Happy Lunar New Year!
Amidst negative double-digit temperatures and despite Wiarton Willie’s forecast for an early spring, the only thing that’s red hot is the real estate market.
The year started off with a bang as Toronto’s 2021 real estate transactions were dramatically higher than January 2020 (Please download images to view the table).
Total transactions increased by 66% as buyers came out in droves. Prices for freehold properties jumped by more than 15% as condo dwellers seeking larger spaces aggressively pursued townhouses, semis and detached properties.
Although average condo prices slumped by 8% January YoY, they were on par with December 2020 prices – bucking the trend of month-on-month declines from September through to December. More importantly, the condo apartment recovery is on track as the months of inventory has been steadily declining from a high of 4 months in October 2020 to its current level of 1.4 months.
The annual Toronto real estate summit wrapped up this week where speakers presented consumer survey results, opportunities for growth in “the missing middle”; a peak behind the mortgage financing curtain and the 2021 real estate forecast.
The market forecast is bullish with the 2021 average price expected to exceed $1M for the first time ever as immigration opens and economic activity resumes within the existing low interest rate environment. If you’re interested in some bedtime reading and would like the full report, please let me know.
And now, over to Shen…
Shen Shoots The Breeze:
It’s the first day of the Lunar New Year. For those who are unfamiliar with this celebration, this is the Year of the Ox. There are 12 animals of the zodiac and each year as the lunar year ends another animal is ushered in. Next year will be the year of the tiger and in 12 years-time, the year of the ox will again be celebrated. For many Asians, asking for your zodiac is another way of asking how old you are – figuring that it’s unlikely you look 12 years younger or 12 years older than you are. Hopefully if that happens to you, they’re not guessing you to be 48 years old when really you’re still only 36!
Normally, we would have family dinner plans this weekend where we would give and receive red packets or “lai see”. Unfortunately, in these unprecedented times, we aren’t able to celebrate in person with our friends and family. Instead, we will be ordering takeout from a J&Y Chinese Cuisine (near Leslie and Sheppard). For those who are celebrating, will you be ordering a takeout – if so, please share as we are always looking for other places to try.
Like most of you we’ve taken up walking as a way to meet up with friends and to get some exercise and a change of pace and scenery. My friend and I were musing that if one of us had suggested walking for 2 hours in negative double digit weather this time last year, we would have thought the other crazy; yet that’s exactly what we did last week. I find dressing lightly yet warmly to be the challenge of doing these long walks. Several years ago, my friend introduced me to the IceBreaker line from New Zealand – it’s active wear made mostly of merino wool. I purchased a coat from that line last year and it’s been my go to for walks in this season. It’s very light yet warm and allows me to layer up without feeling like the Michelin man. Dave and I love their wool socks as well as their life-time guarantee. If you get a hole in them, they will give you another pair without charge. For footwear, I wear Sorel boots if we go into deeper snow but usually just pull out my waterproof lightweight city boots for walking around the city. For headwear, we pull out toques that I knitted – sorry we don’t sell them as I’m so slow at knitting and still a beginner.
Wishing you a healthy and prosperous Year of the Ox.