Early Hibernation

Toronto’s October real estate market was weak.  Transactions were 3% down from last year at a paltry 1,836 sales. Prices for freehold properties were resilient as they were higher than a year ago by ~7%.  Meanwhile prices for condo apartments dropped by 2%.  

Although the price changes from this time last year don’t look dramatically different, October 2023 prices for detached properties and condo apartments were down 21% and 14% respectively compared to peak Q1 2022 prices when interest rates were under 2%.  With interest rates now hovering ~6% and buyers stress tested at ~8%, affordability will continue to be a challenge.

Now that daylight savings time is in effect, the fall market unofficially ends as darkness descends before 5pm and showings peter off.  The fall market of 2023 will be remembered as the slowest in recent history.  The chart below shows the total number of Toronto transactions for September and October this year were 38% lower than the 8-year average (2016-2023).

Going forward, buyers will have choice as there is currently more than 4 months of inventory compared to ~2 months which is the norm for this time of year.  I expect that prices should slip from current levels because affordability continues to be a challenge.  In addition, the colder months normally lead to slower sales as the market hunkers down.  Finally, buyer expectations of a weak market also typically translate into a self-fulfilling prophecy so stay tuned for a slow winter season.

Shen Shoots the Breeze

Those who know me know that I am a shopper. I’ve had several of you approach me asking for recommendations on where to shop. Please note I am not a stylist and do not consider myself an expert on how to create the best wardrobe to suit one’s body, life stage etc… What I can share with you are some of my favourite stores in the city – which are all consignment or second-hand stores. More than half of my wardrobe are items that have been previously owned.

  1. Rewind Couture – sells authentic designer pieces; pieces are in mint to new condition with the deepest discounts. Updates their website daily and can purchase online. 577 Mount Pleasant Road https://rewindcouture.com/
  2. Second Nature Boutique – sells items from Gap up to Chanel. Prices for all budgets. They have 2 locations: 514 Mount Pleasant Road and Bayview Village Shopping Centre. Most new items are added to their site but check out their stores as they have many items for sale that aren’t featured on their website. https://secondnaturebtq.com/
  3. Fashionably Yours – features men, women and kids clothing from Zara up to high-end designer labels. Sells items from fair to brand new with tags condition. Shopping available online. 707 Queen Street West https://fashionablyyours.com/
  4. VSP Consignment – sells a range of brands leaning more towards higher end labels in men, women and kids clothing. Feature heavily discounted sales at the end of season. Online store inventory combines both their Toronto and Calgary locations. 1410 Dundas Street West https://vspconsignment.com/
  5. The Cat’s Meow – highlights high end and vintage pieces. Great place to go if you’re looking for a rare piece for a party, wedding or extra special occasion. Updates their blog once a week. Must check out the store if you want to see their entire inventory. 180 Avenue Rd https://www.thecatsmeow.com/
  6. Value Village – various locations throughout the city. Sells anything and everything. Must be willing to comb through racks to find what you’re looking for. It’s my go to place for costumes or something unique especially when I don’t want to spend much money.

Other sites where I purchase clothes are online: Poshmark, FaceBook Marketplace

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