Downshifting into Summer

Toronto’s July sales fell by 44% compared to a year ago.  Prices for detached properties fell by 7% while prices for lower priced condo apartments and semis increased as interest rate increases took hold.  The shift from a seller’s market to more balanced market is apparent as fewer properties are being sold above the asking price.  For the first time in years, the average sold price as a percentage of asking price is under 100%. With more choice and fewer buyers to compete with, buyers are hesitating in anticipation of higher interest rates.

I’m often asked by condo owners what to do in today’s uncertain market if they want to upsize. In order to manage risk, I advise home owners looking for more space to sell their properties first and then buy after they know their property is sold.  This is a fundamental change as prior to May 2022, home owners looking for more space would buy first because they were confident that their home would sell quickly.

Earlier this year, freehold property prices increased dramatically and the average price differential between condo apartments and freehold properties was ~$805K.  In our March 2022 newsletter, I observed that this price differential was higher than historical norms and predicted that the differential would likely close.  Lo and behold, this gap is now closer to $490K which can now provide some opportunities for those looking to upsize.

Shen Shoots The Breeze

As you may know I’m an avid cook. It’s August. It’s hot (even hotter a week ago) and no one wants to be slaving in the kitchen; however we need calories to live and tasty calories are always better.

I wanted to share a few quick recipes that I recently came across which are sure to delight and don’t require much time in the kitchen. I don’t love to follow recipes to a T and make additions or use what I may have in the pantry or even better – leftovers to transform them into other tasty creations.

Cold Noodles with Tomato – I also add sliced mini cucumbers to the broth or substitute if you don’t have or don’t like radishes. Take some ice cubes and put then in a bag and bash it with a mallet to break down the ice cubes into ice chips.

Grilled pineapple with Pepper Honey and Yogurt. If you’re already BBQing, just add the pineapple at the end. Peaches and plums make great substitutes but don’t grill for as long.

Caprese salad with peaches. I don’t have a recipe for this but this was inspired by a memorable meal I had in Detroit many years ago. Follow a caprese salad recipe – use good quality buffalo mozzarella and in season heirloom tomatoes. Slice some peaches and add to the salad. Finish off with some good extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar and thinly sliced basil. If you want extra style points, finish off with some good quality salt a la Salt Bae.

Sweet and spicy chicken thighs. I had some leftover blackened spice mix so I tossed 1 cup of it into a bag and threw them in with skin-on bone-in chicken thighs. Once the thighs were coated with the spice, I popped them into the oven on a sheet pan for about 15-18 minutes at 375F. I found a half-used bottle  (1/2 cup) of BBQ sauce in my fridge (Sweet Baby Ray’s) and added ¼ cup of honey to make a sticky flavourful sauce. Brush the sauce on both sides of the thighs and return them back to the oven for another 10 minutes or until cooked. I chose to BBQ the thighs after they were partially cooked. Keep the heat settings low and BBQ covered for about 5 minutes and them flip them skin side down to crisp up the skin and finish cooking  for another 5 minutes.

Any vegetable – especially corn which is in season with Spicy Miso Garlic Butter This butter is to die for. I originally found it in Chrissy Teigen’s Cravings: Hungry For More cookbook which she pairs with steak. Yum!

Raspberry Buttermilk Cake – If I don’t have buttermilk (which is all the time), I just substitute yogurt (raspberry yogurts works too) or sour cream. Substitute with any summer fruit you may have around, ie, blueberries, peaches, plums, strawberries.

Now back to chilling, relaxing all cool! Have a great rest of the summer!

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