January 2024 Newsletter

Monday Jan 08th, 2024


Welcome, 2024! By Sharon Parenteau, MA SRES ASA Overview: Real Estate Market Review and Analysis, The Year in Review, Prognostications, Client Success Story, Upcoming Events, January Giveaway!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

Welcome, 2024!

By Sharon Parenteau, MA SRES ASA


  • Real Estate Market Review and Analysis
  • The Year in Review
  • Prognostications
  • Client Success Story
  • Upcoming Events
  • January Giveaway!

Real Estate Market Report

TORONTO, ONTARIO, December 5, 2023 – High borrowing costs and uncertain economic conditions continued to weigh on Greater Toronto Area (GTA) home sales in November 2023. Sales were down on a year-over-year basis, while listings were up from last year’s trough in supply. With more choice in the market, selling prices remained basically flat year-over-year.

“Inflation and elevated borrowing costs have taken their toll on affordability. This has been no more apparent than in the interest rate-sensitive housing market. However, it does appear relief is on the horizon. Bond yields, which underpin fixed rate mortgages have been trending lower and an increasing number of forecasters are anticipating Bank of Canada rate cuts in the first half of 2024. Lower rates will help alleviate affordability issues for existing homeowners and those looking to enter the market,” said Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) President Paul Baron.

The MLS® Home Price Index Composite benchmark and the average selling price, at $1,082,179, in November 2023 were basically flat in comparison to November 2022. On a seasonally adjusted monthly basis, the MLS® HPI Composite benchmark was down by 1.7 per cent. The average selling price was down 2.2 percent month-over month.

“Home prices have adjusted from their peak in response to higher borrowing costs. This has provided some relief for buyers, from an affordability perspective. As mortgage rates trend lower next year and the population continues to grow at a record pace, expect demand to increase relative to supply. This will eventually lead to renewed growth in home prices,” said TRREB Chief Market Analyst Jason Mercer.

Because York Region covers a vast geographic area encompassing many diverse communities, broad generalizations about market conditions are hard to make. A comparison to “the 416” does however yield some noteworthy findings:
  • Sale prices of detached homes have flattened (but not dropped!); whereas in Toronto proper, they have slightly increased due continuing demand in key areas;
  • Condo sale prices, on the other hand, have risen a healthy 6.4% in York Region, and dropped by almost 2% in “the 416”;
Many more suburban buyers seem to be in a holding pattern, waiting to see what interest rates are going to do. Many witness their buying power diminish markedly during the recent period of rate increases. Similarly, more city core condo owners are investors who have suddenly found themselves in negative cash flow thanks to soaring mortgage payments that even sky-high rents cannot compensate for. 
East Gwillimbury
What this means for you
If you’re a buyer:

Location, location, location. Your buying experience is going to be highly dependent on the type of property and the area desired. There are pockets of tremendous value and opportunity for buyers who are willing/able to jump into the market now while rates are relatively high (nothing like the 90s, mind you!) and prices are relatively low. As they say, “Marry the house, but date the rate,” meaning that the value accrued over the next several months vs the short-term pain of the carrying costs makes this market truly exceptional for buyers. Mark my words: this time next year you will regret not buying and riding the wave of increasing home prices! 
If you, or anyone you know, is looking for those golden opportunities, reach out to me and I’ll share what I know. ;-)


If you’re a seller:
Location, location, location. Believe it or not, this is not a bad time to sell, either. Why? Because for all the news of the number of listings on the market growing, there really is still very little supply available. According to last month’s TRREB statistics, there is 2.4 months of supply in York Region. This might seem like a lot, but it’s really not. In fact, this still puts us firmly in “seller’s market” territory. Will your home get 75 showings, and 5 multiple offers? That is going to depend on several factors which I am very happy to discuss with you anytime. The benefits to selling soon are: a) very little competition from other sellers; b) serious buyers are always house hunting no matter the time of year; c) you can expect to be sold within a very reasonable time frame. 
Rather than wait and be in competition, there is definite merit to selling during winter months.
Year in Review
The real estate word of 2023 had to be “uncertainty.” In the first quarter of the year, this translated into very weak sales numbers as there seemed to be a collective pause due to worries over continued interest rate hikes. Both sellers who wanted to move up and buyers of all stripes watched and waited, and the number of transactions tumbled to 20-year lows. Prices, however, remained relatively stable.

