Chantal Vaillancourt Sales Representative

Chantal Vaillancourt Sales Representative

News Incite Even In the Pandemic July Toronto Home Sales set Record Pace

PatrickRocca- Even In the Pandemic July Toronto Home Sales set Record Pace

Jeffrey :
I’m talking to Patrick Rocca, who is currently a specialist in the Davisville Leaside area of Toronto for Bosley real estate. Patrick, I wonder if you could tell everyone a little bit more about yourself and what you do.
Patrick Rocca :
Sure. good morning, Jeffrey Patrick Rocca with Bosley real estate. As you mentioned, I specialize in, in the mid time Midtown area Leaside Davisville, a young Eglinton area. I’ve been doing this for 27 years. It feels longer sometimes. And yeah, I’ve seen some, some interesting times, so it’s it’s all good.
Jeffrey :
Fantastic. And as we were discussing really just a second ago, I was reading some of the stories about the July market and it’s crazy that the July market was record-breaking month for sales, even though we’re still in the midst of the pandemic. I was pretty surprised that this is there. Is there something that you’re seeing that, that can explain this or are there several things which are really causing this
Patrick Rocca :
Well? It’s, it’s interesting. It’s, it’s irrational. It’s, it’s exuberance it’s it’s illogical, I mean, but I’m not complaining. It’s. I mean, really the reality is, and I mean, we’ve been talking about this for four months and I think several interviews we’ve done is, I mean, we have no supply and still believe it or not, even though we’ve been through and are still going through a pandemic, we’ve got a lot of demand. And it’s just it’s overflowing. I mean, I thought that we might have a little bit of an uptick when we started to open up in early May, which we did. But it just continues to roll. And I mean, it’s you know, I mean, I had, July was a crazy month for me. I’ve never had a July like that. I’ve started off August and you know, we’re all, we’re the 7th of August and you know, I’m, I’m working on two deals right now.
One is 14 offers. One in Davisville. I have three offers. I’ve already done three deals this week. I mean, it’s, it’s a good, it’s good. I mean, people buyers are out there. There seems to be confidence, but you know, when you, when you really start looking at things, it’s, it’s, it’s kinda crazy. I mean, I’m concerned about the economy, I’m concerned about job loss. It was just talking to an agent two days ago, who had an interest in one of my listings. It was all gung ho and excited and was going to show it to his client. His client lost his job that day. So, I mean, but I mean, we’re, we’ve got low rates. I don’t know. I don’t know if we’re going to slip again. It’s like the stock market. I mean, it doesn’t make sense it’s but it’s good. I mean, there seems to be lots of confidence out there and you know, when you’re listing stuff, if it’s listed right, and it shows well and it’s marketed properly itself
Jeffrey :
And, you know, back up a little bit to the offers on one of your properties, which had 14 offers on it. It, did I hear that correctly?
Patrick Rocca :
You heard that correctly. And it’s in not in a, not in a Leaside Davisville area, but in Leslieville. It was a referral to me from a past client and you know, a great little two bedroom home. You know, we, we listed at seven 99, we could have come out at eight 49, but, you know, we just, there was no real comps directly in the area. And we ended up with 14 offers. I mean, I expected it was going to be really busy, but we’re just signing off on the final number now. And it’s, it’s, it’s a bit crazy, but I mean, again, high demand area that under a million to 1,500,000 price point is still moving very, very nicely. Even the higher end stuff. I think we might’ve talked about that in early June was starting to move it. It is moving as well, if it’s, if it’s priced right.
Jeffrey :
And I know when we talked back a few years ago, when the market was really going crazy, they were month over month, sometimes double digit increases. A lot of that was powered by foreign money. Is this are these sales really just confined to domestic sales
Patrick Rocca :
Predominantly? Yeah, predominantly we’re seeing that. And I think, and I think it’s interesting you bring up the foreign market because I think what we’re seeing on the condo side is a complete flattening and drop. If you look South of Laura street right now, I mean, it’s, it’s a gong show. I mean, a condo is they’re not selling. I mean, literally they were, everything was flying off the shelf in February, early March. And now all of a sudden with COVID, you’ve got all these people that speculate it, Airbnbs all the, you know, they, they flooded the market because they can’t, people can’t afford to own them anymore. The rental market has been flooded because, you know, they can’t rent them nightly, but they can try and rent them monthly or yearly. I mean, and you’re seeing a flood of that so that, you know, that foreign market, we’re not seeing it as much interesting to see when the border opens back up, when we start maybe seeing more foreign people come, will that condo market pick up again. But you know, no where it’s predominantly, I mean, if I looked at the 14 offers that I had, yeah. I would say 75, 80% of, you know, people, local people.
