Deja Vu

Toronto’s real estate market had higher sales and prices compared to a year ago.  Sales increased modestly by 3% as the average price rose on the relative strength of detached properties.  Despite a more active July market, there are headwinds on the horizon.

As housing prices accelerated in Q2 2023, the Bank of Canada raised interest rates in June and July to stifle inflation and increasing house prices. The culmination of 10 interest rate increases since March 2022 has eroded affordability resulting in July year to date sales down 17% compared to 2022.

As we moved from a spring seller’s market, we are now in a buyer’s market as the sales to new listing ratio is under 40%. 

Active listings were up for the first time this year at the end of July as buyers moved back to the sidelines.  New listings coming on the market were looked at apprehensively by buyers with another interest rate bump possible in September.  As a result, months of inventory has climbed to 3.2 compared to about one and half months experienced from March to June 2023.

August is typically slow but I expect this August to be especially quiet as we try to eke out the most of our first pandemic free summer in three years.

Shen Shoots the Breeze

Greetings from Trois Pistoles, Quebec.  I am currently about 2.5 hours drive north east of Quebec City on the south shore of the St. Lawrence river in a region known as Les Basques – after the Basque Country in France. I’ve been here for almost a week after enrolling in a French Immersion course organized by the University of Western Ontario. 

Each registrant stays with a host family along with other students who are here to improve their French. We have classes every morning and the school arranges other activities for us during the afternoon and evening.

I feel a bit like a teenager in the best possible way – I wake up in time for breakfast and our host has food ready and sometimes lunch to bring to school if we don’t have time to go back home for our midday meal.

We’ve watched films entirely in French, learned all about local legends, visited museums and churches, crossed the St. Lawrence river but my favourite was listening to a traditional Quebec band while being taught folk dancing. 

My classmates are of all ages, backgrounds and come from many parts of Canada and the US. 

This is the longest time that I have spent in one place in Quebec and I’ve had the opportunity to have a more intimate look into Quebec culture as an outsider. Churches dot every village and continue to be located in the heart of the town. Residents can trace back their heritage back many generations in this area. Madonna (yes the Material Girl) also had ancestors that lived in Trois Pistoles. Many don’t hesitate to participate in dancing and even the young know the words to many folk songs. Another fun fact: did you know that Quebecers have one of the highest per capita of pool ownership in North America (after California).

The Quebecois live simply yet are a proud peoples. They are so generous at sharing their humour, their music and above all their hospitality. It has been a memorable experience and I look forward to returning back to this part of Canada one day soon.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *