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A Return to ‘Normal’? The State of Real Estate in 2022

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Last year was one for the real estate history books. The pandemic helped usher in a buying frenzy that led to a record number of home sales and a historically-high rate of appreciation, as prices soared by a national average of 19.9% year over year, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association.1

There were signs in the second quarter that the red-hot housing market was beginning to simmer down. In June, the pace of sales slowed while the average sales price dipped 5.5% below the springtime peak.2

But just when the market seemed to be cooling, home prices and sales volume ticked up again in the fall, leading the Royal Bank of Canada to speculate: “Canada’s housing market run has more in the tank.”3

So what’s ahead for the Canadian real estate market in 2022? Here’s where industry experts predict the market is headed in the coming year.

MORTGAGE RATES WILL CREEP UP

The Bank of Canada has signalled that it plans to begin raising interest rates in the “middle quarters” of this year.4 What does that mean for mortgage rates?

Expect higher variable mortgage rates to come. In fact, according to industry trade blog Canadian Mortgage Trends, some lenders have already begun raising their variable rates in preparation. And according to the site, “Current market forecasts show the Bank of Canada on track for seven quarter-point (25 bps) rate hikes by the end of 2023, with Scotiabank expecting eight rate hikes.”5

Since September, fixed mortgage rates—which follow the 5-year Bank of Canada bond yield—have also been climbing.5 Fortunately, economists believe the housing sector is well-positioned to absorb these higher interest rates.

Derek Holt, Scotiabank vice president and head of capital markets economics, told Canadian Mortgage Professional magazine in November, “The large increase in cash balances that occurred over the pandemic combined with the record-high amount of home equity on Canadian balance sheets, to me, paints a picture of a household sector that can manage the rate shock we’re likely to get.”4

What does it mean for you? Low mortgage rates can reduce your monthly payment, make it easier to qualify for a mortgage, and make homeownership more affordable. Fortunately, there’s still time to take advantage of historically-low rates. We’d be happy to connect you with a trusted lending professional in our network.

VOLUME OF SALES WILL DECREASE

A record number of homes were sold in Canada last year. The Canadian Real Estate Association estimates that 656,300 home purchases took place, which is an 18.8% increase over 2020.6 So it’s no surprise that the pace of sales would eventually slow.

The association predicts that, nationally, the number of home sales will fall by 12.1% in 2022, which would still make 2022 the second-best year on record.1

It attributes this relative slowdown to affordability challenges and a lack of inventory but expects sales volume to remain high by historical standards. “Limited supply and higher prices are expected to tap the brakes on activity in 2022 compared to 2021, although increased churn in resale markets resulting from the COVID-related shake-up to so many people’s lives may continue to boost activity above what was normal before COVID-19.”6

What does it mean for you? The frenzied market we experienced last year required a drop-everything commitment from many of our clients, so a slower pace of sales should be a welcome relief. However, buyers should still be prepared to compete for the best properties. We can help you craft a compelling offer without compromising your best interests.

THE MARKET WILL BECOME MORE BALANCED

In 2021, we experienced one of the most competitive real estate markets ever. Fears about the virus, a shift to remote work, and economic stimulus triggered a huge uptick in demand. At the same time, many existing homeowners delayed their plans to sell, and supply and labour shortages hindered new construction. 

This led to an extreme market imbalance that benefitted sellers and frustrated buyers. According to Abhilasha Singh, an economist at Moody’s Analytics, “almost all indicators of housing market activity shot through the roof.” But, she continued, “The housing market is now showing signs of returning to earth.”7

The Royal Bank of Canada expects to see demand soften gradually as rising prices and interest rates push the cost of homeownership out of reach for many would-be buyers.3 And while the supply of available homes continues to remain low, according to Singh, “the pace of building in Canada remains elevated compared with historical averages thanks to low interest rates.”7

What does it mean for you? If you struggled to buy a home last year, there may be some relief on the horizon. Softening demand could make it easier to finally secure the home of your dreams. If you’re a seller, it’s still a great time to cash out your big equity gains! And with less competition and a slower pace of sales, you’ll have an easier time finding your next home. Reach out for a free consultation so we can discuss your specific needs and goals.

HOME PRICES LIKELY TO KEEP CLIMBING, BUT AT A SLOWER PACE

Nationwide, home prices rose an average of 19.9% in 2021. But the rate of appreciation is expected to slow down in 2022. The Canadian Real Estate Association forecasts that the national average home price will increase by 5.6% to $718,000 in 2022.6 

Singh of Moody’s Analytics agrees that price growth will slow this year and could “reach a near standstill in late 2022 but avoid any significant contractions.”7

However, some experts caution against a “wait and see” mentality for buyers. “Affordability is unlikely to improve [this] year as prices should march higher, even as interest rates creep upwards as well,” Rishi Sondhi, an economist at TD Economics, told Reuters. “We think rate hikes will weigh on, but not upend, demand, as the macro backdrop should remain supportive for sales.”8

What does it mean for you? If you’re a buyer who has been waiting on the sidelines for home prices to drop, you may be out of luck. Even if home prices dip slightly (and most economists expect them to rise) any savings are likely to be offset by higher mortgage rates. The good news is that decreased competition means more choice and less likelihood of a bidding war. We can help you get the most for your money in today’s market.