Jeffrey :
And, and that would seem to make some sense, given the, like you said, the travel restrictions and I guess a lot of pent up demand. And so there’s, like you said, under a million dollars, there’s really, you know, not a lot of product out there. So once again, a lot of competition for those especially in the desirable neighborhoods with a combination of fairly low mortgage rates. And, and like you said, if folks are employed and they have you know, some certainty or at least some, some security in that, I think they’re saying, you know what, we don’t know how long it’s going to last. We might as well take a leap when the rates are low and see if we actually can get something.
Patrick Rocca :
Yup. Yeah. And I mean, it’s interesting. I’m not sure when we talked last a couple of months ago, but when we started to come out of things and things were starting to roll, then, I mean, as I mentioned previously, I mean, we were on a complete roll in a positive way, you know, February early March and then covid came and then we went, he was like, literally dropped dead silent. And we lost 10% of value. I mean, I think that, I think the city was 11.9 or something, but let’s talk Midtown. We lost about 10% of value. And as quickly as we lost that, we’ve gained it back in the last eight weeks. And maybe then, so so you know, the, the numbers have come back and they’ve come back so quickly. It’s, it’s, it’s kind of shocking. I mean, so who knows?
I mean, hopefully things will continue the way they are. I mean, hopefully we don’t get a second wave. I think we’re in good shape when it comes to that in terms of a country in a, in a province. So you know, as opposed to look yourself at the border, that’s a bit of a gong show. But yeah, it’ll be interesting to see how, how we continue, but right now I can tell you, the market is very good. If you’re thinking of selling, it’s, it’s a great time buyers are out there. I mean, again, people aren’t traveling as much now because they can’t. So people are sticking around and we’re seeing the numbers that you don’t see. Like, I don’t do these numbers in July and August. I just don’t. I worked July and August, but I don’t do these numbers. And it’s good because we have to, I think, I think, you know, we’re making up for that lost time in March, April.
Jeffrey :
Yeah. And a couple of years ago on another call, we talked about the forestalling of the market. I think that there, at that point was the new mortgage regulations came in and so people really put off a decision. And so the spring market started quite late and there was some carry over into the summer now on top of financing on top of, you know, competition for good properties, low supply. There’s also, COVID on people’s minds. And I think like you said, people are spending more time at home and they’re saying, well, you know, if we have to invest in something, let’s invest in a home. So maybe that psychology is something that’s playing into the market as well.
Patrick Rocca :
Yeah. I, I, I believe you’re right in, you know, you bring up an interesting point about people spending more time at home and, or having to spend more time at home, especially in March and April. I mean, that’s led to another little bit of a phenomenon and that’s the, the market outside of, of the GTA. I mean, we’re seeing people moving to you know, places like Niagara on the Lake and you know, Prince Edward County and cottage country is on fire and people are investing in, in secondary properties or just moving out of the city in general because they realize that they can, they can work remotely now. So we’re seeing, we’re seeing that as well.
Jeffrey :
And, and I, I find that very interesting just because, you know, I thought that there would be increased demand outside the city, like we’re seeing, but also that would slow the demand in the city. People, you know, saying, well, I’m going to move my primary residence outside the city, and then there would be more supply, but, but we’re not really seeing that.
Patrick Rocca :
We’re not, we are seeing, I mean, listen, we’re not, it’s not like everybody’s fleeing the city there. There’s, I mean, people talk about this phenomenon, but it’s not, it’s not like they’re leaving by, by, by the hundreds of thousands. I mean, people are leading, but you’re right. I mean, you, you, if you think about it, you would have thought that there would be more product from those people that are moving while there is, but it’s not, it’s not like out of control. It’s not, like everybody said, let’s get the hell out of here. Right. so I mean, it’s just, it’s just different. I mean, it’s, it’s a little bit more of a different trend, right. I, myself right now that are looking at, you know, Hey, listen to the Market, gonna sell. I’m gonna move. I’m gonna move a little farther East or a little farther West, not necessarily to a cottage, but a place where I can, you know you know, it’s a little quieter and I can put some money away and that type of thing. Right.
Jeffrey :
That’s, that’s interesting. And anecdotally, I’ve heard from people who are, you know, they’re working their partners working all of a sudden they had to work from home and they were just on top of each other, you know, one’s in the dining room, one’s in whatever spare room or the basement. And they’re saying, this is crazy. I’ve got to get more room because, you know, I don’t know. Maybe I won’t be going back to the office and this could be more of a, of a continuing situation. And we just do not have enough room in this house.
