Real Estate Newsletter
LATEST DECOR TREND:
Bye-Bye Minimalism! Hello Hollywood Glam!
THE ROARING 20'S SPRING TO LIFE!
After Two Years in Spartan Lockdown,
Sumptuous Surroundings Shine Again!
Minimalism is out. Make way for maximalism. The pendulum has swung, what was old is new again. Top design magazines tell us that glitz and glamour are taking centre stage again, simplicity is giving way to sophistication dripping with gold and silver.
Retro elegance, rich fabrics and opulent details are replacing stark, monochromatic, stripped-down modernism. Luxury in back in style. Roll out the red carpet for the latest décor trend, Hollywood Regency. Think Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Liberace or Marilyn Monroe. Get your glitter on. Here is how to create this glam look:
1. Dramatic Black and White Themes: Use bold patterns, high contrasts, zebra patterns, animal prints, geometric design, milk-white or high-gloss black walls as a backdrop for silver and gold accents, bronze and burnished trim create jewel box rooms,
2.Transitional Style: Mix modern with traditional design. Aristocratic furniture with contemporary flair. Updated, curved Louis XVI chairs, voluptuous tufted sofas, nail head upholstery, plump velvet ottomans, plush, textures, fur throws, classic brass bar carts, mirrored or glass tables. The theme is casual elegance with a romantic feminine vibe.
3. Metallic Accessories: Embellish each room with shiny finishes, gilt sunburst mirrors, ornate gold and silver knickknacks, shag rugs, oriental carpets, white and pink roses in crystal vases, cascading chandeliers, brandy decanters, silver candelabras. The mantra is: More is more.
Right at Home Realty Inc.
DIRECT: 416 252-2221
REAL ESTATE TRENDS
SPIKING INTEREST RATES SHOCK MARKET:
Sales Sink, Prices Soften, Market Sags
Lynn's Crystal Ball
Looking back, Toronto's booming real estate market peaked in February 2022. That hissing sound you now hear is the steam coming out of sales. Sharp hikes in mortgage rates pricked the bubble and hammered the explosive price spiral of the past two years. The Feds wanted to tame inflation, but they succeeded in rapidly cooling an over-heated market.
Cheap money is gone. Over the past few months, mortgage rates have more than doubled from 2% to 5%. Add a further 2% stress test and many buyers are pushed to the curb. Bidding wars in most areas are history and many listings languish, especially if they are over priced. Sellers are feeling the chill and cash purchasers are waiting for the bottom. Some 40% of all current listings have had price reductions and in some cases, list prices are dropping hundreds of thousands of dollars.
August statistics show a 34% dip in sales, year over year. Monthly comparisons indicate a steep decline in average prices. The average price for all types of housing was $1.3M in February, but by August 2022, it plummeted to $1.075M. This downward shift is challenging for sellers, but new opportunities for buyers.
Due to relative affordability, condo values are holding and bucking the downward trend with prices actually, in some prime areas, increasing slightly since last year. The average Toronto condo price in August was $737K, up 2.6% since last year.
Clearly, the crazy-hot Seller's Market of early 2022 is stone-cold dead. Yes, most arrows are pointing down, but the trend may not be as bad as it looks. Moderate price drops are tolerable considering that homes appreciated about 40% in 2021 and 2022. Owners are still ahead of the game. Also, rapid interest rates hikes are initially jolting, but manageable as the current cost of borrowing is comparable to pre-pandemic rates in 2017. We are coming off a giddy, sugar high of historically low rates so that everything suddenly tastes bitter. We shall adjust.
(Source of Statistics TRREB Market Report August 2022)
SUMMER 2022 UPDATE
Call me Nostradamus. My hunch was spot on! In January 2022, I knew in my bones that the blazing real estate market and wildly escalating prices were not sustainable. The tipping point was on the horizon.
