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Giving Back to Our Community: Be a Secret Santa

When I started my real estate business, I decided to donate a portion of my service fee to a charitable organization in the community where the house was located. Over the years I donated to community gardens, a local church, women’s shelters in Halton and York regions, the AIDS Committee of Durham, St. Joseph’s Hospital, among others.

In 2020, I decided to donate bicycles to the Toronto Firefighters Toy Drive at Christmas. This is a personal donation for me. I remember vividly coming down on Christmas morning to bicycles under the tree. There was a bluish-green tricycle, a blue two-wheeler with training wheels, a cool purple racer with butterfly handlebars and a “banana seat”, and a red almost adult-size bike that served me for several years of delivering papers in my neighbourhood. I enjoy cycling and have done several rides of 100 miles or more, like the Durham Circle Century, Niagara Falls, Boston to Philadelphia, and San Francisco to Los Angeles.

 

 

My father and grandfather were volunteer firemen, my grandfather being a fire chief when my Dad was born. An appreciation for firefighters and what they do for our community was imprinted on me at an early age.

One day a light bulb went on and I decided to focus my donations to the Toronto Firefighters Toy Drive. I donated in 2020, despite it being a lackluster year in real estate due to Covid-19. I remember saying last year, “I hope it can be more in 2021”. This year I had the privilege of helping many more buyers and sellers with the biggest purchase or sale of their lifetime.

 

Because of my clients, I was able to donate 25 bicycles to the Toronto Firefighters Toy Drive. I am hoping that number can be even bigger in 2022.

 

The Toronto Firefighters Toy Drive is not just a Christmas event. They operate year-round, because sadly families experience fires all year and children lose their toys. This is a great way to give back or pay it forward and put smiles on children’s faces.

If you would like to donate, go to www.torontofirefighterstoydrive.org/ or call (416) 338-3339. They accept toys or cash donations.

 

Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah to All!

November 2021 Toronto Real Estate Market Report

November 2021 Toronto Real Estate Market Report

 

No matter how you look at the numbers from November: average sale price, supply, months of inventory, days on market, they all tell the same story: we are in a very fast, very competitive sellers’ market with the lowest inventory we have seen in years. Days on market is only 13, which considering many homes wait a week before accepting offers, shows this is a swift market, indeed.

We have heard low inventory and increase in sales prices before, but it can’t be taken for granted. New listings are down (-13%), properties sold are UP (3%), days on market are down (-32%), BUT average selling price is UP 22% across the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB). The fact that the properties sold number is up 3% rather than down points to an unusually robust market for November, a month that is normally heading towards a seasonal slumber.

In the City of Toronto, the average selling price came in 12% higher at $1,096,736 over 2020.

The higher end of the market ($2,000,000+) saw a whopping 96% increase in units sold over last year, and a -7% seasonal dip over last month. The increase at this level is probably a result of continued low-interest rates as well as confidence going forward that Covid-19 is being managed.

Condominium apartment unit sales were up (44%) over last month and up (4%) over last month. The average selling price was also up 1% last month, but up 17% over last year.

November 2021’s supply is EXTREMELY low. We had only 6,000 homes available for purchase. That includes all types of housing stock. Keep in mind this 6,000 number includes almost 3,000 condominium apartments, which means that across all of TRREB we have about 3,000 houses available for sale. This is the lowest amount of supply going back years. That means average sale prices go up because demand remains strong. This supply issue is not just a Toronto problem, it is pervasive across neighbouring regions York, Durham, Peel, and Halton where most jurisdictions have less than one month of inventory available for sale. We are on track to end the year with 120,000-122,000 properties sold, a new record.

No doubt some sellers are moving their purchase timeline up with the belief that interest rates will rise in the new year. This has added to the demand we are seeing. The bottom line is this: If you have a house or condominium to sell, the first part of 2022 is an optimum time to sell.

SOLD $152,000 Over Asking in 7 Days

 

Custom Greeting Cards for the Holidays

Healing Hands: Kinesiology Therapy with John Bocti

Healing Hands: Kinesiology Therapy with John Bocti

I hurt my back a few months ago. I was using the wrong chair at my computer and as soon as I stood up, I knew something was wrong. I could hardly stand up and walking was very painful. Every once in a while, it would spasm for no reason. I immediately went to my trusted chiropractor who confirmed it was muscular and not structural. His treatments soothed it temporarily but didn’t affect the real problem. I also tried massage which did nothing. I had interviewed John Bocti of Kinnected Chain for my Willowdale neighbourhood website (www.Parkbench.com/Willlowdale), so I called John for help. I did know he has a clinic as well as a mobile in-home service to provide rehabilitation for post-surgery patients. He offered to do a treatment. I had no idea what his kinesiology treatments involved but I was willing to try anything to alleviate my lower back pain.

