17 June 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Pan Am Games, Traffic, Real Estate

With the Pan American games about to descend on our city in a few weeks, there seems to be uncertainty about how the events will affect traffic in and around the city.

From June 29th through August 18th many of us who live, work and play throughout the downtown core are going to witness firsthand what athletes and delegates from 41 participating countries, media and visitors from around the world, and increased security personal feels like.

I’ve had numerous conversations with colleagues, friends and other business owners and employees responsible for keeping things ‘humming along as usual’, and there seems to be no consensus and mixed feelings on the impact of the games; instead, a ‘wait and see’ attitude is forming.

So how will this impact the buying and selling of real estate during the games? For starters, July and August are typically not strong months for sales in Toronto. Yes, we may be crazy for real estate but we also enjoy our beautiful summer season and on average, sales take a back seat during this time.

In terms of travelling and commuting, it’s inevitable that the added visitors to our city will have an impact on our normal routines of going to work and outside activities outside of work, such as going out for dinner or grocery shopping. Line-ups for transit will be longer, roads will be more congested with temporary road closures and foreigners trying to navigate unfamiliar areas, and parking will be difficult to find or nonexistent.

My feelings are this: the market is going to be typical, which means slow or slower than usual. In reality, certain segments of the market have already showed signs of slowing down: condos are on the market for longer, semi-detached homes in the midtown area and central prices are hitting a plateau, and detached home sales (including bungalows) are still going strong but with not as many bidders.

Last week I had a client looking at a completely renovated 2-bedroom bungalow in East York. It showed like a brand new home and had a 2-bedroom basement apartment to boot. Come offer night, it sold for about $25,000 less than what I expected with only 3 offers. Two months ago, this would have sold for more money and with more offers on the table.

If you absolutely have to sell, make sure your home is priced aggressively well (caution: this doesn’t mean lower and holding back for multiple offers). I’m certain there will be fewer buyers looking and fewer agents working, which will mean fewer sales. Enjoy the summer months and if you have the opportunity, take in an event or two of the games! I’m already booked for the court and beach volleyball finals, and I’m looking forward to it.

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