Let's see if my predictions of a correction followed by a quick rebound are on target. My sweeping, mystical message is I predict that it is going to get worse before it gets better. How is that for Delphic generality?
In the mean time, best advice for sellers: price your home realistically, tart it up with staging, promote it with top quality marketing, definitely sell before you buy and be patient. For buyers, this is your moment to shine: lock in financing before another hike, go bargain hunting, shop around, strike now and be bold in negotiating a tight deal. More than ever, an expert, seasoned realtor is your best friend. Her name might be “Lynn.” 😊
FORECAST FOR 2023.
LAZARUS MARKET COMING?
Short-Term Pain. Long-Term Gain
These are uncertain times. My crystal ball has a few Covid crack, but here is my two cent's worth:
I see storm clouds for real estate for the rest of 2022 with gradual clearing in 2023. More precisely, for the next 6 months, we shall see a shift to a Buyer's Market. After this initial correction, there will likely be a rebound to a Balanced Market by early Spring 2023, with modest, single-digit price appreciation and business as usual. In my view, a correction is more likely than a total collapse, Why?
The demand for housing is universal and constant. It is a basic human need. People get married, have kids, get divorced, are transferred, downsize, migrate, emigrate, retire. and pass on to that heavenly condo in the sky. They move out, move up and move on. Demand predictably surpasses supply. There will always be buyers and sellers. Everything sells at the right price. As a seasoned realtor, I personally welcome a return to a rational, balanced Goldilock's market, not too hot, not too cold.
It is also reasonable to assume that consumers will adjust psychologically to increased borrowing costs and modify spending priorities. We adapt. Ask anyone who survived a 16% mortgage in the 1980's. A high interest rate is like hanging, you get used to it!
In summary, I see a short term decline, but eventual recovery next year. The rebound could be sooner if interest rates stabilize. Consider that the last major real estate correction in 2008 only lasted six months. For the near future. sales and prices may swoon, but like Lazarus, real estate will rise again soon. It always does.
FOOTNOTE: Two wild cards in my forecast are another deadly wave of Covid or a recession. Either factor could collapse real estate sales in 2023 with a seismic thud. Fingers crossed.
(Written August 2022, Statistical Source TRREB Market Report))
AFFORDABILITY CRISIS CRUSHING BUYERS
Tips for Tackling High Prices:
Survival Strategies for Buyers
OUCH! That is what buyers are saying, along with other X-rated expletives. Slammed by stratospheric prices, smacked by scarce inventory and squeezed by throngs of bully offers, Toronto purchasers are facing a brutal affordability crisis of epic proportions. Take heart, dear reader. Here are some survival strategies:
THINK CONDOS: The average price of a condominium is roughly $800K, about half the cost of most GTA homes at $1.5M. For example, Humber Bay Shores, a booming waterfront community where I live and work, is a penny-pincher’s paradise. You can still find suites in the $500K range. Yes, they are tiny, but that is how you get started up the property ladder. Start small. Finish big.
2. TAP THE ROYAL BANK ON MOM & DAD: On bended-knee, ask your kind parents for an advance in your inheritance. Lenders report this is a growing financing trend, especially among Millennials. Family members are providing gifts or loans for down payments or co-signing mortgages. Keep in close touch with your rich spinster aunt. She might catapult your tycoon plans. Kin-funding might be your best source of seed capital.
3. CREATE A JOINT VENTURE. BUY AN INCOME PROPERTY: Form a group, team, or small partnership of co-owners. Pool your money and have an iron-clad JV agreement drawn up by a lawyer. Look for properties where rental income helps cover the mortgage costs. Choose your partners from trusted friends, relatives or colleagues. Shared ownership is an extension of the OPM principal for investing using Other Peoples’ Money. This is how I got started when I was young and broke. I set up real estate syndicates with some 500 women investors. It worked.
