Landlords, Take Note

Happy Thanksgiving!  I hope you are enjoying the fall colours.

Toronto’s September real estate results continued the 3-month trend of increasing sales and prices compared to the respective months last year. (You will need to download images to the see the table).

The condo market saw a significant increase in new listings as the freehold market also experienced a surge in new properties coming on the market.  Meanwhile, properties sold quickly as buyers were eager to move especially in the ground-oriented freehold market.

September YTD transactions are still down 8% compared to 2019 largely due to the 12% decrease in high rise units sold.  The condo market is facing challenges as there is currently 3.5 Months Of Inventory (MOI) whereas in prior years, the MOI fell in the range of 1 to 2.5 months.  In prior years, investors would be snapping up condos but the slumping rental market is giving them pause.

Padmapper, a website that allows renters to comb through properties for rent (from basement apartments to condo suites) recently published a national rental report. Toronto experienced the steepest declines at -10% for 1-bedroom, and -12% for 2-bedroom units versus same time year ago.

In addition, the provincial government announced last month a freeze on rent increases for 2021.  Prior to this announcement, the 2021 rental increase was supposed to be 1.5%.  In addition, the government announced a ban on residential evictions near the beginning of the pandemic which continued into July 2020. With the second wave upon us, there’s a possibility that eviction bans could be reinstated due to the fallout from the virus.

With residential rents on the decline and additional risks facing landlords, we expect the Toronto investor market will soften so long as Covid19 cases affect travel, in-person schooling, employment opportunities and work from home set ups.

If you are already a landlord and your tenant has expressed difficulty in covering their current rent, consider speaking to them to set up temporary financial arrangement to keep them from having to move to a cheaper alternative. It’s much to collect a portion of the rent than having a vacant property for several months.

Shen Shoots the Breeze

  1. This year we celebrated Thanksgiving with Covid19 protocols in place. In our family, it was a much smaller affair and done only outdoors. As the cook in the family I also wanted to rethink how to entertain outside in the cold autumn weather. No one likes cold mashed potatoes and congealed gravy. I decided to nix both and used Bon Appetit for inspiration and made a simple version of their Stuffing Fried Rice. I’m also a recent convert of dry brining the big bird versus wet brining – way easier and less messy. All in all the affair was low key compared to previous years, but we still have much to be thankful for: health, a full meal, a roof over our heads, friends and family. We realize that we have been blessed with much. Do you have any tried and true Thanksgiving recipes to share?
  2. After having lived in our home for almost 14 years, we are finally getting the garden where we can enjoy the blooms all year-round. When we first moved in, the previous owner let the landscaping go so we spent the first few years just digging out overgrown bushes and trees. We didn’t have much gardening knowledge but it has grown over the years and our neighbours have been generous with sharing tips and plants with us. I plan to plant some bulbs this month in hopes of seeing more colour next Spring. I’ve read up that we should use bone/blood meal to deter the squirrels from digging up the freshly planted bulbs and use chicken netting and placing them right below the soil as an added insurance (although remember to take the wire mesh up in early Spring before the plants really grow) against these furry critters. Do you have any tips. Is it too early to plant them by mid-October?

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