Do you own a property in the City of Toronto?  Do you have friends or family living outside Toronto that own a property in the city?  Then this is important information for you!

Did you know about Toronto Vacant Home Tax?  Be careful - if you don't submit your declaration by the deadline of February 2 you may be subject to a fine! 

If you own a property in Toronto you now must fill out a declaration with the details of who is living there.  If you own more than one property, you have to fill out a declaration for each property.

What you need to fill out your declaration:

To fill out the declaration, you'll need your Assessment Roll Number (ARN) and Customer Number from your tax form, and the occupants names' and phone number for each property.  This is for homes or condos within the City of Toronto only.

Link to on-line declaration

Exemptions:

There are some exemptions (like if someone has passed away during the year) - they can be found here towards the bottom of the page: Exemptions to Vacant Home Tax

Why has the city done this?

This new tax is an initiative to help release properties sitting vacant into either the rental pool, or to be sold.  Are vacant homes a big problem in Toronto?  I don't think there has been a way to monitor or track these properties, but the feeling is there aren't many of them.  

However, there are quite a few investors holding properties in Canada that live elsewhere - so if you have a friend or family in this situation, please make sure you forward this information to them.   They may not have received the notification!

What if you can't find your Assessment Roll Number?

If you're having trouble finding your ARN, let me know and I can look it up for you!  

Can you fill out the declaration any other way?

Yes, you can print out and mail in a declaration by February 2 as well, details and forms are at the link above.

Video LInks:

Toronto's Vacant Home Tax

Canada's Foreign Home Buyer Ban

Predictions for the 2023 Real Estate Market

...


The Toronto real estate for just released their year end numbers for 2022.  You may see a lot of messages from realtors hyping the fact that prices were actually up here over a year 8.6% in Toronto, but that does not tell the whole story!   I've done a 3 minute video with my findings & predictions for 2023  - the link is above.

I thought it would be more interesting to take a look at the first half of the year vs. the second half of the year to see what was really happening!

I took a look in depth at detached homes in Toronto as well as detached house prices in Scarborough.   

As you can see by the chart below, detached house prices increased 4.45% in Toronto year over year, but declined 17% when you compare first & second half of 2022:


Toronto House Prices year over year comparisonToronto Detached House Prices comparing first & Second half of 2022

 

This puts second half 2002 prices down versus average prices in 2021 - down 7% in Toronto 

You may recall the media announced a 14% drop in prices last year and you can see by the numbers we have had a significant drop since Spring 2022 - over and above the media numbers.   The drops have been steeper as you move away from the core (remember, these were also the areas that showed the highest spikes in increases in the spring. too)

Spotlight on Scarborough

The past 5 years showed exponential growth in home prices in Scarbororough.  




Scarborough mirrored Toronto trends of a 17% drop comparing first and second halves of 2022: 



This puts second half 2002 prices down versus average prices in 2021 down 6.3% in Scarborough, at July 2021 levels. 


2023 Predictions

2023 may be an unprecedented year!  Yes, we have seen interest rates this high (and higher) in Toronto - but never when house prices have been so high.


Once the bank of Canada gets insulation under control at around the 2% level you can expect to see interest rates, stabilize and perhaps drop. With that consumer confidence will rise. Experts are predicting this will happen in the second half of 2023.   


There is a feeling that January and February may continue to see low housing prices, although that may be affected as people are reluctant to list their homes - housing scarcity may  result in lots of bidding wars!


 I’m continuing to see well priced, beautifully presented and renovated sell over asking price as they attract multiple buyers.  


An artificially low listing price may still continue to attract multiple offers, too.  


 And with prices lower in many first time home buyer price ranges, there is competition for homes that represent great value. 


...

I thought I  would write a quick article on how we sold this home.  To give you some background,  the Toronto housing market in November 2022 is challenging.  

Interest rate hikes - meant to bring inflation back to 2% - have cooled the market, and prices have dropped since spring.  Consumer confidence is low.  News articles predicting home prices will drop between 14 - 30% in the next year creating uncertainty. 

The problem - "market value' pricing failed to move buyers off the fence

Many buyers dislike bidding wars, so you would think that pricing a home around market value would be effective.  Unfortunately,  this is not the case!  Even with many showings and over 800 video views, this home didn't get any offers.   Buyers were taking a wait and see attitude - with homes taking longer to sell there was no urgency.  

What worked to move buyers into action?

Pricing at an 'uncomfortably' low price point to bring as many buyers as possible through the house in a week.  We reviewed offers from buyers at a specific date & time.   In a hot market like this spring, this is how most homes were sold.  And it worked here.  The difference?  It requires a lower starting price than in the spring.  

The result

Over 80 showings, 1000 views of the virtual video tour & 12 offers on offers night resulted in a successful sale (in the range of our original price, too!)   The video is linked above. 

What the sellers said in their 5 star review:

"We interviewed 3 agents explaining what we wanted (i.e. buy a condo, sell our house).  Sue acted immediately.  Whereas the other agents waited for a listing to be posted on the MLS site, Sue found a listing and emailed us right away.  We asked for various analysis, and Sue produced listings of similar houses sold in our area, a comparison of the condo price to our house price, and many more.  We told Sue we needed hand-holding throughout the process, and she delivered!  She arranged for a handyman to do some minor repairs, and arranged staging.  As part of the selling process, she produced a beautiful brochure, and mailing cards.  She hand-delivered cards a as well as going door-to-door  in the local area, since residents often know friends/family who would like to move here.  She also prepared a high-energy video highlighting the features of our home.   


Sue handled a large number of showings (>80) which resulted in multiple offers in what is probably one of the worst markets in recent memory.  Real estate transactions can be stressful, but Sue kept us calm by explaining what was happening at each stage of the process.  Sue helped us buy the specific condo we wanted, and sell our home in what what may be considered an unknown market.  If you need a knowledgeable, intelligent, hard-working real estate agent that will keep you calm during the process, Sue is the one!"


What sellers can learn from this:

  • there are a lot of buyers looking for properties in the GTA as I write this 
  • many of those buyers are looking for properties in the $950,000 range (due to their financing approvals)
  • exposure to as many buyers as possible is key:  pricing properly, tons of marketing & a beautiful presentation are keys to the game

What buyers can learn from this:

  • attractively presented homes are still selling in competition 
  • if you're pre-approved to $950 or less, you will be in competition
  • reverse-engineer your search to find out what list price properties in your price range begins at and start there
  • look at homes that have sold recently in your price range to see what they look like so you can double check you're realistic with your needs/wants
  • work with a realtor who understands this
  • work with a skilled negotiator who can establish trust & a collaborative relationship with the sellers realtor to get the job done
  • try and focus your search on homes other buyers may have passed over, not ones that other buyers are attracted to! 
...

Wow, this home will impress!

Impeccably maintained larger 3+1 bedroom backsplit on lovely Langevin Cres in Centennial, Scarborough has an architect designed in-law suite.  

This Scarborough home for sale features gleaming hardwood floors, and large primary bedroom with walk-in closet & en-suite bathroom. Updated kitchen with white cabinetry & storage galore - including a pull out pantry & centre island with more storage. 

The architect designed basement in-law suite which is one of the nicest I've seen! No attention to detail spared; pot-lights, full size appliances, storage space & quality finishes.   Similar basement apartments rent in the area for around $1600.  Oversized garage with storage walls, parking for 3 cars.   

Why is this such a great neighborhood? The neighborhood of  Centennial, Scarborough is a quiet & safe neighbourhood near Port Union and Lake Ontario.  Sometimes referred to as West Rouge, or Port Union Village, this neighbourhood features good schools & only about 25 minutes downtown via the Rouge GO train.  If you're looking for a neighborhood with great community spirit, check it out!   

Are you a nature lover? You'll love the nearby bike trails along Lake Ontario waterfront and the Rouge National Urban Park.  Miles of trails lead to Morninside Park, UTSC & into Pickering.   Kayak & hike the Rouge National Urban park - a feature of this much loved neighbourhood. 

If you're a foodie, explore fantastic places like Lamanna's, Black Dog Pub, Azumi Sushi, the Six Social & more.  Famous neighbourhood institutions like  Shamrock Burgers & Amazing Teds (also the site of many TV & Movie sets!) will make you feel like home. 


Above average Home Inspection available upon request!  


1 minute video Tour of 14 Langevin


Explore all the homes for sale in the area here: 

Port Union Homes for Sale

West Rouge Homes for Sale

Highland Creek Homes for Sale

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Recent Blog Posts

Do you own a property in the City of Toronto?  Do you have friends or family living outside Toronto that own a property in the city?  Then this is important information for you!

Did you know about Toronto Vacant Home Tax?  Be careful - if you don't submit your declaration by the deadline of February 2 you may be subject to a fine! 

If you own a property in Toronto you now must fill out a declaration with the details of who is living there.  If you own more than one property, you have to fill out a declaration for each property.

What you need to fill out your declaration:

To fill out the declaration, you'll need your Assessment Roll Number (ARN) and Customer Number from your tax form, and the occupants names' and phone number for each property.  This is for homes or condos within the City of Toronto only.

Link to on-line declaration

Exemptions:

There are some exemptions (like if someone has passed away during the year) - they can be found here towards the bottom of the page: Exemptions to Vacant Home Tax

Why has the city done this?

This new tax is an initiative to help release properties sitting vacant into either the rental pool, or to be sold.  Are vacant homes a big problem in Toronto?  I don't think there has been a way to monitor or track these properties, but the feeling is there aren't many of them.  

However, there are quite a few investors holding properties in Canada that live elsewhere - so if you have a friend or family in this situation, please make sure you forward this information to them.   They may not have received the notification!

What if you can't find your Assessment Roll Number?

If you're having trouble finding your ARN, let me know and I can look it up for you!  

Can you fill out the declaration any other way?

Yes, you can print out and mail in a declaration by February 2 as well, details and forms are at the link above.

Video LInks:

Toronto's Vacant Home Tax

Canada's Foreign Home Buyer Ban

Predictions for the 2023 Real Estate Market

...


