Archive for April 2022

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Delmanor Aurora is Now Open: Love Life and Expect the Best

Delmanor Retirement Residence is now open in Aurora. This brand-new building is the new flagship Delmanor community. There are three different residential options: apartment-style living, independent living, and assisted living. The apartment-style residences have complete kitchens and are designed for people who want the essence of retirement living and are happy cooking their meals in a completely self-sufficient environment. The independent living residences have a kitchenette featuring a full-size refrigerator and a microwave, but no stove or oven, because these residents will have their meals in one of the three community dining rooms. Assisted living, which opens in May 2022, is for residents who require a higher level of support.

 

All those living in Delmanor Aurora have access to resort-style amenities. The main dining room offers fine dining with tablecloths. There’s even a private dining room available to host more intimate family gatherings like birthday celebrations. Next door is the Raju Bistro, a slightly more casual option that offers a variety of international cuisine, and the Pub across the hall offers a place to gather for snacks and pub-style food. Adjacent to the pub is a billiard room and next to that a Wellness Centre which features a full demonstration kitchen. This kitchen does double-duty: visiting chefs will offer cooking demonstrations and allow residents without a full kitchen a place to come down and cook or bake for their freezer. Just outside is a wonderful west-facing patio that connects to the dining room. A perfect place to bask in the warm sun or enjoy al fresco dining.

Just off the lobby is the Galleria, a link between the independent living wing and the apartment-style wing.  There’s a library for reading or borrowing books, a full theatre with comfortable upholstered chairs which will host guest speakers and feature films, a convenience offering snacks and a few essentials, including Starbucks coffee, and an incredible indoor swimming pool designed with easy access and aqua-fit classes. Adjacent to the swimming pool is a hot tub. Just down the corridor is a spa that will offer haircuts, manicures, pedicures, and massage therapy.

Once the nicer weather arrives for certain, there’s a rooftop patio planted with full-size trees.

Group excursions will be offered, regular bus trips to local grocery stores are scheduled, and of course, the town centre of Aurora offers many shopping and recreational options. Finally, the answer to the question I’m, asked the most: yes, you can bring your car. Parking is available for just $50 a month.

 

 

 

Call Keri Armstrong or Patricia Miller at 905-503-9505

for more information and a tour.

 

Why I Decided to Sell My House Now

It’s incongruous: they say don’t try to time the market but make no mistake, timing matters. In June 1996 I bought a house. I got lucky with the timing.  No one told me I was buying a few months after the bottom of the market. Prices had dropped from 1989 to February 1996. Yes, dropped for the previous eight years.

 

Many people haven’t been around long enough to remember price drops, and many of the others, tend to only remember the good times. This is known as “recency bias”. We can get lulled into a false sense of security thinking that what has happened in the past will continue indefinitely. But it likely won’t. Looking at the current real estate environment, I have concluded that now is a smart time to sell, and I have followed my own advice. Here is why. We’ve been blessed in Toronto with significant price increases in real estate for several decades now; many of us have come to expect them.  For example, in Toronto and the GTA prices increased between 11% and 30% year-over-year for at least the last 18 months (one exception was April 2021, when average prices decreased -1% due to the Covid shut down the year before).  This is an exceptional rate of return.

These annual price increases have been underpinned by ever-declining interest rates, positive demographics, and benign government policy.  However, this ‘Goldilocks’ environment may now be shifting. Everything, including financial markets, operates in cycles. Some cycles, like real estate, can outlast recent memory. Prices eventually tend to revert to their long-term average. It is questionable and possibly risky to assume that double-digit increases will continue in the long term and that price drops are a relic of the past. Events outside of our control can unexpectedly affect real estate: for example, the crash of October 1929; the gas crisis of the 1970s; the financial crisis of 2008; the provincial government regulation change in April 2017, to list just a few. I remember back in April 2017 many house deals fell through and downward price adjustments of as much as 25% were not uncommon. Sometimes price corrections are of short duration. Other times, they can last a decade or more.

 

It is important to pay attention to current events, the economy, and risks. What we do know is interest rates will rise. For every .25% rate increase, an additional $150 a month will be added to an average mortgage payment. Another factor is sentiment and perception of the market.
What people think will happen can affect what does happen. Inflation and government policy are also important risk factors that can substantially affect real estate, positively or negatively. Here again, things may be shifting. Of course, people sell for many varied and personal reasons. Sometimes these reasons are not about timing the market to maximize the investment. Homeownership usually involves a mix of emotional and financial considerations. However, most people still want to maximize their gains by selling at a good time. No one will ring a bell at the top of the market. Personally, I’d rather be a year early than a few weeks late, because at some point the double-digit increases will only be a memory.

To be clear, I am not predicting a steep market decline.  I still believe in real estate as a long-term investment. However, like all investments, it takes one skill set to know when is a good time to buy and another to know when to sell.

In my case, I put my house on the market in March.  It sold in 2 days with multiple offers. Of course, I had a great agent (me)! Why did I pull the trigger and sell? I looked at my personal life circumstances and time horizon. I weighed these against the likelihood of continuing price increases and the risk of volatility or even decreases in the market going forward. I decided now was a good time to sell. This was a personal as well as a financial decision. I did buy again — something smaller and less expensive because I still believe in real estate, and I need to live somewhere. I’m happy with that decision, regardless of what the future has in store.