Patrick Rocca :
Yeah. We’re hearing that a lot. And quite frankly, I’m personally going through that myself now. I mean, being at home and or what, when I was at home, I’m in, I’m out and about now, thankfully. But my, you know, my children were both at home and my, my, my son’s working remotely my daughter’s doing online stuff and, and, and doing some freelancing remotely. So everybody, you know, you gotta be quiet and everybody is, even though we’ve got a bigger house, it’s still people, like you said, people are tripping over each other. So it’s a, yeah. It’s interesting.
Jeffrey :
And I would say that, you know, in, in the, the questions we’ve had in the past, usually it’s, you know, how would you prepare for a sale or if you’re a buyer, what would be some of the key things to look for? And I’m seeing a lot of renovation, a lot of improvement activity in the Davisville Leaside side area. My sense is that, you know, that was planned before it, have you seen any changes though in the, in the last couple of months with people saying, “Oh, I need to do improvements before I sell.”
Patrick Rocca :
Yeah. A hundred percent. As a matter of fact, I’m meeting with a couple this week that they’re talking about doing some stuff before they sell. I always like to assess the property first and see what it’s, what I likely will sell the demographic, who the demographic will be that will buy in. You know, if it’s going to be a gut job, you know, there’s no point doing renovation type thing, but I am seeing people doing, spending more time doing renovation cause they’re spending more time at home. So they, you know, and there’s a lot of do it yourself too, right? I mean, there’s people that are, are touching up stuff and doing stuff and doing gardening. And the other thing I’m hearing that has been an interesting phenomenon is the pool business. You’re seeing people and I’m hearing and I’m hearing your firm. I have a pool myself. I’ve always had a pool. You’re hearing that, you know, people are spending more time at home in the summertime and you know what they’re putting in pools. I mean, apparently the demand for, for pool installations, if you can’t keep up a pool supplies, getting pool supplies, I mean, you know, these companies are selling out of stuff. It’s, it’s interesting. Yeah, so there are people putting in, investing more time in their house as well.
Jeffrey :
And I find that phenomenon interesting, but it really does follow, you know, where people spend their time, that’s where their attention goes. And you know, if, if you’re 12, 14 hours a day in your home and you’re saying, Oh, well, all those things I put off, you know, maybe, maybe they’re starting to bug me now. Maybe that’s something that I need to look at.
Patrick Rocca :
Yeah. A hundred percent. Yeah, no, you’re absolutely right in, you know, in my personally, I mean, I’m looking at, you know, the gyms have just started opening up and I, you know, I work out pretty much every day and I mean, I’m not going back to the gym right now. I mean, I don’t feel comfortable going back to the gym. I mean, I don’t feel comfortable with, you know, the regulations and whatnot that they have in place right now. And you know, I’ve got a home gym, so I’m, I’m looking okay. You know what? I’m going to invest in my home gym. I mean, cause I’ve realized over the last six months, I mean, you know, I’ve got a home gym, why do I need to hear membership? Right. so I’ll invest in equipment and then all of a sudden, you know, I already have that at home, but you know, I’m looking down the road. I mean, I think I’ll, I’ll do that as well. And I think you’re seeing a lot of people doing that and I know people, I was at a friend’s house last evening, same thing, you know, they, they’ve got a great gym in their basement and never had that before. So, you know, people are, are doing those sort of things because of COVID.
Jeffrey :
Yeah. And, and there may maybe consolidating some of the dollars they used to spend on travel and, or gym memberships and all those things. And they’re saying, well, you know, let’s, let’s put that into somewhere. Like we said, I’m going to spend a lot of time even for the foreseeable future into a home. And even I guess on the higher end of the scale, the 2.5 to three, 3.5 market, I I’m thinking that that’s happening there as well.
Patrick Rocca :
Yeah. And you know what, and you’re seeing that stuff moving now too. I mean, there was a property in our community that was that Safford since last year. And you know, it was, it was at two five, and it was at two, four, and then it was off the market and they put it back on a two to four and guess what? I got three offers last week, I’m sitting there going, Whoa. So I mean, yeah. I mean it’s interesting.
Jeffrey :
Yeah. Yeah. Final question in your open houses have you seen a change in foot traffic between now and pre COVID?
Patrick Rocca :
I will just tell you the truth. We have not, we have not been allowed to do open houses since the start of COVID with phase three, I’m just opening up a week or so ago. We are now allowed to do open houses. As a company our firm has recommended against doing them. You can’t stop people from doing as an individual. I will not be doing them. I just feel I feel quite frankly, that it puts my sellers at risk. It puts the community at risk. When you got, you know, you’re only allowed two to four people in the house at a time, the rules, I can’t remember what the exact rule is. So then you’re going to have a bunch of people waiting outside. Right. And how, how is the community going to react to that? I mean, these are people that you’re literally just opened.
