I'm all for making Toronto more affordable, but how does a media campaign that portrays the heartbreaking moment when a young couple crunches the numbers of home ownership and realizes they cannot afford it, even begin to make home ownership more affordable?
- Will it make Sellers want to sell their properties for less than it's worth?
- Will it make a Buyer who can afford more, pay less for a property they really want in a multiple offer situation?
- Will it create more supply of homes?
- Will it decrease demand?
I personally believe that advertisements like this is doing more harm than good. It essentially tells young buyers to wait for prices to become more affordable when average prices in Central Toronto is up 11% since January numbers have been reported. This is NOT what we are reading in the Headlines!
We should be holding the media responsible for informing young buyers on the right time to buy, not scaring them from buying. We should be educating young Buyers on how to save and plan better to make homeownership possible for the future, because I believe the DREAM IS NOT DEAD...not yet at least!
The real estate market never moves in a straight line, but in the last few years we've seen so much gains, that it can certainly seem that way. This has brought rise to a lot of negative media attention surrounding the aggressive increases and an equal amount of pessimism surrounding it's sustainability. The negative impact of this, is that there are thousands of people who should be looking to buy a home, that aren't.
People are making a timely and costly mistake by sitting on the sidelines. Yes, like any investment, there will be a correction here and there, but its not a reason to stay clear. The housing market trajectory has always been upwards over the long term, and despite of what the media is portraying, we are already seeing the Toronto market continuing on that trend.
Home ownership is possible for those who want it. If it was easy for everyone to attain it, it wouldn't be a dream! My parents came here from the Philippines with nothing, worked hard, saved money, didn't buy expensive things, didn't travel, and bought a house. Yes, properties were much less back then, but they also started at zero and they had to work hard, get creative to attain the dream. I believe that's what it takes in today's market.
We helped a lot of First-Time Buyer's purchase houses and condos this year and the best advice we can give to those still thinking about taking that step is to get in and get creative if need be. If you work in the city and want to live in the city, you may have to buy an investment property outside the city and continue to rent in the city. If your down payment is the biggest hurtle, you may have to adjust your current lifestyle to be able to save more, you may have to borrow money from parents or relatives and some parents will have to provide first or second mortgages. If you're struggling to buy your first property, it's all about getting informed and thinking of creative ways to make that dream a reality!
As for the Government, I don't believe they can control prices effectively, and I don't feel they can keep prices down in the long-term. They can definitely put a pause in the market by causing confusion like they are doing now, but they can't bring down home prices - that is simply supply and demand.
However, if the Government wants to make it more "affordable", they should remove the Municipal Land Transfer Tax, give incentives to Toronto Residents who are buying in Toronto, and instead of making it harder to be approved for a mortgage...perhaps focus on limiting those who are pulling out equity to purchase their second, third, or fourth house, and so on and so forth.
Would love to hear your thoughts on this matter, and if you have any questions about creative ways to get into the market, please comment!