February Forecasts

‘Tis the season for forecasts as Wiarton Willy and Punxsatawney Phil have already predicted an early spring. For the past 5 years, the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) provides their market outlook at the February economic summit.  Last week, we were joined by Toronto’s chief city planner, the Minister of Municipal and Housing Affairs, the president of Canadian Centre for Economic Analysis, Ipsos Reid pollsters and others.

Transportation and high cost of housing were common themes from all the speakers.

The following are some of the key takeaways from the 3-hour summit:

– The GTA will grow by about 100,000 people per year for the next 10 years

– Housing growth will be focussed around transit

  • 37% of Torontonians take public transit to work
  • 88% of new housing will be developed around new and existing transit

– There is a disconnect between job growth and residential housing

  • There are more people commuting over an hour than there are people commuting under 30 minutes

Housing affordability to remain challenged

  • More demand than supply for housing
  • New listings flat despite more than 20,000 new units/year over past 3 years.
  • Historically low vacancy rates in downtown Toronto
  • Average household income growing 3-4%, home prices and rents increasing more than 5%

Action plan to provide more housing focusses on quicker permit approvals, laneway housing, secondary suites, life leases and increased density.

Please let me know if you’d like me to send you the full report entitled “Market Year in Review & Outlook Report 2020:  The Time is Now:  Planning for Growth in the GTA”.

As for the outlook for 2020, TREB’s director of market analysis a forecasts prices to increase by 10% and the transactions to increase 10.5% to 97,000 listings.

If January is any indication, the this year will be robust as the January 2020 real estate statistics showed a much higher level of transactions and prices compared to same time a year ago.

You may have noticed that The 3 Things I’m Noodling Through has now been handed over to Shen. We will be calling this Shen Shoots The Breeze. Hopefully you’ll find it interesting with ways to save money, interesting things happening in our city and whatever may be going through Shen’s brain on a given day.

Shen Shoots The Breeze

  1. I follow the Oscars season closely. I usually catch almost all the best picture nominees as well as the movies that feature best actor and actress nominees. For those of you who haven’t seen the dark comedy thriller: Parasite, it’s a great film with many twists. It was the first time a foreign film won an Oscar for Best Picture. Watching an upwards of a dozen movies, watching them in the theatre can become a pricey hobby. We live less than 10 minutes from the Don Mills VIP Cinemas and regular general admission is $20. If you’re a CAA member, you can get discounted movie passes for as low as $8.50 per ticket. Use that movie pass on a Tuesday at the VIP cinemas and you can watch a movie with reserved seating for less than $12. Make sure to also sign for Scene points as that can translate to a free movie as well.
  2. Ask and you shall receive. Are you looking to do a renovation soon? Vendors are negotiable on price even in stores that may not look like they may be flexible. We were at a high end tile shop and weren’t looking to purchase a ton of tiles; however after asking if they could do better on price, they came back with an even lower price than my reserve price. Big box stores are willing to negotiate on appliances as well.
  3. Online sales have soared in the past years and will continue to do so. A friend recently shared an article on the hidden costs and environmental impacts of fast shipping. It used to be that if we received something in a week’s time we would be happy. Nowadays with the start of Amazon’s trend of free same-day delivery many other companies are following suit and this has become a normalized expectation. The article suggests that the carbon footprint can be higher if we opt for the fastest delivery time possible. Next time you make an online purchase, consider choosing a slower shipping option if you don’t need it right away. https://www.cnn.com/2019/07/15/business/fast-shipping-environmental-impact/index.html

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