For Houses Priced In The ‘Sweet Spot,’ Bully Bids Proliferate

When a semi-detached house in the central Toronto neighbourhood of Davisville hit the market last week, the bullies immediately began to circle.

“We didn’t even make it to offer day,” says Patrick Rocca of Bosley Real Estate Ltd., who listed the house with an asking price of $699,000.

Four bullies signalled interest before the day and time scheduled for reviewing offers. Mr. Rocca says the house is move-in ready, with parking, on a good street. In some cases, homeowners turn the bully offers away but this time the sellers decided one offer was too good to pass up. The house sold for $911,000, or $212,000 over asking.

Mr. Rocca says buyers are still extremely competitive in the price range between $600,000 and $1.23-million. When one listing garnered only $30,000 more than asking, he felt a bit deflated. “I felt like I failed on that.”

Houses above that level sometimes receive more than one offer but the contests are less fraught. A detached house on a coveted street in Leaside sold for $1.5-million, or $230,000 above asking, last week after Mr. Rocca listed it for $1.299-million. “People do crazy things on that street.”

Mr. Rocca sold four properties last week and continues to be surprised by the actions of some buyers who are willing to pay $100,000 to $200,000 over the asking price. “In a couple of cases there was stupidity involved.”

Downtown, a Victorian on a cul-de-sac in the Annex had an asking price of $1.595-million and sold for $1.625-million after five days on the market. Another Annex house at 38 Wells St., near Dupont and Bathurst, sold for $1.745-million, or 117 per cent of the asking price of $1.495-million.

The Toronto Real Estate Board has reported that sales in the Greater Toronto Area jumped 19.6 per cent in the first half of May compared with the same period last year. The average selling price for the first two weeks of May was $590,132, which marks an 8.9-per-cent increase from the first two weeks in May, 2013.

Detached and semi-detached houses in the 905 area code and townhouses in the 416 saw the biggest sales gains.

Listings have started to edge up in the second half of May, Mr. Rocca says, as some people who have already bought list their current houses. Others are encouraged by the arrival of spring flowers, or the realization that July – when sales typically slow – is only six weeks away.

“If you’ve got product, it’s great,” he says, but agents working with buyers are having a much harder time.

For his part, Mr. Rocca thinks enough unsatisfied potential buyers are roaming around to keep the market moving. “I don’t believe we’ll slow down in the summer.”

Source: Carolyn Ireland @ The Globe & Mail

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