Seasonal house hunting positively affected both prices and the number of transactions in the second quarter. Looming increases spurred buyers into a mini feeding frenzy, who feared missing out (sellers love a FOMO market! Buyers, not so much.) However, with the announcement of yet another interest rate increase in June, the market did a sudden slow down once again. 
Sellers who listed during the summer months were given a rather rude wake up call as the average selling price tumbled almost $100,000. Previous sale prices seemed almost irrelevant, and sellers struggled to hold their ground. Properties that were priced as if it was still the Spring market sat unsold, or relisted at lower and lower asking prices.
Fortunately, Q3 brought a bit of a reprieve for the market as more forward-thinking economists predicted that the end might be in sight for interest rate increases. At least, they predicted, rate increases would slow - which spelled good news for sellers and buyers alike. Indeed, when the Bank of Canada halted interest rate increases on Sep 6, 2023, and paused again October, 25th and finally December 6th, optimism returned to the real estate market, and prices and sales slowly began recovering. This improvement has largely continued as the year finishes out.
The past year has been extremely busy and gratifying for the SMART Realty Solutions team. Our focus for 2023 was community engagement, and we were privileged to host in-person workshops, be a featured speaker at the OSSCO Annual Conference (Ontario Society of Senior Citizens Organizations) and meet dozens of new people at my many speaking engagements. Our twice-annual Community Shredding Event and CHATS Fundraiser helped our clients, raised $2000, and saved thousands of pounds of paper from entering the waste stream.
In addition to these activities, we also delivered 5-star real estate experiences for our lovely selling and buying clients. Our core business remains downsizing homeowners, but we were also thrilled to work with first-time home buyers, upsizing buyers, tenants and landlords. And this year, I was also my own client! Selling my own home gave me new insights into the emotional and physical toll a move can take - even when you know it's the SMART move to make. ;-)

Moving into the new year, I will bring this experience into my professional practice to deliver even better systems with renewed empathy and understanding.
The overall predictions for the Toronto and region real estate market is very bright. While no one has a crystal ball, there are indicators that we can reliably use to forecast bright days ahead. 
  • Overall good unemployment rate of 6.6% and dropping; 
  • Huge surge in post-pandemic immigration over the next 36 months;
  • Declining inflation which might signal decreased interest rates.
There are some pundits who foresee the US Federal Bank making as many as 4 downward adjustments next year, for a total drop in interest rates of 100 basis points. Canada might very well follow suit. Should rates start to lower, the pent up buyer demand could unleash another feeding frenzy like we saw a year ago. That wouldn’t necessarily be a good thing. As we’ve seen before, a volatile real estate market can be rife with problems that just don’t happen as frequently in more balanced markets, like the one we are currently experiencing.
54A Wellington St E, Aurora - A match made in heaven

Being a landlord is not without its risks. It only takes one negligent or dishonest person to wreak havoc on a valuable property, not to mention your peace of mind. Landlords have one opportunity to screen and select applicants: before they move in. Due diligence is crucial to a successful outcome for both landlords and tenants.

My lovely clients contacted me to find them the perfect new tenant for their gorgeous investment property. We listed it on the MLS ™  service, and published it on social media. Unsurprisingly, we were flooded with interest. We sorted applications, checked employment history, credit reports, background checks, and telephone interviews prior to putting forward a candidate.

The result was a match made in real estate heaven! Congratulations to both the landlord and tenant. Wishing you a long, happy relationship together. 

PS: If you need top-tier representation as either a landlord or tenant, reach out! We’d love to create the same win/win outcome for you!
Webinar Wednesdays
Starting January 10th, and continuing until the end of March 2024, we will be hosting virtual workshops on Zoom. With your registration, you will receive a digital copy of the accompanying workbook, a link to the recording to rewatch at your leisure, and helpful follow up resources that have been curated to maximize your learning experience. 

For a full list of January's workshops or to register, visit:

Saturday mornings on Marilyn Wetston’s “From a Woman’s Perspective” on Zoomer Radio 740 AM
Have you caught our segment on Zoomer Radio 740 am yet? Each week we contribute a spot highlighting issues common to downsizing seniors, sharing timely advice and good news stories. 

This week, we are featuring the story of wonderful clients, Cathy and Steve, who gave me permission to tell about their downsizing experience that wasn’t. (You’ll have to listen to find out what I mean!) 

Catch the show on Saturday mornings from 8:00 to 9:00 am.

2024 Speaking Availability
Do you belong to a club looking for an engaging, informative speaker this winter/spring? I am currently booking both virtual and in-person speaking engagements for seniors clubs, cultural organizations, Probus, church and synagogue small gatherings, and 55+ Health & Wellness Fairs, and Retirement Communities. 

    What you'll get:
    A 30 - 45 min presentation with slide show, workbooks, and door prizes on a variety of downsizing, decluttering and related topics.

    What you won’t get:
    A sales pitch or a bill in the mail. :-) All speaking engagements are free of cost of obligation. 

Click here
sharonparenteau@kw.com to contact me for a list of prepared speaking topics.
Forward this email to a friend with a brief word of introduction, and copy me at sharonparenteau@kw.com, and I’ll send you and your friend a thank you!
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The opinions and content expressed herein are solely those of the author, Sharon Parenteau, and do not necessarily reflect the brokerage, and do not constitute legal or financial advice. This communication is not intended to solicit clients currently already under contract with other real estate brokerages. ™ 2023 Sharon Parenteau

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S.M.A.R.T. Realty Solutions · 156 Duncan Mill Rd · Unit 1 · North York, On M3B 3N2 · Canada

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