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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.

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!

Decorating Baby’s Room? Start With Art

duck palletteFurnishing a nursery can be daunting, expensive and stressful. You may or may not know what sex your new baby will be. Even if you know, maybe baby +1 will be the opposite sex.  So, if you were to plan a baby girl’s nursery, in a couple of years, it might not be appropriate for her baby brother. Add to that, the days of pink for girls and blue for boys, is, well let’s just say it’s less than imaginative, and leave it at that.

I was the last of three: baby brother and two older sisters. My bedroom was wallpapered with a light aqua blue background with ‘active’ kittens as I call them doing things. Doing things like pushing wheelbarrows and wielding small shovels. It must have been a subliminal garden theme. I seem to remember the kittens had small colourful scarves or ribbons around their necks. I had one or two of them that were my favourites. They all seemed to have their own personality. The aqua blue wasn’t too masculine and the kittens weren’t too feminine.  They were busy and having a good time. I spent so many wakeful minutes during my afternoon nap time, imagining the fun those kittens were having. Eventually, I got older, and at about age five, my mother painted over those ‘active’ kittens, much to my disappointment.

When I met New York artist, Lisa Zador, and saw her Curious Portraits, they immediately took me back to that nursery wallpaper and the fond memories of my childhood. She specializes in images that have a nostalgic look, reflecting her love of bygone advertising and illustration. All of her work is hand painted in gouache, watercolor, or oil in two distinct styles: One is painterly and classic, the other lively and humorous. It is also whimsical, anthropomorphic, and imaginative. They are all fun and playful.

dog-portrait-nosferatu moon-man-portrait-victorian Mr Softee Mr-Peanut-portrait polar-bear-portrait-red rabbit-portrait-couple-farmers Rabbit-Portrait-White-Victorian sock monkey steiff-rabbit-vintage-sleeping uncle-omelette-egg-man-anthropomorphic Ventriloquist-Dummy-Blue Ventriloquist-Dummy-Clown

So, when you are planning your nursery or small child’s bedroom décor, Start With Art and make it fun and playful. The colours will give you a jumping off point and you will be opening a window to your child’s imagination. Mr. Peanut brings back memories of the Atlantic City boardwalk for me. It would be a great start of a beach themed room. The Polar Bear would set the stage for a winter themed room. And bunnies are loved by children universally. You are only limited by your imagination. So many pieces of Lisa’s artwork are appropriate for both boys and girls. And all of them have rich vibrant colours.  Lisa Zador’s work is art your children will never outgrow. Of course, when I was touring her studio, I wanted them all.

So save your big money for quality furniture pieces, which will grow with baby and Start With Art.

You can find Lisa’s work at www.LisaZador.com or in her Curious Portraits shop on Etsy.com.

Pantone Colour of the Year for 2022: Very Peri

Color sets the tone and mood.  For 2022 Pantone has chosen Very Peri 17-3938. Very Peri has a base of blue which is calming, which we need given this unprecedented time in which we are living, but with undertones of violet red. Red is used for excitement, celebrations, and adds a fierceness which can be interpreted as determination.

Very Peri also brings in the purple family, associated with luxury, royalty, power, and ambition. Perfect for this coming year.

Look for opportunities to incorporate variations of Very Peri in your home décor, artwork, fashions, and everyday life.

David Arathoon is a Toronto artist. His works show how you can incorporate Very Peri into your home.

 

 

David Arathoon Contact

Email: davidarathoonstudio@sympatico.ca

Website: www.davidarathoonstudio.com/

December 2021 Real Estate Market Report

 

December 2021 Toronto Real Estate Market Report

 

183!!  That is the number of detached homes available for sale in the City of Toronto. 183!!  Wow. 2021 ends, but the market dynamics remain the same. Chronically low inventory driving prices to record levels. We have been saying for years that inventory is low, and each year we hit a new low.

This shockingly low number is unprecedented. Having said that, 2021 was a record-breaking year for the number of sales for the Toronto Region Real Estate Board (TRREB). I went on record way back in early March, after just two months of 2021 sales, that 2021 would be a record-breaking year. I was thinking we’d reach 122,000, and we almost did, squeaking in at 121,712 sales for the year. If you are wondering how we could experience a record-breaking year with astonishingly low inventory, you are not alone. I’m thinking the same thing. I think it points to a pool of serious buyers who are prepared to make quick decisions and who are willing to put down serious money to live in Canada’s largest city. After all, many of these purchasers are move-up buyers who are benefiting from increased equity when they sell their current homes.

We have heard low inventory and increase in sales prices before, but it can’t be taken for granted. Year-over-Year stats: new listings are down again (-12%), properties sold down (-16%), days on market are down from 24 to 13 (-46%), AND the average selling price is UP 24% across the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB). The fact that the properties sold number is down (-16%) is a symptom of such low inventory numbers. In the City of Toronto, the average selling price came in 18% higher at $1,056,707 over the same month in 2020.

The higher end of the market ($2,000,000+) saw a whopping 65% increase in units sold over last year.

Condominium apartment unit sales were down (-7%) over last year and down (-27%) over last month, probably a combination of a seasonal dip and low inventory. The average selling price was also up (17%) over last year.

Prices rose by more than 24%, while active listings fell to only 3,232 (all housing types), 59% fewer than last year. Despite the shockingly low inventory levels and 16% fewer sales in December compared to last year, 2021 still broke the record for homes sold. Demand is there and buyers are willing to spend for a scarce commodity. Entering 2022 expect more of the same with rising sale prices possibly leveling off due to affordability at some point.

 

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