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Home renovations on the rise, a leading indicator of a buyer’s market

In recent years, the Ontario real estate market has been one that benefits the sellers. Known as a seller’s market, it’s been one of the main drivers behind the rise in house prices. But in 2013 we’re starting to see a shift. At the luxury level ($1 million and up) we see the market shifting to more of a buyer’s market.  Sellers will have to do more to earn those high house prices, and that starts with home renovations.

A few indicators published by the Toronto Real Estate Board support these findings.  For example, overall sales in Toronto and the GTA were off by 17 per cent compared to March 2012. Luxury homes sales last month were off by 11 per cent compared to 2012, however, the average sale price rose by 3.8 per cent.

In York Region, sales of luxury homes ($1 million and up) dropped by nine per cent.  In Aurora, the median price of luxury homes dropped by 24 per cent compared to the first quarter of 2012. Homes sales in Sharon took more than twice as long to sell and the median price in this sought-after community dropped by 12 per cent.  In Whitchurch/Stouffville, luxury home sales dropped by 36 per cent although the median price increased by 8.7 per cent.

According to a Bank of Montreal Survey released in October 2012, 49 per cent of Canadian homeowners are working on or planning on carrying out home renovations in the fall of 2012 and beyond.  The Renovation and Home Purchase Survey conducted by The Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation indicated that 80 per cent of Canadians surveyed in 2012 stated the reason for their renovations was to “update or add value and/or are preparing to sell their home.”

Obtaining the highest selling price requires more than a coat of fresh paint.  In fact, my experience of late is that unless a house shows well, in that the buyer does not have to do much in the way of renovations, the house will stay on the market for a longer period of time and eventually will sell below its true market potential.

Working with our sellers to get their homes “show ready” has proven to provide the best return on their investment and allow their home to shine head and shoulders over their competition.  We have assembled a great team of reliable contractors to assist our clients to prepare a detailed plan and to get the work done on time and on budget.

Changing out worn carpet with hardwood in the principal rooms and upgraded broadloom in bedrooms will yield a return of as much as 100 per cent on that investment. Furthermore, it will make your home more appealing to those who view it.  And if you really want to increase the value and appeal of your home, consider a bathroom and/or kitchen makeover. These are the most highly sought after, updated rooms, by buyers. Be cautious with the style you choose, however, as neutral proves to bring a better return on investment, while gearing towards a personal taste can negatively affect the returned value.

With banks like TD predicting that house sales and prices will fall by as much as 10 per cent this year, now is the time to consider those necessary home renovations if you want to sell your home for its full market potential.

If you’re considering selling your home and are wondering which renovations will help ensure it sells to its potential, I would be happy to provide my expertise. Please call me at 289-338-0767 for more information.

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