The housing frenzy expected to come back before spring

Anxious Toronto house hunters start the Spring market – in January?

In the opening days of 2014, John Quarrie and Lindsey Robins decided to spend a bit of time looking for their first house.

They looked at one house on a Friday evening and 24 hours later were the victors in a bidding war on a different property.

“The funny thing is they expected to spend a couple of months to find a place and ended up buying one in the first two days out,” says Shawn Lackie of Coldwell Banker RMR Real Estate, who helped them to make the deal Saturday.

It seems they are not the only buyers who are not waiting for the ice to melt.

Real estate ended 2013 with a burst of activity that surprised many economists. The Teranet-National Bank house price index hit a milestone in December with Toronto prices edging up 0.4 per cent. And despite concerns expressed by TD Bank chief Ed Clark who opined that bankers “should be worried about” the runup in house prices, buyers in Toronto seem more anxious than ever to grab what they can, when they can.

“They went nuts,” says Mr. Lackie of his client’s enthusiasm for a three-bedroom bungalow in the Oshawa area.

Mr. Quarrie says the house had just come on the market so the couple decided to make an offer right away. That didn’t deter the competition.

He believes that he and Ms. Robins prevailed because they offered slightly over the asking price and attached a hefty deposit. They made the offer irrevocable only until midnight the same day. The offer was conditional on approval for financing but the sellers chose their bid over another.

Mr. Quarrie says the couple was particularly drawn to the home’s location on a quiet cul-de-sac. They like the idea of starting a family and some day letting kids play in the low-traffic enclave. “I think what really drew us to that home is we could start a family there.”

Although they had only recently started looking, they sensed that other first-time buyers were eager to get into the market. “Things were going up for a day and then they were gone,” he says.

Once they realized they had actually purchased a house, the couple felt the usual what-have-we-done jitters, Mr. Quarrie says. “I don’t think we fully grasped the situation because we went so fast. It’s a little bit nerve-wracking when it comes to how much goes into a mortgage.”

They also had to immediately launch their mortgage application. “There was a lot of fingernail-biting.”

Mr. Lackie is getting plenty of inquiries from young couples, saying there are a lot of first-time buyers checking out the market.

Another young couple is not waiting for the spring thaw.

Andrew is a firefighter who trained as an engineer. His partner, Miranda, works for one of the big banks. They asked that their last names not be used.

Andrew says the couple has done some casual online searching but they have intensified their search recently because they figure the harsh winter weather and dark evenings may give them a slight edge. Sellers know that sunshine and tulips make their properties more appealing, and more rival buyers are likely to be visiting open houses on spring days.

“If you look at a big backyard with two feet of snow, it’s not as appealing as a yard with grass,” Andrew says.

The couple is looking in Toronto but they’ve widened their search to Durham Region in order to find more affordable properties in a wide price range between $300,000 and $500,000.

Eventually, Andrew would like to live in the Beaches but for now they think it is more likely they will find a property in areas such as Ajax, Pickering or Whitby.

For each house they consider, they both spend time crunching numbers for a mortgage, renovations and maintenance.

“I’m seeing things I don’t like. I see carpet that I know has to go,” says Andrew, who admits to lying in bed with a floorplan beside him as he calculates the cost of new hardwood floors.

The challenge at the moment, he says, is that the numbers are not working in their favour. House prices are so high that by the time the couple invests in some updating, they will have to wait seven or eight years before they can break a profit and think about moving up.

Andrew says he would prefer a house that’s so timeworn it can purchased for a bargain or of such a high-quality that it needs no investment at all. He doesn’t want to pay for someone else’s updates.

“That’s only five-years-old and I want to tear it up,” he says of some of the building materials and carpentry he has seen.

He believes the market rhythm is changing as first-time buyers in particular are more sophisticated than in years past. They are more adept at using technology and less likely to pay attention to the old stop signs, he says.

“This is now like Sunday shopping. People are out 12 months of the year,” he says.

Read the rest of the story here …

Listings for Fri Jan 17
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C2803477 – M2M – 2 RODEO CRT Toronto, Ontario – $ 679,000

Price Change. Jan 17: $ 679,000 Dec 29: $ 699,000
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C2806434 – M2N – 171 BURNDALE AVE Toronto, Ontario – $ 918,000

Price Change. Jan 8: $ 799,000 Jan 17: $ 918,000
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C2812094 – M2K – 6 FOXDALE CRT Toronto, Ontario – $ 2,786,000

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C2812165 – M6A – 189 RANEE AVE Toronto, Ontario – $ 769,000

Beautiful Bungalow Well Maintained With Many Upgrades, Over 15K Spent, Bsmt Large Window Above Ground, Lot Size:50X132 Feet! …

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C2812188 – M2H – 57 WEATHERSTONE CRES Toronto, Ontario – $ 879,000

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C2812209 – M3A – 8 HIRONDELLE PL Toronto, Ontario – $ 748,800

Renovate Or Build! This Spacious Sidesplit Is On A Wonderful Lot On A Sought After Cul-De-Sac Surrounded …

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C2812245 – M2K – 557 CUMMER AVE Toronto, Ontario – $ 998,000

Totally Renovated Home In High Demand Area*Hardwood Floor Thru/Out*Granite Tops*Floor 2 Ceiling Fireplace With Beautiful Stone /Slate Wall*B/I Lit …

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C2812299 – M6J – 55 HALTON ST Toronto, Ontario – $ 579,999

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C2812341 – M6B – 72 PRUE AVE Toronto, Ontario – $ 2,299,900

Stop!! The Search Is Over. Welcome To One Of The Finest Built Homes I Have Ever Seen. Boasting 4000Sqft., Oozing Charm, Character & Attention To Detail. …

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C2812390 – M2N – 169B FINCH AVE E Toronto, Ontario – $ 769,000

1 Year Old New Freehold Townhome In Willowdale, 2 Car Garage, Walking Distance To Subway And Bus Stop Across The Street. Monthly Fees ($ 137.03) Includes …

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C2812422 – M2R – 6 KENTON DR Toronto, Ontario – $ 717,800

Gorgeous 3+1 Bedroom Willowdale Bungalow On A Premium Private 60 Lot. This Home Has Been Renovated & Upgraded Top To Bottom. Spacious Eat-In …

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C2812428 – M4G – 273 SUTHERLAND DR Toronto, Ontario – $ 1,779,000

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C2812433 – M2L – 8 CARLUKE CRES Toronto, Ontario – $ 1,499,000

Beautifully Reno, Exec, 4 Br, Family Home In Coveted St. Andrews Neighbourhood. Majestic Principal Rms & New Chef Inspired Kitch, W/Centre Island Bf, Bar …

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C2812492 – M2R – 112 ELISE TERR Toronto, Ontario – $ 669,000

* Freehold* Semi -Detached In High Demand Newtonbrook West Community.New Beautiful Family Size Kitchen With S/S Appliances&Granite Top/Spacious Open …

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C2812502 – M5R – 126 SPADINA RD Toronto, Ontario – $ 749,000

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C2812540 – M5N – 2681A BATHURST ST Toronto, Ontario – $ 799,000

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C2812543 – M5N – 2679B BATHURST ST Toronto, Ontario – $ 799,000

In The Heart Of Lytton Park, Brand New Freehold Townhome Built By Esquire Homes. Ready To Move In With Highend Finishes. Granite Counter-Tops, Gas …

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C2812545 – M2K – 49 CITATION DR Toronto, Ontario – $ 2,288,000

Striking Custom Home On Gorgeous South-Facing Ravine Lot >>> Built New In 1993 & Totally Renovated In 2012 >>> Gourmet …

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C2812547 – M6B – 154 FAIRHOLME AVE Toronto, Ontario – $ 725,000

Beautifully Renovated South Facing 3+3 Home On 50 Lot W/Private Fenced Yard In High Demand Area. Conveniently Located, Walking Distance To …

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C2812622 – M2R – 34 MARATHON CRES Toronto, Ontario – $ 799,900

Very Spacious & Bright 4+1 Bedroom Backsplit On A Huge 52X122 Ft Lot.Fantastic North York Location.This Large Home Features A Fully Finished Bsmt W/2nd …

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C2812656 – M4A – 1496 VICTORIA PARK AVE Toronto, Ontario – $ 270,000

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C2812717 – M6E – 688 VAUGHAN RD Toronto, Ontario – $ 349,000

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C2812842 – M2R – 37 KENTON DR Toronto, Ontario – $ 748,900

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C2812852 – M5P – 15 RIDGEWOOD RD Toronto, Ontario – $ 2,999,900

A Masterpiece Of Design! Spectacular Custom Built Mansion Overlooks A Beautiful Ravine. This “”Homes …

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E2702841 – M1S – 25 SONMORE DR Toronto, Ontario – $ 1,330,000

Price Change. Jan 17: $ 1,330,000 Sep 24: $ 1,380,000
*Custom Exquisite New Home*Spectacular European Elegance*Entertainer s Dream W/Large Open-Concept Design*Stunning Gourmet s Delight Kitchen: Maple …

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E2805380 – M1K – 105A LAUREL AVE Toronto, Ontario – $ 439,300

Price Change. Jan 17: $ 439,300 Jan 6: $ 449,200
Bright Detached Home Located In A Quiet Neighborhood. Raised Bungalow With 3 Br 2 Wr. Finished Basement With Separate Entrance. Thousands Spent On …