Kinesiology is the scientific study of human body movement. The kinetic chain is a term used to describe how the body is organized as a sum of its individual parts. Their goal is to maintain human movement, limit injury, and pain, by enhancing your body’s performance, including the heart, brain, muscles, and structure, helping to create a strong and well-balanced connected chain, for all.

After just one treatment, I felt some relief and after two or three weekly visits, I realised my problem had been solved. I tell John he has healing hands. His treatments are non-invasive and involve moving and stretching limbs and activating muscles that were connected to my problem area.

John’s primary goal is to keep people physically independent, pain-free and enhance their performance. He works with everyone across the lifespan, and he understands what no two people are the same. The approach will be the best for the person and what their goals and limitations are. He has been a member of the health sciences field since 2007 and has been fortunate enough to complete his college diploma at George Brown College in Fitness and Lifestyle Management, an Undergraduate Degree in Human Kinetics from the University of British Columbia as well as a Master of Science Degree from Western University where he explored early stages of cognitive decline and how that affects our walking, balance and physical mobility, and how movement and exercise can help to improve cognitive functioning.

Contact: John Bocti by telephone: 647.300.8068 or by email: kinnected.chain@gmail.com

Clinic: 250 Don Park Rd. Unit 9, Markham, ON L3R 2V1

September 2021 Toronto Real Estate Market Report

 

September 2021 Toronto Real Estate Market Report

Comparing statistics from this month to last month is getting repetitive and monotonous: new listings are down (-34%), properties sold are down (-18%), days on market are down (-13%), BUT average selling price is UP 18% across the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB).

In the City of Toronto, the average selling price came in 15% higher at $1,136,280 over 2020 and about 9% higher than last month.

The higher end of the market ($2,000,000+) saw a 40% increase in units sold over last year, and a 33% increase over last month. This increase at this level is probably a result of continued low interest rates as well as confidence going forward that Covid-19 is being managed.

Condominium apartment unit sales were up (3%) over last month, and the average selling price was also up 3% last month, but up 9% over September 2020.

September 2021 was the sixth month of declining sales, down to 9,046 from a dizzying high of 15,652 in March 2021. March’s high likely was the result of delayed sales during the 2020 Covid lockdowns. The September 2021 9,046 sales number is still very good by historical standards. In September 2019 7,825 sales were reported and that was considered a strong month. September 2018 clocked in at only 6,455 sales and September 2017 only saw 6,334 sales. Comparisons to September 2020 sales (11,033) are skewed because of the low number of sales in the Spring market due to Covid. By September, buyers were playing catch up.

Multiple bids on homes priced correctly are still with us, a product of fewer homes for sale, resulting in higher prices. Supply and demand. I would have expected the pandemic to have had a tempering effect on prices, but that has not happened. People have realised from spending time at home that they either need to downsize to smaller quarters if they are not using all of their space (empty nesters) or just the opposite, everyone is working from home and kids are under foot as well, so the desire for more indoor and outdoor space has prompted many to move to secondary cities, suburbs, or rural towns. Being able to work from home has been liberating for many. It is a very, very good time to sell. I expect the Spring 2022 market to start by February.

Well, it looks like the vacationers have returned home and are looking again. New listings are up 27% and properties sold are up 5% over last month, however, market conditions continue to be tight. The number of listings and average prices in September compared to August are very healthy and reflect a robust market, but new listings, active listings, and the number of homes sold are all down double-digits compared to a year ago. The number of sales and average prices all up double digits, except for the number of detached houses sold being -3%.  That anomaly is likely a product of the lack of inventory since the average price for detached houses is up 20%. With the borders open again, immigration resuming, and consumers learning to live with Covid-19 restrictions, look for these trends to continue.

 

July 2021 Toronto Real Estate Market Report

 

July 2021 Toronto Real Estate Market Report

New listings are down about 22% month over month and down 31% when compared to last year, which means inventory is still a problem. The Days on Market (DOM) is still a very low 15 days, but the average selling price is up 3% since last month and 13% over a year ago.

