Black Friday. If you aren’t familiar with the term by now, you soon will be. In the United States it is the biggest shopping day of the year…and it’s making its way north of the border. It’s about time. We already have Boxing Day, but in true Canadian fashion, we take advantage of the sales AFTER Christmas. Go figure. Well not for long! Unfortunately Black Friday isn’t going to do you any good if you’re waiting for a deal on a house!

In the freehold sector, listings continue to decline. This week alone, there were 13% fewer active listings throughout the central and east/west cores. In other words, the shelves are bare and if you are reaching for that beautiful Victorian row house, be prepared to arm wrestle your fellow
shopper to get it. This week we saw the tightest resale market so far this year. Nearly 60% of the homes sold this week happened at or above the list price.

The condominium sector suffered its biggest blow of the year with two back to back negative stories. The first was a CBC documentary called “The Condo Game” that inferred that between shoddy construction and absent owners, the condo market was in a sea of trouble. The second was the release of a recent study by Veritas Investment Research that indicated the condo rental market was slipping. Their research suggests that with decreased returns, landlords may be forced to sell which could lead to a flood of new condos on market. Interesting theory that goes against the conventional thinking that immigration will keep the condo sector afloat. The numbers show listings down by nearly 6% week over week. Sales have slipped 25% in the same period which is the biggest weekly drop of the year. The number that we see as the determining gauge of health is the percentage of sales at or above asking. For the better part of the year this number has been slowly climbing, but this week we saw a significant drop (from an average of about 22% in 2013 to 15% this week).