The More Things Change, The More They Stay The Same

As we welcome in the new decade, I can’t help looking back at developments of the past decade.  When we first moved into our house about 10 years ago, I recall speaking to one of my neighbours who has lived on my street since 1964.  He told me he loved the neighbourhood and his home so much that he wouldn’t sell even if someone offered him $2 million.  I remember thinking he didn’t have anything to worry about because the market value for his property was well less than $1 million!

Fast forward 10 years and properties in the neighbourhood have topped out over $2 million (I wonder if he’s now thinking $4 million?).  Suffice to say, our neighbourhood has seen similar growth experienced throughout the Greater Toronto Area.  MLS data shows that the average GTA property price in 2009 was $395,460 compared to $819,319 in 2019.

As prices doubled during this decade, there’s been a significant transfer of generational wealth as 45% of first time home buyers reported receiving gifts from family compared to 22% of this cohort receiving family gifts 10 years ago.  I heard that inheritances are better left with warm hands than cold fists and it appears baby boomers are taking this to heart.

Technology developments over this period has dramatically changed the real estate market.  Faxes weren’t always legible and pages often got lost.  Now I don’t need to memorize city streets as smart phones provide route navigation.  The introduction of digital signatures saves trees and the ozone layer as agreements require less paper and less gasoline is used in driving to obtain signatures.

As cultural and technological norms change, I still hold fast to my father’s timeless advice regarding success in the real estate profession:  Treat others as you yourself would want to be treated.

As for Toronto’s real estate market in the last month of 2019, prices climbed as low interest rates, limited supply and strong demand continued the trend which occurred throughout the second half of 2019. (You will need to download images to see the table)

Click here for TREB’s year end 2019 results compared to prior years.

3 things I’m noodling through

1) Over the New Year’s break, I read “The Obstacle is the Way – the Timeless Art of Turning Trials to Triumph” by Ryan Holiday.  It was helpful to start the year with a book inspiring me to take action on tasks within my control while keeping in mind whether those tasks are worthwhile doing.  The themes in the book remind me of the serenity prayer: “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference”.  What’s on your book shelf?

2) I recently attended a webinar on Toronto Real Estate technology changes. I’ll also be updating my phone this coming week – are they any apps that you can’t live without? I love Waze (for navigating traffic), Scannable (great for scanning documents on the spot) and the Green P parking app (no need to rush through meetings to feed the meter).

3) I was speaking to a friend about friendships and how the new year brings opportunities to re-kindle old relationships.  We got on the topic of close relationships that have gone by the wayside as well as those that disappoint. She remarked that it would be best to have no expectations so there won’t be any disappointments. My gut feeling is that there needs to be expectations for relationships to flourish.  How do you think expectations help or hinder relationships?

With all the news about interest rates, housing sales, and forecasts, you might think that the real estate market is a bewildering place. In some ways, you’re right as the market is certainly active and there’s a lot going on.

That said, it would be a mistake to let all that noise discourage you from making a move. If the timing is right, and you’re ready to upsize or downsize – or simply move to a neighbourhood that better suits your lifestyle – you should at least get the information you need to make the best decision.

As your real estate professional, I’m always available to help. I can fill you in on what’s happening in the local market, help you determine what kind of new home you are qualified to purchase, and give you a clear idea of your options.

Even if you’re just at the “thinking about it” stage, feel free to call me so you’ll be prepared to make the best decision when you’re ready.

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