Toronto Home Prices Plunge

November 15th, 2008 by Potato

Toronto home prices plunge

er… slump.

So the Canadian real estate market is finally following the rest of the world down from record highs, and I have to wonder how the real estate agents are going to spin it. In the spring, they said the beginnings of the slowdown were due to unusual snow accumulation keeping buyers away. Now they’ve launched their new MLS site, which sucks, and I have to wonder if they made it bad on purpose so that they could use it as an excuse for this increment in the slowdown (on top of the 0-down thing). The new mapping feature is neat, but it’s broken. My dad and I took the bulldog for a walk near their house last weekend. The bulldog doesn’t like to walk very far, but we passed a dozen houses for sale on that short walk, many of which we know have been on the market since late spring. We went on MLS afterwards, just to see what they were asking, and only 3 of them showed up! If I was selling a house and paying a realtor huge sums of money to do it (up to 6% of the sale price), I would want to make damned sure that they put my listing on MLS with the correct address, and a meaningful, properly spelled description. The MLS site is a disgrace right now, and it’s not because of the engine.

All over the interwebs and newspapers I see people saying that it’s just a temporary thing, and that they will relist their house in the spring, when things should pick up. To my ears, that means that this has just started, and the real pain is going to come next summer/fall, after sellers finally realize that it’s not going to pick up again, that the days of being entitled to a house or condo just by your existence, regardless of income or savings, are not going to return. That we’re not running out of land, that real estate doesn’t always go up, that paying the bank interest on your zero-down mortgage is really no different than throwing your money away paying someone else’s mortgage, and that it’s not perfectly reasonable to factor in a modest 10% growth per year when making a buying decision.

2 Responses to “Toronto Home Prices Plunge”

  1. Rez Says:

    I’m looking to buy pretty soon so I guess this is good news for me.

  2. Potato Says:

    Dido’s Life For Rent came out in 2003, right about the same time as the housing bubble inflated. Coincidence, or can we blame the song’s negative view of renters for driving the masses of first time homebuyers?

    I say we lynch blame Dido.

    Of course, Bowling for Soup (a band name that sounds decidedly depression-era to me) roared onto the scene with their song 1985 that reminded people that they want to ditch their house-and-SUV lifestyle, and also reminded them of 1985, another time when a nasty real estate bubble formed, and could be blamed as a catalyst for the bubble popping.

    Rez: no harm in waiting. I’m glad we lucked out too, for a while there in ’05/’06 I was looking at buying something in the L-dot to escape the ratty student rentals.