Insight Magazine

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Published three times a year, INSIGHT: The Art of Living is created by an expert team of highly acclaimed writers and renowned photographers. Drawing on the rich heritage of the Sotheby’s brand, this stunning publication speaks with authority on the issues, ideas and personalities that resonate with its intelligent readership.

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2017 Significant Sales Report

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The Most Extraordinary Homes Sold in 2017

Sotheby’s International Realty Canada’s agents successfully represented some of the most extraordinary and unique homes in 2017. We’re pleased to provide you with our annual Significant Sales Report. This issue features top sales from across the country, including beautiful waterfront homes in British Columbia, country mansions in Alberta, urban gems in Ontario, and modern castles in Quebec.

Click Significant Sales 2017 for full report.

Closing Defects


Many real estate agents and lawyers are often faced with advising both buyers and sellers of their legal obligations to disclose defects on the property. This newsletter will discuss the difference between different types of defects and will also provide some guidance for both sellers, buyers and realtors in terms of how to deal with disclosing these defects.

A patent defect is one that is easily and readily observable on a inspection of the property. An example of this would be a broken railing or damage to the walls. In the case of patent defects, t

he principal of caveat emptor or buyer beware applies which means that the buyer should have noticed the defect. Accordingly, the seller is not obligated to disclose patent defects. If a buyer can see the defect, it cannot later complain about it following closing.

A latent defect is a defect that is hidden and not observable upon a reasonable n inspection of the property. The law is that if a seller knows about a latent defect which would render the property uninhabitable or unsafe, then a seller must disclose this defect. Examples of these defects include problems with the structure or foundation, major leaks in the roof or basement or mold. By failing to disclose a hidden or latent defect that a seller knows about, a seller could expose itself to being sued after closing.

Another more controversial type of latent defect is psychological or stigma defect. These types of defects include things like death or suicide on the property or something that stigmatizes the property such as a pedophile living in close proximity to the property. Does a seller have

an obligation to disclose these defects to a potential buyer? There is no straightforward answer, however, when in doubt, a seller should disclose any major issues to avoid a potential lawsuit after closing.

To protect themselves, buyers should make all purchase transactions conditional on a home inspection report. This will give the buyer the opportunity to do a thorough inspection of the property to determine if there are any defects which could then be addressed prior to the offer becoming firm and binding. In addition, the buyer’s realtor should insert the appropriate representations and warranties in the Agreement of Purchase and Sale.

Many sellers are reluctant to disclose defects feeling that it will reduce the numbers of potential buyers and the ultimate sale price. While this may be somewhat true, the greater risk of not disclosing the defect outweighs the potential increase in price.  It should always be remembered that by disclosing defects upfront, a seller will reduce the risk of being a party to a legal dispute down the road.

Article Provided by Isenberg and Shuman

January 2018 Market Watch


Toronto Real Estate Board President Tim Syrianos announced that Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 4,019 residential transactions through TREB’s MLS® System in January 2018. This result was down by 22 per cent compared to a record 5,155 sales reported in January 2017.

The number of new listings entered into TREB’s MLS® System amounted to 8,585 – a 17.4 per cent increase compared to 7,314 new listings entered in January 2017. However, it is important to note that the level of new listings was the second lowest for the month of January in the past 10 years.

View Full Report  I  View Video  I  January 2017

March 2017 Market Watch

Tight Market Conditions Continue in March

Toronto Real Estate Board President Larry Cerqua announced that Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 12,077 residential sales through TREB’s MLS® System in March 2017. This result represented a 17.7 per cent increase compared to the 10,260 sales reported in March 2016. For the TREB market area as a whole, annual sales growth was strongest for condominium apartments and detached houses.

Download PDF   I   View Video   I    March 2016 Market Watch Edition

Sales Up and Listings Down in February

Sales Up and Listings Down in February

Toronto Real Estate Board President Larry Cerqua announced that Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 8,014 residential sales through TREB’s MLS® System in February 2017. Despite the fact that February 2016 had one more day due to the leap year day, this result was up on a year-over-year basis by 5.7 per cent compared to 7,583 sales reported last year.

“The February statistics tell me that many Greater Toronto Area households continue to view home ownership as a great long-term investment. The high demand for ownership housing we’re seeing is broad-based, with strong sales growth for most low-rise home types and condominium apartments. This makes sense given the results of a recent consumer survey undertaken for TREB by Ipsos, which found an even split between intending first-time buyers and existing homeowners who indicated that they were planning on purchasing a home in 2017,” said Cerqua.

10 Basic Things to Consider When Buying a Condo in Toronto

Finding your dream condo takes time, patience, and guidance—but it’s one of the most exciting investments you’ll make. A condo in the heart of Toronto is surrounded by award-winning restaurants, highly respected cultural institutions, and the buzz of a dynamic, world-class city.