It’s not like you can track these people, then you have, you know, you can, you can make people sign in, you can make them sign a form. Are they going to do that? You could ask people to wear a mask. Are they going to do that? You got a lot of these anti maskers, right. I mean, and then all of a sudden you’ve got confrontational situations where, you know, you don’t want to let someone in unless they have a mask and the person, you know, is trying to barge their way. And I mean, I am flat out not doing open houses. I mean, I love open houses. I do them myself. And quite frankly, since we’ve opened up phase three, I’ve seen very little open house signs around. I saw a few last weekend. It’ll be interesting to see what goes around this weekend, but personally I’m, I’m not doing them.
I just don’t feel. And quite frankly, I don’t think sellers want them. I think we’ve, you know, listen, we’ve think times have changed. I mean, in the last two, three months, I mean the way we sell a property, the way we market it you know, it’s not a bad thing. I mean, we know who’s going in there signing forms, it’s documented there’s COVID protocol. I think the seller feel safer. I think buyer actually feels a bit safer. You don’t need 20 people in your open house at one time. It’s just not a safe environment, especially right now. Yeah. So, I mean, that’s just my personal opinion. And I know as a firm that, that that’s their stance. I mean, but if people want to do them, you can’t stop them. But I just don’t. I feel that if agents are doing them, I just feel it’s, it’s, it’s selfish and it’s for self-interest and I just won’t do it for, for, for my own safety, for my, for my client’s safety, for my community safety.
Jeffrey :
That’s really good to know. And, and I’m glad that you were kind of thinking along those lines because you’re right. We do have to think at a larger scale during, you know, an episode like this during the pandemic, the one comment I’ll have is that what I usually observed forum from open houses is that I think out of say, 20 folks that came through in a afternoon, you’d have a couple who were serious, but now that you have to make an appointment, it really weeds out the tire kickers or neighbors. And you get people who are very motivated. If they are motivated up to make an appointment, to go see a property, they are likely in the position where they can make an offer. So you’re right. A hundred percent we sell differently. Now there’s way more information out there. People are informed before they actually make an appointment and visit. So it may actually be kind of the new way that we’re going to see how this is being sold.
Patrick Rocca :
Yeah. And I, and I, I can’t, I mean, listen, like I said, I love doing open houses. I mean, you’re right. I mean, you get 20 people in an open house. Believe it or not, that used to be sort of like more neighbors than anything that’s changed. I mean, a lot of the people that are coming to open houses right now are, are serious buyers, but some of them, you know, they’re just starting to look or maybe they’re not quite interested in that property. But yeah, now that we’re, we’re, we’re doing things differently. It’s I think you, like you said, you weed out a lot of people and you’ve got, if you’ve got people booking appointments and having to go through the COVID protocols to see a house yeah, for sure is. I mean, we had an individual last week that wanted to see one of them, one of my listings and they wouldn’t sign the COBIT form. So guess what, they’re not going into my house. Right. First time I’ve had someone had resistance over signing the COVID form, which was kind of weird.
Jeffrey :
Yeah. That’s, that’s my first thought as well. So. Alright. Well, interesting times, you know, I couldn’t have predicted this when we talked in early June that we’d be, you know, up into record territory in July, but here we are. And I know the next time we talk, we’ll probably have a bunch of a bunch of situations that will be first time as well. So when folks want to reach out to you, which is the best way to get a hold of you?
Patrick Rocca :
Best way is email is always, always great. It’s a mail@PatrickRocca.com. And my office number is (416) 322-8000. And I can be patched through directly as well. So yeah, that’s the best way to get hold of me. And I I’d welcome any phone calls, any inquiries of people want to talk about the market and what’s happened in the last four to six months, you know, you know, people are asking me all the time, you know, what do you think will happen in the fall? And I think I said this the last time we talked, I don’t know, my crystal ball is broken. And I took, I took, I took that expression from someone else. Don’t give me credit. Don’t give me credit for it, but I’ve set up before. And I honestly, with the change that we’ve had in the last six months, I don’t know what to think.
Jeffrey :
And, and that’s, that’s a very, you know, that’s a good way to put it. If someone tells you that they know what’s going to happen. Yeah. I would run in the other direction just because all the stuff we keep saying unprecedented, and you just don’t know what’s happening. So fantastic to chat. We will definitely chat again soon. And I look forward to that and likewise, you have a great weekend.

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