Has Waiting and Seeing Paid Off?

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Inflation is top of mind as the Bank of Canada increased the overnight rate by 125 basis points since the beginning of 2022.  Toronto’s May 2022 market cooled with sales volumes declining by 35% year over year and 11% month on month from April 2022.  Despite the lower volumes, average prices in May 2022 were higher than May 2021 by 10% but lower than April 2022 as Buyers adopted a wait and see approach.

In Q1 2022, consumers were comfortable to buy properties before selling as these buyers were confident that the properties they owned would sell.  The market shifted in Q2 where buyers that own properties are choosing to sell first before buying due to the uncertainty about how long it will take to sell and for how much their property would sell for.  This change in market sentiment is causing a logjam as evidenced by the months of inventory increasing from less than one month to a little bit over two months.

Buyers are taking a wait and see approach in hopes that price declines will offset the increase in interest rates.  Let’s see if that happened.

The following tables outline the net effect of price declines in conjunction with higher interest rates for Toronto’s freehold and condominium markets.

Observations: 

  1. Downpayments fixed at $315,000 (~20%) in order to isolate the impact on mortgages.
  2. May 2022 average price was $135,079 less than peak February 2022 average price.
  3. Despite $135,079 drop in price, the annual increase in mortgage payments is $2,859.

Let’s see if this is the same in the condo market.

Observations: 

  1. Downpayments fixed at $180,000 (~20%) in order to isolate the impact on mortgages.
  2. May 2022 average price was $38,465 less than peak February 2022 average price.
  3. Despite $38,465 drop in price, the annual increase in mortgage payments is $4,404.

Reflections:

For buyers with no properties to sell and waited for prices to drop were worse off as they ended up with higher mortgage payments as higher interest rates more than offset the declines in price.  It’s impossible to unequivocally say the same for buyers with properties to sell as there are many more variables in the mix such as specifically what period they bought and sold, type of property they are buying/selling, location of properties they are buying/selling etc.)

Stay tuned to see how the market unfolds as the Bank of Canada intimated that interest rates will again in the second half of the year.

Shen Shoots the Breeze

My parents have been in Canada for over 50 years. They’ve travelled to many parts of Asia and Europe but never to the Canadian Rockies. My father is now in his 80s so we figured we could make his desire of visiting western Canada a reality.

This September, the original four Youngs are taking a road trip. I can’t remember the last time my family went on a trip sans in-laws and grandchildren but I’m going to guess that I was probably still in high school.

I’m really looking forward to soaking in the stunning views and also knowing I’m not beholden to asking my parents to give me an advance on my allowance. This time, my brother and I will be doing all the planning.

Being from an immigrant family, we were frugal. This often meant we would stay in cheaper digs, cramming as many into a room as possible even if it meant sleeping on the floor and cooking meals while dining at cheap eateries. As my brother and I are now middle aged, we are willing to spend on things that our folks weren’t willing to, especially if paying a premium saves time and hassle.

My folks listed Moraine Lake as one of the places they want to see.  Easier said than done as there is limited parking and waiting for a shuttle to the lake can take a long time. Some blogs are suggesting that visitors arrive before the sun rises to catch the views while also increasing the chances of parking. One person said they stayed in Canmore and left at 3:00am in the morning to make the drive out… I stopped reading after 3:00am. With all the required effort, I came across accommodations right on the lake: Moraine Lake Lodge. This would solve the issue: parking includes for all hotel guests, catch the sunset and if my parents wanted to, they could catch the sunrise without leaving their room while I could sleep in. The catch is that the cost per night is probably triple what my parents would probably want to spend on a hotel stay. In addition, my brother and I decided for our sanity that we would get 2 separate rooms throughout the trip: one for my folks and another for he and I to share (as long as it has 2 beds).

As we continue with making plans, I’d love to hear your suggestions on where to visit. Our itinerary is to drive from Calgary up to Jasper, making stops along the way and then return back to Calgary in five day’s time.

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