Most of these numbers reflect a late fall or early winter pattern (November – January) instead of mid-summer. This could be the summer lull we have not experienced in a few years.

In the City of Toronto, the average selling price came in flat at $1,016,580 over 2020 and about 6% less than last month.

The higher end of the market ($2,000,000+) is up 15% increase in units sold over last year. The decrease of 25% over last month could be echoing the seasonal dip reflected in other price points.

In July, condominium apartment unit sales down dramatically (-86%) over last month, but the average selling price was up 9% over 2020 and 10% over last month.

As you can see from above, most sales numbers and prices are down across the board, month-over-month, for both the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board as well as the City of Toronto.  Year-over-year, however there is still an increase in average prices, measured against the drop in prices in 2020 likely due to COVID-19. March 2021 is still the high point for the year. Days on market is up slightly to 15 days from 13 days, which is still a fast market. These numbers probably reflect a seasonal lull as more people concentrate on recreational activities, after months of lockdown and social isolation, instead of buying homes. As the border re-opens this month, and the backlog in processing permanent residency and citizenship cases subsides, housing demand will likely increase.

 

June 2021 Toronto Real Estate Market Report

 

June 2021 Toronto Real Estate Market Report

 

New listings are down about 13% month over month and flat when compared to last year, which means inventory is still a problem. The Days on Market (DOM) is still an incredibly low 13 days, and the average selling price is up 17% over a year ago.

In the City of Toronto, the average selling price came in 6% higher at $1,079,749, about 3% less than last month.

It is also worth noting that the higher end of the market ($2,000,000+) remains robust with a 92% increase in units sold over last year. The decrease of 12% over last month could be an expected seasonal dip.

In June, condominium apartment unit sales were up marginally at 1% over last month, and the average selling price remained unchanged. Condominium prices are up 7% compared to a year ago.

Even though June 2021 prices increased 17% over June 2020, prices are still lagging the records set for prices and activity this past March.  A year ago, we were still experiencing lows following the initial Covid shock, so the significant year-over-year increase should be viewed in that light. There has been a softening of prices in the last month or so and anecdotal reports of fewer multiple offers. This lull could be a buying opportunity, e.g. for shoppers who have experienced “buyer’s fatigue” after losing in multiple offers. If so, it might also be a short-term opportunity with the possibility of population growth based on immigration likely months away.  The number of new listings and properties sold are both essentially flat when compared to a year ago. This could be a traditional summer seasonal lull. A bright spot is sales over $2 million. Sales in that category have almost doubled in the last year.

 

Written by Chip Barkel, Sales Representative, eXp Realty.  Extraordinary Service. Top Results.

Garage Envy

For many of us the garage serves as our front door. We drive into the garage (if the car has not been displaced by household castaways and unused tools and sports equipment) and disappear into the house. That means you are greeted by disorganization and chaos. Who needs that kind of stress every time you come home? The garage is probably the least likely room you would consider decorating or nominating for a makeover. Can you even find the tool you need in those disparate piles? Even if you attempt to “put something away”, where does it go? Which pile?

One of my clients decided to convert his garage from storage space to living space. It was always one of those things that was on the list, but just never gone done. He started with assessing the space his car would need, not just his current car, but the likely replacement car, since it’s time for an upgrade soon. Next came lighting. He was tired of the poor lighting provided by the garage door opener, especially since one of the two bulbs always seemed to be burned out. Two beautiful industrial pendant lights and eight pot lights were installed. He worked with a designer to plan out the storage components, workbench, shelving racks, and hanging storage that would be needed. The ceiling was painted a bright white. Next came colour choices. He wanted the floor to not only complement the garage components, but also the exterior of the house. Also, would it hide the dirt?
A combination of light and darker gray with polished industrial medal wainscoting was chosen to complement the taupe resin flooring with gray specks. The resin coating means he can easily wash away any dirt or dried salt with a hose and a squeegee.

My client was happy he finally pulled the trigger on this lifestyle upgrade: “I’m thrilled with the result. I feel like it is an investment in the house and in my ongoing enjoyment.”

 

When he decides to sell, I am sure this improvement will recoup his investment and ensure a faster sale.

 

Ten years of dreaming, a few weeks of planning, and three days of install will lead to years of enjoyment and a bespoke garage that says, ”Welcome Home”.

Seniors: Beware of Door-Knocking Agents