The Toronto real estate for just released their year end numbers for 2022.  You may see a lot of messages from realtors hyping the fact that prices were actually up here over a year 8.6% in Toronto, but that does not tell the whole story!   I've done a 3 minute video with my findings & predictions for 2023  - the link is above.

I thought it would be more interesting to take a look at the first half of the year vs. the second half of the year to see what was really happening!

I took a look in depth at detached homes in Toronto as well as detached house prices in Scarborough.   

As you can see by the chart below, detached house prices increased 4.45% in Toronto year over year, but declined 17% when you compare first & second half of 2022:


Toronto House Prices year over year comparisonToronto Detached House Prices comparing first & Second half of 2022

 

This puts second half 2002 prices down versus average prices in 2021 - down 7% in Toronto 

You may recall the media announced a 14% drop in prices last year and you can see by the numbers we have had a significant drop since Spring 2022 - over and above the media numbers.   The drops have been steeper as you move away from the core (remember, these were also the areas that showed the highest spikes in increases in the spring. too)

Spotlight on Scarborough

The past 5 years showed exponential growth in home prices in Scarbororough.  




Scarborough mirrored Toronto trends of a 17% drop comparing first and second halves of 2022: 



This puts second half 2002 prices down versus average prices in 2021 down 6.3% in Scarborough, at July 2021 levels. 


2023 Predictions

2023 may be an unprecedented year!  Yes, we have seen interest rates this high (and higher) in Toronto - but never when house prices have been so high.


Once the bank of Canada gets insulation under control at around the 2% level you can expect to see interest rates, stabilize and perhaps drop. With that consumer confidence will rise. Experts are predicting this will happen in the second half of 2023.   


There is a feeling that January and February may continue to see low housing prices, although that may be affected as people are reluctant to list their homes - housing scarcity may  result in lots of bidding wars!


 I’m continuing to see well priced, beautifully presented and renovated sell over asking price as they attract multiple buyers.  


An artificially low listing price may still continue to attract multiple offers, too.  


 And with prices lower in many first time home buyer price ranges, there is competition for homes that represent great value. 


...

I thought I  would write a quick article on how we sold this home.  To give you some background,  the Toronto housing market in November 2022 is challenging.  

Interest rate hikes - meant to bring inflation back to 2% - have cooled the market, and prices have dropped since spring.  Consumer confidence is low.  News articles predicting home prices will drop between 14 - 30% in the next year creating uncertainty. 

The problem - "market value' pricing failed to move buyers off the fence

Many buyers dislike bidding wars, so you would think that pricing a home around market value would be effective.  Unfortunately,  this is not the case!  Even with many showings and over 800 video views, this home didn't get any offers.   Buyers were taking a wait and see attitude - with homes taking longer to sell there was no urgency.  

What worked to move buyers into action?

Pricing at an 'uncomfortably' low price point to bring as many buyers as possible through the house in a week.  We reviewed offers from buyers at a specific date & time.   In a hot market like this spring, this is how most homes were sold.  And it worked here.  The difference?  It requires a lower starting price than in the spring.  

The result

Over 80 showings, 1000 views of the virtual video tour & 12 offers on offers night resulted in a successful sale (in the range of our original price, too!)   The video is linked above. 

What the sellers said in their 5 star review:

"We interviewed 3 agents explaining what we wanted (i.e. buy a condo, sell our house).  Sue acted immediately.  Whereas the other agents waited for a listing to be posted on the MLS site, Sue found a listing and emailed us right away.  We asked for various analysis, and Sue produced listings of similar houses sold in our area, a comparison of the condo price to our house price, and many more.  We told Sue we needed hand-holding throughout the process, and she delivered!  She arranged for a handyman to do some minor repairs, and arranged staging.  As part of the selling process, she produced a beautiful brochure, and mailing cards.  She hand-delivered cards a as well as going door-to-door  in the local area, since residents often know friends/family who would like to move here.  She also prepared a high-energy video highlighting the features of our home.   


Sue handled a large number of showings (>80) which resulted in multiple offers in what is probably one of the worst markets in recent memory.  Real estate transactions can be stressful, but Sue kept us calm by explaining what was happening at each stage of the process.  Sue helped us buy the specific condo we wanted, and sell our home in what what may be considered an unknown market.  If you need a knowledgeable, intelligent, hard-working real estate agent that will keep you calm during the process, Sue is the one!"


What sellers can learn from this:

  • there are a lot of buyers looking for properties in the GTA as I write this 
  • many of those buyers are looking for properties in the $950,000 range (due to their financing approvals)
  • exposure to as many buyers as possible is key:  pricing properly, tons of marketing & a beautiful presentation are keys to the game

What buyers can learn from this:

  • attractively presented homes are still selling in competition 
  • if you're pre-approved to $950 or less, you will be in competition
  • reverse-engineer your search to find out what list price properties in your price range begins at and start there
  • look at homes that have sold recently in your price range to see what they look like so you can double check you're realistic with your needs/wants
  • work with a realtor who understands this
  • work with a skilled negotiator who can establish trust & a collaborative relationship with the sellers realtor to get the job done
  • try and focus your search on homes other buyers may have passed over, not ones that other buyers are attracted to! 
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