Andre Smit's Real Estate Round-up

Thursday May 13th, 2021

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Hi Folks,

I recently updated my town house market research for a client in Oakville. What I found, was that of 84 such sales in Halton over the last 30 days, freehold town homes sold for an average of 8% over their asking price, and that the average final price was $945k. It also took 7 days, on average, to sell a townhouse.

According to the Toronto Real Estate Board, (the largest in Canada), compared to April last year, total new listings for all homes were up by 237%, while total actual physical sales were up by 362%! This increased activity resulted in the average price for all homes, increasing by 33% from the same month, the year before. The average days that listings spent on the market, before selling, had decreased from 19 days to 10 days, or by 47%, for the same period!

Average detached house prices have increased by 41%, compared to April, 2020. The number of total new listings increased by 238%, compared to the same period, last year. However, active listings decreased by 9% from the same month, a year ago. The average days that listings spent on the market, before selling, has decreased from 22 days to 10 days, or by 55%, for the same period! Actual physical sales, in this category were up by a whopping 365%!

However, average condominium apartment prices have only increased by 20% for the same period, while new listings increased by 200% over the same month last year. The average days that listings spent on the market, before selling, has decreased from 18 days to 12 days, or by 33%, for the same period! Actual physical sales, in this category were up by 395%!

However, we need to take into account that April 2020, was the first month of the government mandated Covid-19 lock down, when there was still a great deal of concern and uncertainty.

It certainly appears as if the pent up demand in the market from last year is slowly dissipating. The number of offers for homes has definitely decreased sharply from a month or two ago. As more listings hit the market over the next few weeks, we can hopefully expect to once again return to a more balanced market.

I am sure that you have all noticed the recent sharp increase in the price of everything from gas at the pumps to red meat, fruit and vegetables and building materials. This inflation is of great concern to the Bank of Canada management. If this persists, they will have no other option but to increase interest rates, in order to bring this inflation under control.

With this in mind, now is the time to start readying your house for sale, in order to get the best possible price.

So this month, I will be exploring flooring options in your home, excluding tiles and linoleum, which will be covered in my kitchen and bathroom renovation segments.

The most common floor covering, in this category, is still wall to wall carpeting, due to it's versatility, warmth, ease of installation, sound reducing properties and cost effectiveness.

There are basically two broad types of carpeting, pile and looped pile. Cut pile is the most popular and the cheapest. There are 4 types of fibres used in carpet manufacture. Wool is the most expensive, and provides a soft, luxurious feel, while being naturally stain resistant. Manufactured fibres like nylon and polyester are crush resistant and are great for high traffic areas. Polypropylene is the most economical fibre, but provides a hard underfoot feel.

Colour choices are very wide. However, a general rule of thumb, is to reserve the lighter shades for more formal areas, and the darker shades for high traffic areas.

Stain and abrasion resistance, as well as texture retention warranties offered, normally reflect the quality of the carpeting, and range from 5-25 years.

A very important part of the installation process is selecting the carpet pad. A good foundation for your carpeting can extend it's life as well as adding a luxurious underfoot feel. There are two types of pad made out of urethane foam. The first is a blend with thicknesses varying between 8 & 11 mm and density varying between 7 & 8 lbs. The second, and my personal favourite, is the new generation memory foam pad. I have used this pad in a number of installations and, even though it is more expensive than the blended pad, it provides much better height to the pile and better sound reducing properties. You should always buy the best pad your budget can afford.

The cost of this carpeting varies between $4 - $15 / sq ft, including installation and carpet pad, with good quality available at around $ 6 / sq ft, excluding HST.

The modern trend, however, is to use a wooden type of floor covering. Here the choice revolves around 4 basic types, genuine hardwood, compressed and glued bamboo, engineered hardwood and laminate flooring.

Genuine hardwood, is still the most sought after floor covering, as it can be resurfaced multiple times and therefore has a life expectancy of +50 years. However, it cannot be used in a basement environment, due to it's instability to moisture level changes. It is very aesthetically pleasing and provides a natural, warm feeling to any room. Of the popular woods used, maple is the hardest, with a group containing oak, birch, beech and ash, not far behind. Cherry and walnut are the softest of the popular woods. Care needs to be taken in installing hardwood flooring on stairs, due to the smoothness of the product and the inherent danger of residents slipping and falling. Prices installed, vary from $6-$15 / sq ft, excluding HST, dependent on the quality of the sub floor and the shape of the room.

A fairly new competitor has now emerged in the form of compressed and glued, bamboo flooring. It can be installed in any area, including basements, as it remains stable even in moisture content changing environments. It is a durable and sustainable product, easily installed, but cannot be resurfaced, so it has a limited life. It costs about $5.00 - $7,00 / sq ft installed, excluding HST.

Another cost effective flooring option, is engineered hardwood, which consists of a veneer of hardwood, applied to multiple layers of plywood. This flooring can be applied over any type of existing flooring, including ceramic, concrete, laminate and linoleum and is also great in basements. It can only be resurfaced up to twice. It is easy to install, and can be used over a radiant floor heating system. It costs about $5.00 - $6.50 / sq ft, installed, excluding HST.

The most cost effective flooring system is laminate flooring, which consists of a photographic image of hardwood, laminated onto a fibreboard substrate. It is fairly hard wearing and can be installed in basements and over radiant floor heating systems. It, however lacks the warmth and natural feel associated with genuine hardware. It is also easy to install, and costs about $3.50 to $5,00 / sq ft installed, excluding HST.

Another modern floor covering, which is taking the home market by storm, is the luxury vinyl plank segment. These vinyl planks provide a soft feel, with modern colours, and simulate hard wood planks. They are totally waterproof, and therefore ideal for kitchens, bathrooms and basements. They are also easy to install, and cost between $4.50 to $6.50 / sq ft installed, excluding HST.

SMIT'S TIP OF THE MONTH

Check and trim vines or shrubs that may affect airflow around your air conditioner. Trim tree branches that are touching or overhanging your roof or siding. On brick homes, ensure that weeping holes are unobstructed, and that the soil is well below the brick line. Check all exterior mortar, masonry and stucco for cracks and then repair where necessary.

Please remember, that if you, your friends or family, have any questions regarding real estate, or indeed, require the services of a good realtor, do not hesitate, to contact me, at 416-898-2852, at anytime. I also run a cash referral system for any referrals to me, that result in a buy or sell transaction.

Enjoy the flowers,

Stay cool, safe and healthy!

Kind regards,

André

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