4. HUNT FOR BARGAINS: Do your research. Become annoyingly knowledgeable about real estate trends and active listings. Look for motivated sellers like estate sales, corporate transfers, split-ups, bank liquidations and strapped investor They are out there. Always ask why they are selling? Don’t be afraid of fixer-uppers. A quick lipstick reno boosts profits. The key is to add value. The secret of the universe is: buy low, sell high.
5. FIND A WARRIOR REALTOR: Retain a high-voltage realtor, part gladiator, part detective, part activist for the downtrodden. Experience matters. Ask about their own portfolio and property successes. Most importantly, select a local agent who is an expert in your target area. Reach out for advice from rock star realtors. Most are happy to help. Don’t be shy to contact me anytime for informed guidance and free psychotherapy to handle the house-hunting stress. I speak fluent real estate and my middle name is Spartacus.
PONDER THIS DEAR READER. WHAT IF ... ?
Just imagine, if properties continue to increase at the current rate, roughly 17% per annum, the average home in a decade will be $5,000,000. By 2035, one generation from today, homes could reach $10,000.000. This is a housing bomb, ready to explode. These numbers are not sustainable. See the projected growth chart below. Read it and weep!
STRATEGIES FOR DOWNSIZING
Moving is Easy ... Said Nobody, Ever.
There comes a moment in everyone's life when it is time to move on. In fact, 2022, is perhaps the best time in history to be a seller to capture the momentum of stratospheric prices. So, if you are thinking about downsizing or right-sizing, roll up your sleeves and get ready to leap into the next chapter of your destiny. Ready, set, go!
Transitions are inevitable but stressful. There are so many things to do, so many decisions and a nagging fear of the unknown. A few years back, I studied successful downsizers and wrote a graduate thesis at U. of T. on that subject. Here are four basic strategies which emerged from my interviews.
3. PURGE: Go room, by room and create a master inventory list of all your contents. Realistically evaluate each item and decide what to do with unwanted, unloved and unnecessary items. Do a quick Google search and you will find many all-inclusive services like Max Sold and Red Coats who handle the whole process from start to finish. I recently hired a professional assistant 3 hours, once a week, for 6 months. We systematically removed 103 large bags of clutter. The goal is to free yourself from the tyranny of stuff and dump the junk. The result is a Zen-like nirvana, akin to bliss.
4. PROFESSIONAL HELP: Downsizing, like any major change, can be overwhelming. Moving ranks in the top tier of lifestyle stressors. Reach out to experts and specialists in the field to help ease the trauma. Your downsizing team should include an experienced realtor, home stager, contractor, handyman, and ideally, a personal helper. Many hands make light work.
1. PLAN: Decide where you are going. Research alternative lifestyles: smaller condo, retirement community, country property, offshore haven, move in with family. Start organizing your move months in advance. Create an estimated budget. Set monthly goals. Schedule your weekly workflow, make daily to-do lists,
2. PREPARE YOUR HOME: Refresh each room and improve the exterior curb appeal to appeal to buyers, Sanitize and clean all visible surfaces, Modernize and update kitchen and bathroom deco. Neutralize strong colours, paint walls white, gray or beige. Maximize lighting and space. Minimize personal items and collections. Finalize repairs. Do a cheap and cheerful lipstick renovation of your home before listing.
LYNN'S FEATURED CONDO LISTING
Like New! $2.1M
KINGS LANDING,460 Queens Quay
Suite 601E Harbourfront, Toronto
Stunning Showcase, Posh Plus!
Approx. 1800 sf.+ Balcony: 2 Bed, 2 Bath, 2 Sunrooms + Private Office. Magazine-worthy, Open-Concept, Flexible Floor Plan, Euro Spa Baths, Scavolini Dream Kitchen, Custom Built-in Storage Galore.
Iconic V.I.P. Address, Luxury 5-Star Building, by Renowned Canadian Architect Arthur Erickson. World-Class Amenities: Pool, Gym, Golf, Spa, Tennis! Pet Friendly, 2 Dogs Allowed!