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E2812136 – M1L – 4 COVENTRY ST Toronto, Ontario – $ 449,900

Newly Constructed 3 Bedroom 3 Bath Semi-Detached Adjacent To Oakridge Park. Upgraded Throughout, 3/4″” …

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E2812187 – M4J – 15 DUSTAN CRES Toronto, Ontario – $ 1,049,000

Gorgeous Home In The Exclusive Four Oaks Community W/ Single Attached Garage. Very Bright Open Concept . Main Floor W/ 9Ft Ceilings Lends Itself To …

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E2812300 – M1L – 130 WESTBOURNE AVE Toronto, Ontario – $ 699,999

Charming Renovated 4 Bedroom Home On Huge 56 X 105 Ft Fenced Lot. Stunning Renovated Kitchen With Stainless Steel Appliances & B/In Desk. Pine And …

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E2812318 – M4C – 303 QUEENSDALE AVE Toronto, Ontario – $ 524,900

Beautifully Updated East York Bungalow With Tons Of Character! Hardwood Floors, Classic Wood Trim Through Out And Freshly Painted. Upgraded Kitchen With …

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E2812345 – M1E – 141 RODDA BLVD Toronto, Ontario – $ 399,900

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E2812370 – M1N – 83 BIRCHCLIFF AVE Toronto, Ontario – $ 839,900

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E2812441 – M1L – 127A PITT AVE Toronto, Ontario – $ 489,000

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E2812451 – M1S – 19 BRIARSCROSS BLVD Toronto, Ontario – $ 749,900

*Move-In & Rent, Spacious & Freshly Paint 4+3Brms Home Back To Ravine*Enclosed Front Porch*Oak Stairs*Den On 2nd Floor Den Possible Convert To 5th …

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E2812504 – M1M – 61 FENWOOD HTS Toronto, Ontario – $ 725,000

Stunning Reno d Bungalow. An Architectural Masterpiece Featuring Quality Craftsmanship – Located In Prestigious South Scarborough Bluffs Neighbourhood. …

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E2812522 – M1V – 48 AUSTIN AVE Toronto, Ontario – $ 1,090,000

Don t Be Deceived. It Is Much Bigger Than It Looks:3000 Sqft Of Living Space W/Pkg For 3 Cars In A High Demand Area! Custom Built, 17 Yrs Ago By Current …

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E2812535 – – $ 679,000

Spacious Upgraded 2 1/2 Storey In Desirable Leslieville With The Perfect Combination Of Timeless Character And Modern Appeal. European Inspired Newly …


E2812631 – M4C – Unit5-1 BASTEDO AVE Toronto, Ontario – $ 449,000

Rarely Offered Williamson Garden Townhouse Located On A Quiet Dead End Friendly Cul De Sac Yet Steps To The Danforth Action! Incredible Open Concept …

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E2812681 – M1C – 6432 KINGSTON RD Toronto, Ontario – $ 599,000

Delightful Bungalow On A 51 X 343 Huge Lot With Development Potential, Next …

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E2812694 – M1C – 6436 KINGSTON RD Toronto, Ontario – $ 699,000

Rare Opportunity On Old Kingston Rd, Single Family Residential Lot Enormous 70 …

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E2812708 – M4E – 926 KINGSTON RD Toronto, Ontario – $ 519,900

Prime Kingston Rd. Store & Apt.! Open Concept Main Flr. With Bsmt. For Storage! 10 Ceilings! Large 2nd Flr. Apt. With Front & Back Entrances (Could Be 2 …

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E2812831 – M4C – 65 GATWICK AVE Toronto, Ontario – $ 749,000

Gorgeous Home Within Walking Distance To The Danforth & Subway. House Is Less Than 1 Yr Old. Owners Selling Due To Job Relocation. Ideal Opportunity For …

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E2812906 – M4M – 228 JONES AVE Toronto, Ontario – $ 439,900

Must See!!! Downtown Gem!!! Gerrard/Jones Prime Location. Minutes Walk To Gerrard Square, Homepepot, Walmart, School, Subway, Ttc & Library. Immaculate …

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W2795647 – M9W – 1 REX GATE Toronto, Ontario – $ 480,000

Price Change. Jan 17: $ 480,000 Jan 8: $ 485,000 Dec 20: $ 499,900 Dec 5: $ 515,000 Dec 8: $ 521,000
Many New Upgrades, Hard Wood Floor, Windows, …

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W2796956 – M9V – 29 SHALOM CRES Toronto, Ontario – $ 399,900

