‘The madness is here: Toronto home buyers greet the spring market

People who think that real estate bidding wars are the preserve of downtown Toronto should check out the action in Durham region.next-move0409re01

TREB numbers show that sales of detached houses in the 905 area code soared 17.3 per cent in March compared with March of last year, while the average price rose 10 per cent. By comparison, sales of detached houses in the 416 area code rose 4.3 per cent but the average price jumped 15.9 per cent in the same period.
“The madness is here,” says real estate agent Shawn Lackie.
In Courtice, Ont., which is about 50 minutes or so from downtown Toronto to the east, a house was recently listed with an asking price of $334,649. It received six offers and sold for $364,900 during the week before Easter.
The area is popular because it’s close to Lake Ontario, lies within commuting distance of the big city and generally has more affordable houses to attract young families priced out of the core.
Mr. Lackie recently took a young couple to see the house that inspired so much interest. They’ve already made a couple of offers but haven’t managed to close a deal.
Both sets of parents came along, Mr. Lackie says. “All were excited at the fact that this might finally be the one.”
Everybody liked the house when they saw it and – even better – it turns out one of the potential buyers happens to have an old acquaintance with the seller.
Mr. Lackie says that connection gave the couple hope that they might have an advantage at on offer night.
But when it came time to prepare a bid, the couple didn’t think they could go above the asking price. In fact, they were hoping to make an offer of $325,000.
Mr. Lackie put in a call to the listing agent and found out that three offers had already landed on the table the day before the deadline. His clients decided to sit this one out.
Mr. Lackie called afterward to find out the final tally, then sent his clients a text with the news. “To say the least, they were flabbergasted.”
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