Rare Opportunity! Prime suite, dazzling lake views, trophy building. This is the one!
LYNN'S PAST SALES
Your Leading Waterfront Enthusiast
Harbourfront to Humber Bay
Spectacular Drone View. Marine Parade Drive and Lake Shore Blvd. W., Humber Bay Shores,
Toronto's Glittering New Riviera,10 Minutes from Downtown.
Thinking of Selling? Summary of Costs:
Sellers enjoy hundreds of thousands of dollars of appreciation in the current robust real estate market, but there are significant costs associated with the disposition of property. Here is a summary of estimated expenses:
1. REAL ESTATE COMMISSIONS - Fees are negotiable, depending on the services provided. Typically, full-service fees are 5% + HST, distributed 2.5% to the listing Brokerage and 2.5% to the selling Brokerage. If there is only one Brokerage involved and only one Realtor, the commission is often reduced to 3% or less. All agreements regarding fees must be in writing. Discount brokerages may offer reduced fees for limited listing services .
2. LAWYER FEES - Depending on the complexity of the transactions, legal fees generally range from $750.00 - $2000 plus disbursements. Ask your lawyer for a quotation in advance.
3. H.S.T. - A tax of 13% is charged on real estate commissions and legal fees which is paid back to the government. Sellers who are flipping pre-construction condos may incur HST liabilities. Ask your lawyer for details.
4. PRE-LISTING HOME INSPECTIONS - Professional home inspection reports cost from $400-$700 based on the size of the home and scope of work. A new home survey can cost $700-$5000.
5. STATUS CERTIFICATES - Cost $100-$125, usually paid by the seller and are required in almost all condominium sales.
6. STAGING, REPAIR, CLEANING, DE-CLUTTERING - This is a discretionary expense and will vary from a few hundred dollars to thousands. Get quotes in advance from various providers.
7. ADJUSTMENTS - These are the amounts due on closing that may be in arrears (taxes, condo fees, utilities) and are taken from the sale proceeds. Your lawyer prepares a detailed statement
8. MORTGAGE PENALTIES AND DISCHARGE FEES - These amounts can be significant, especially if you are breaking a closed mortgage. Verify these charges in advance with your lender.
9. MOVING COSTS - Vary considerably depending on services provided, as well as the time and distance involved. Get several flat-rate quotes. There may be security and elevator charges in condo moves.
10. TAXES DUE ON SALE - These include capital gains tax on investment property and taxes for non-resident sellers. These costs are sizeable, sometimes as much as 25% of the price. Consult a tax professional for expert guidance.
At Your Service ... Happy to Help :)
WHAT PEOPLE SAY ABOUT LYNN :
"Lynn Tribbling is in a class by herself. I work with realtors all day long, and no one is as creative and meticulous. She is unique and really understands the psyche of the high-end market. Her knowledge of condominiums is like an encyclopedia and her sense of humour really makes my day!" (Diane Verity, Post Newspaper)
“Lynn Tribbling is a dynamo with the Midas touch." (Vancouver Province Newspaper)
"I owe you a dozen roses, six kisses and a pocketful of thanks for all the real estate advice you gave me. You are a superb teacher and inspiring role model." (Irene Robinson, Investor)
THE LIGHTER SIDE
WEIRD LISTING: FOR SALE- Affordable Fixer-Upper. Backyard Kitchen for Entertaining. Buyer Is Advised to
Leave Fridge Exactly Where it Is.
CLICK ANY BUTTON TO CONTINUE...
Until next time dear friends and clients, stay well, stay safe, keep smiling !
Sales Representative, Right at Home Realty Brokerage
DIRECT: 416 252-2221 OFFICE: 416 383-9525
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(**DISCLAIMER: Not intended to solicit listed properties or buyers under contract. All information is approximate and subject to change. Non-proprietary photos courtesy of Google images.E.& O.E. )
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