Price Change. Jan 17: $ 399,900 Dec 7: $ 429,000
Stunning 3 Bedrm, Upgraded Detach 2 Storey Home.Fully Renovated,Main Floor Feature Gleaming Laminate Flooring.Upgraded Kitchen With Glass Back-Splash, …

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W2812177 – M6M – 21 HAWKINS DR Toronto, Ontario – $ 499,900

Fantastic Opportunity To Buy Into A Million Dollar Neighbourhood. This Well Maintained Bungalow With Rear …

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W2812192 – M6M – 6 WOODENHILL CRT Toronto, Ontario – $ 525,000

This Bright And Well Maintained Home Is Located In A Quite Court, Excellent Location, Near Future Proposed Subway And Go Train Stop. Updated Kitchen …

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W2812282 – M8X – 49 WILGAR RD Toronto, Ontario – $ 1,649,000

True Pride Of Ownership Portrayed In This Classic Brick Tudor Home Situated On One Of The Kingsway s Most Desired Roads. Over 2700 Sqft Of Sun Soaked …

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W2812288 – M9B – 11 BURROWS AVE Toronto, Ontario – $ 689,000

Renovate Or Build Your Dream Home! Great Location! Islington- City Centre West. Just West Of Thorncrest Village. This 3+2 Bedroom Bungalow Has A Walkout …

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W2812302 – M6E – 142 SELLERS AVE Toronto, Ontario – $ 679,000

Welcome To This Stunning Restoration@142 Sellers Ave!Unmatched Quality&Craftsmanship Loaded W/ Powder Rm W/ Sep Laundry,Masterfully Assembled Modern Satin …

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W2812426 – M6P – 95 CAMPBELL AVE Toronto, Ontario – $ 599,000

Great Location In The Neighborhood Of The Junction Triangle, One Of The Larger Semis On Street, Separated Entrance To Bsmt Apartment,Bright And Spacious, …

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W2812449 – M9W – 2129 KIPLING AVE Toronto, Ontario – $ 520,000

Attention All Investors Seeking Full Rental Property, This Beautiful House Is Split Into Three Occupancies. The Basement Is Split Into Two Separate …

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W2812465 – M9V – 246 JOHN GARLAND BLVD Toronto, Ontario – $ 135,000

Excellent Starting Home For The Growing Family & Frist Time Home Buyer Newer Windows, Newer Roof, …

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W2812473 – M6M – 247 BICKNELL AVE Toronto, Ontario – $ 509,800

Great Opportunity To Finish Renovation To Your Fine Taste, The Major Work Such As Electrical Wiring, Heating, Flrs On Main Flr, Drywall & Pot Lights In …

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W2812513 – M9N – 225 CHURCH ST Toronto, Ontario – $ 445,000

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W2812584 – M9V – 22 CHANNING PL Toronto, Ontario – $ 429,000

Beautiful House, Main Level Bsmt With Garage, Close To …

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W2812605 – M9R – 12 STRATHDEE DR Toronto, Ontario – $ 748,000

Set In The Heart Of Richmond Gardens. Executive Bungalow Backing Onto Parkland. Renovated Eat-In Kitchen With Walk-Out To Deck Overlooking Park And …

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W2812609 – M9B – 29 HALIBURTON AVE Toronto, Ontario – $ 979,000

Stunning Family Home In A Fabulous Neighbourhood. Modern Open Concept With Chef Inspired Kitchen Featuring Stainless Steel Wall Oven And Gas Stove. 9 Ft …

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W2812612 – M8V – 25 THIRTEENTH ST Toronto, Ontario – $ 589,900

Warm & Inviting Updated 3-Bedroom Detached Home In Beautiful Mimico! Spacious Open Concept Living & Dining Area With Hardwood Floors, Updated Kitchen, …

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W2812749 – M8Y – 32 BONNYVIEW DR Toronto, Ontario – $ 649,000

Unique Park Setting Backing Onto Mimico Creek And Jeff Healey Park. Property Being Sold In As Is Where Is With No Representation Or Warranties. Please …

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W2812810 – M6S – 1A ST MARKS RD Toronto, Ontario – $ 1,099,000

Fabulous New Build With 4 Bedrooms, 3 1/2 Baths. Beautifully Designed, Meticulously Finished. Welcoming Open Concept Living Room/Dining Room With Gas …

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W2812892 – M6K – 15 LAIDLAW ST Toronto, Ontario – $ 449,900

Desirable King West 2-Bdrm Upper Unit Townhome With Large, West Facing Private Rooftop Terrace. Upgraded Kitchen With Granite Counters, Backsplash & …

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W2812900 – M9W – 52 JEFFCOAT DR Toronto, Ontario – $ 517,000

Bright Clean Home With Finished Basement W/Seperate Entrance Through Laundry Room/Garage. Private Double Drive, …

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