661, representing an increase of 2.4 per cent compared to the first half of 2018.

“Buyers started moving off the sidelines in the spring, as evidenced by strong year-over-year price growth throughout the second quarter. However, because we saw virtually no change in the number of new listings, market conditions tightened and price growth picked up, especially for more higher density home types, which, on average, are less-expensive than traditional detached houses and therefore provide more affordable housing options under the new OSFI stress test regime,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Chief Market Analyst.