If you’re in the market for a condo for the first time—whether you are buying your first home or an inaugural investment property, or downsizing from a detached single family home—it’s easy (and appropriate!) to focus on size or floorplans, or to become enamoured with chic decor. In addition to layout and aesthetics, pay attention to these equally essential steps and details, which will ensure you find the perfect home.

First, Determine Your Budget

Toronto Condo

In 2015, the Toronto condo market experienced a rise in the average selling price due to the high demand for condos. So, before you start looking for a condo in Toronto, plan your budget and decide whether or not your dream home fits your financial means. A financial advisor can help you determine what mortgage you qualify for.

Hire an Experienced REALTOR®

It can be challenging to find a condo that meets your specific needs. Working with a REALTOR with in-depth knowledge of the local real estate market and specific expertise in Toronto condos is essential. With insights into specific buildings, from the most desirable floor plans within each tower to developers or strata that have a negative reputation to developments in up-and-coming neighbourhoods you may not have considered, a condo specialist can guide you through the process and help you avoid costly mistakes.

Learn the Ratio of Condo Owners to Renters

The owner-to-renter ratio, as well as the building’s demographic, is important because owners will typically take greater care of their units and the common spaces. Owning in a building popular with, say, university students or young professional renters will create a different living environment and more turnover than one with more established owners.

Pretend You Live in the Neighbourhood

Shangri La Toronto Condo Neighbourhood

Once you’ve found a condo you like, visit the neighbourhood more than once, at different times of the day, so you can get a sense of the area. See what traffic is like and how safe you feel. Look for services you value, such as a dry cleaner, bank, LCBO, or grocery store. Check whether you are comfortable with the age range of the local residents or feel you fit in with the demographics of the area.

Find Out Maintenance Fees and Property Taxes

Factor in ongoing costs like monthly maintenance fees and property taxes into your budget. Low fees sound ideal, but they might only include basic utilities. In fact, they might be set low so that the condo building’s strata may need to raise them significantly in the future in order to cover expenses or to build up a sufficient contingency fund.

Consider the Unit’s Exposure

While a sunny, south-facing unit with floor-to-ceiling windows sounds fantastic, you may find it too warm and bright in the summer, and especially chilly during winter in Toronto.

Think About the View

View of Toronto

A pretty view is preferable (particularly for resale value), but with developers breaking ground in new plots all the time, have your REALTOR do research into planned builds that may obstruct your view of Lake Ontario or the CN Tower in the future. It’s also a good idea to avoid suites that overlook the garbage pickup space and heavy traffic areas like the garage entrance.

Make Sure Your Pets Can All Make the Move With You

Most condos have rules about how many pets you can have, and even what size they can be. Discuss this with your REALTOR as you begin your search, as this will help you narrow down your many options upfront. A condo’s board of directors usually determines whether or not owners can have pets.

Think as Though You are the Unit’s Landlord

Even if you are buying a condo for you to live in, evaluating a condo as an investor would help you identify properties with better resale value down the road. Consider demographic changes that are affecting the Toronto real estate market: with the ever rising cost of housing in Toronto putting home ownership out of reach for many Millennials, much of this generation are predicted to be renters for life.

Factor in how appealing the condo you’re considering will be to this cohort. Millennials prioritize a downtown lifestyle, close access to their jobs, proximity to the TTC and transit, and down the line, living in a unit that is family friendly; this translates into location and condo size being critical in the unit’s rentability.

Ask About Guest Amenities and Access

Condo Amenities

If you have a lot of out-of-town friends who often visit you, inquire whether there are guest units for rent, what the cost and nightly rental rules are, and about visitor parking. You may also be keen to hand out keys to your friends so they can visit the condo’s gym or pool, but find out first if you need to be present for them to take a swim or use the equipment.

These are simply a few of the factors you need to consider before buying a condo. To receive advice from an expert in Toronto real estate, connect with a Sotheby’s International Realty Canada advisor, and to browse Toronto condos listings, visit

Article Provided by Insight Magazine

Strong Start to 2017

Strong Start to 2017

Toronto Real Estate Board President Larry Cerqua announced that Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 5,188 residential transactions through TREB’s MLS® System in January 2017. This result was up by 11.8 per cent compared to 4,640 sales reported in January 2016. Annual rates of sales growth were higher for condominium apartments than for low-rise home types.

January 2017 picked up where 2016 left off: sales were up on a year-over-year basis while the number of new listings was down by double-digit annual rates for most major home types.

Click Here For Complete Report  I  View Video  I  January 2016 Report