My advice to all my potential clients who may be thinking of selling is to examine your own circumstances, family needs, and time horizon. Decide what level of risk you can tolerate. As a trusted real estate advisor, I think it’s important to learn from the past, digest what’s happening now, and balance that with reasonable expectations of your future. If only we each had a crystal ball.

I’d be happy to discuss your personal circumstances with you, whether you are buying or selling in the Toronto or York Region real estate market.

 

 

March 2022 Toronto & York Region Real Estate Market Report

 

March 2022 Toronto and York Region Real Estate Market Report

The real estate market remains tight for home buyers, although a comparison of sales numbers of the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) statistics for all the GTA from March 2022 to February 2022 provides some promising data for buyers, at least on the surface. The average selling price in the GTA was down (-3%), new listings were up (+42%), and the number of homes sold was down (-30%). These numbers could be foreshadowing a slowing of the market, which many people have reported anecdotally.

Unfortunately, unless housing supply is addressed in a consistent manner going forward when comparing years rather than months, Toronto will continue to face double-digit price increases. The Ontario Real Estate Affordability Task Force reported in January that Ontario will need 3.5 million new homes over the next decade or about 350,000 a year. Currently, Ontario is adding 200,000 homes a year. Compounding this shortfall in housing is the fact that immigration levels are projected to increase to about 435,000 this year and more in the next couple of years. About 60% of immigrants will settle in the GTA.

March 2022 was still the third-best month, and the second-best quarter, for home sales on record. This could be because consumers know that interest rates are rising, and they are trying to get into the market at current rates. The 905 regions continued to see homes rise in value at a pace significantly higher than the City of Toronto, which suggests people are exiting the city in search of more affordable homes. The problem with that, however, is the 905 regions are becoming just as unaffordable as the 416. When I moved recently, my mover admitted almost all their moves were 905 destinations.

Year-over-Year stats: new listings are down again (-9% in Toronto and -16% in York Region), number of properties sold is also down (-22% in Toronto and -34% in York Region), days on market are down (-10 or 20% in Toronto and -10 or 10% in York region) AND the average selling price is UP (+20% in both Toronto and York Region).

The higher end of the market ($2,000,000+) saw a 19% increase in units sold over last year, according to TRREB.

Condominium apartment unit sales were down (-17% in Toronto and -18% in York Region) over last year, but up significantly (+71% in Toronto and +14% in York Region) over last month, a promising sign for condo sellers. The average selling price was also up (+20% in Toronto and +24% in York Region) over last year. York Region has significantly more townhouses than the City of Toronto. Sales of townhouses were down (-19%) over last year, but prices were up (+31%). 

We saw another .50% increase in interest rates in early April. That translates to $300 a month increase on a $1,200,000 mortgage.
Affordability is eroding.

Just Sold Over Asking – Willowdale East

 

 

 

February 2022 Toronto & York Region real Estate Market Report

 

 

 

 

February 2021 Toronto and York Region Real Estate Market Report

 

When I heard that February 2022 sales numbers were down 17 percent over February 2021, my immediate thought was maybe the market is moderating. No. Even though February 2022 sales were down double digits, February 2021 was the highest month of sales for February ever and February 2022 was the second-highest February on record. Not bad considering the severe weather we had in February.

The seller’s market continues. Considering the 435,000 immigrants expected in 2022, the current market will likely continue for some time. Expected interest rate increases could moderate prices. We have only 1/3 of the inventory we had at this point In 1997 in the GTA, but the population has increased 54%. This highlights the critically low inventory we are experiencing, which continues to be a huge factor in real estate market stats, not only for the city of Toronto but York and surrounding regions as well. We are running out of superlatives. Year-over-Year stats: new listings are down again, although, at a smaller number (-7% in Toronto and -4% in York Region), properties sold down (-17% in Toronto and -18% in York Region), days on market are down (11 or 42% in Toronto and 9 or 44% in York region) AND the average selling price is UP (+28%% in Toronto and +32% in York Region).

The higher end of the market ($2,000,000+) saw a whopping 83% increase in units sold over last year. Luxury homes ($3,000,000+) in both Toronto and York are experiencing a phenomenon usually seen only in more modestly priced home. Both buyers and their agents are getting increasingly aggressive. Bully offers are common on homes where the offer date is sometime in the future. Consumers often think it is agents holding back on offers until a future date is what drives up prices. Even homes where offers are welcomed at any time, multiple bids are commonplace. I had a home listed for what I thought was market price, not holding back on offers. Offers welcomed anytime. Day one had 4 showings and Day two had 3 showings. By the end of the 2nd day, there were two offers competing against each other, and the home sold over asking. A larger number of showing requests came in on Day 3, but they were too late.

Condominium apartment unit sales were down (-15% in Toronto and -13% in York Region) over last year but up significantly (+31% in Toronto and +65 in York Region) over last month, a promising sign for condo buyers. The average selling price was also up (+21% in Toronto and +32% in York Region) over last year.

We saw a .25% increase in interest rates in early March. That translates to $150 a month increase on a $1,200,000 mortgage. Don’t wait to buy!