Signs Of Life

The following is a public service announcement:  

If you have a property in Toronto, you must complete your 2023 Vacant Home Tax Declaration of Occupancy Status by February 29, 2024. – Let us know if you have questions.

Toronto’s January real estate market showed signs of emerging from hibernation.  Transactions were 16% higher than December 2023 and 33% higher than last January after the market was assessing the dramatic and rapid interest rate increases throughout 2022.  To put this in broader perspective, last month’s 1,472 sales were 19% lower than the 5-year January average spanning 2020-2024.

Overall average prices were down because there were fewer high-end properties sold last month compared to a year ago.  This could be due to Toronto’s “luxury” land transfer tax which started on January 1, 2024 which applies to properties over $3M.  Affordability continues to be a challenge but buyers are coming out of the woodwork as months of inventory dropped from over four months to three months with the market shifting from a buyer’s market to balanced territory.

The real estate board just convened its annual market summit last week and here’s the 2024 outlook:

– Lower borrowing costs in 2024

– Immigration will drive sales and price

– Supply will remain a substantial problem

–  Sales transactions forecasted to climb by 17% in GTA

The culmination of these factors is that prices will increase ~4% in the GTA.

There were several speakers including Mayor and industry experts from TRREB, Ipsos, CANCEA Research, Loyalist Public Affairs etc..  A copy of the report can be found here.  Feel free to drop me a line to discuss.

Shen Shoots the Breeze

What a mild winter we’ve had so far.  That said, we will be going south to Orlando and touring Disney and Universal theme parks. We went in 2018 with my brother’s family will do so again this time around. Now that most of his kids are teenagers, we plan to go hard and wring as much out of the theme parks as possible.

Given my FOMO, I’ve been checking out blogs, videos you name it from the experts so as not to miss out on cool stuff/experiences.

Here are some things which we decided to do differently than last time:

– We are staying at Disney and Universal resorts to get some guest benefits such as early entry (Disney), early purchase of Genie+/Lightning Lane (Disney) and fast pass access (Universal), easy access to the park without needing to drive there

– We are visiting fewer parks so we can enjoy going to the other resorts and spend time at the pools (hoping for warm weather)

– We made lunch and dinner reservations at the theme parks – it’s difficult to get a table for 8 at peak meal times. If we decide to go elsewhere, we have a 2-hour window to cancel the reservation without penalty.

– We rented a minivan through Turo (was cheaper than the other car rental providers)

Here are some things that we will do again:

– Rent a stroller although no one really needs it. This is to hold all our water bottles, rain gear etc all in one place.

–  Buy snacks from a supermarket and bring them into the parks and only splurge on what we really think is worth trying. It’s healthier and cheaper.

–  Bring refillable water bottles – there are a ton of water stations located around the parks.

–  Give each kid an allowance which they can spend towards snacks, souvenirs, other experiences they want to try. They are going to think twice before wanting to get that $6 soda.

–  Wear easy to dry clothes (for those water rides)

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