WE’RE HERE TO GUIDE YOU

While national real estate numbers and predictions can provide a “big picture” outlook for the year, real estate is local. And as local market experts, we can guide you through the ins and outs of our market and the local issues that are likely to drive home values in your particular neighbourhood. 

If you’re considering buying or selling a home in 2022, contact us now to schedule a free consultation. We’ll work with you to develop an action plan to meet your real estate goals this year.


Sources:

  1. Toronto Sun –
    https://torontosun.com/life/homes/real-estate-market-on-track-to-break-records
  2. National Post –
    https://nationalpost.com/life/homes/the-great-real-estate-cool-down-has-come
  3. Royal Bank of Canada –
    https://thoughtleadership.rbc.com/canadas-housing-market-run-has-more-in-the-tank/
  4. Canadian Mortgage Professional Magazine –
    https://www.mpamag.com/ca/mortgage-industry/industry-trends/how-likely-is-a-canada-housing-crash/315742
  5. Canadian Mortgage Trends –
    https://www.canadianmortgagetrends.com/2021/11/fixed-rate-increases-costing-todays-homebuyers-over-10000-more-in-interest/
  6. Canadian Real Estate Association –
    https://www.crea.ca/housing-market-stats/quarterly-forecasts/
  7. Moody’s Analytics –
    https://www.moodysanalytics.com/-/media/article/2021/10-canada-housing-market-outlook.pdf
  8. Reuters –
    https://www.reuters.com/article/canada-property-poll-idCAKBN2IM06V

20 Unique Home Gifts for Every Person on Your List

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Every year, it seems the holidays sneak up on us—and every year, that brings with it the dreaded last-minute gift panic. Finding a present that hits all the right notes can be surprisingly stressful, even when it comes to people you’ve known for years.

But have no fear! We’ve lined up a list of gifts for every “type” on your list. And since we work in real estate, they’re all centred around home life. From the coffee snob to the sports enthusiast, these presents are the perfect way to bring beauty, function or a touch of whimsy to your loved one’s home this holiday season.

FOR THOSE WHO ARE ALWAYS IN THE KITCHEN

We all know someone whose kitchen is their happy place—but once all the basics are covered, it can be hard to find the perfect present. These gifts will be a treat for the chef, baker, or food lover on your list, no matter how well equipped they are.

  1. The Coffee Snob
    Glass Pour-Over Coffeemaker – $75
    Have a java lover on your list who just can’t get their brew right at home? This high-end pour-over system makes a smooth brew that can even be refrigerated and reheated so your recipient can enjoy a perfect cup at any time.
  2. The Foodie
    Pink Oyster Mushroom Growing Kit – $65
    Help your favourite gourmand create restaurant-quality meals with this kit, which allows them to grow delicious mushrooms right in their cupboard. All they’ll need to do is soak the package and then mist it with water for a few days, and voila—delicious organic mushrooms!
  3. The Baker
    Vintage Etched Cake Stand – $87
    If you’re lucky enough to have a fabulous home baker on your list, give a gift that reflects the joy their treats bring to others. This lovely glass cake stand is the platform that a beautifully decorated dessert deserves.
  4. The Tea Aficionado
    Flowering Tea Set – $35
    Your favourite tea lover may have tried all of the herbal blends out there, but we bet they haven’t seen tea like this. This set contains two “blossoms” of tea leaves hand-sewn around flowers that bloom when you place them in the included glass teapot and add hot water.

FOR THOSE WHO WOULD RATHER BE IN THE BACKYARD

For many of us, time outdoors is the ultimate source of rejuvenation. The nature-lover on your list is sure to appreciate these presents that help them maximize that joy in their daily lives.

  1. The Gardener
    Large Garden Tote – $66
    Dedicated gardeners all need a great bag to carry their gear. This tote is attractive and sturdy and will help them keep their home’s exterior beautiful and welcoming.
  2. The Flower Lover
    Monthly Flower Subscription – starting at $60/month
    If your loved one prefers to enjoy their flora without all the work, a delivery of farm-fresh flowers is sure to surprise and delight. And you can keep the joy blossoming year-round with a weekly, semi-monthly or monthly subscription.
  3. The Environmentalist
    Reusable Stainless Steel Straws – $14
    Know someone who is trying to bring less plastic into their home? This set of reusable metal straws means they’ll never have to buy a box of plastic straws again. And the assortment of sizes ensures that they’ll work with anything from a tall glass of water to a to-go mug.
  4. The Outdoor Adventurer
    Solar Phone Charger – $50
    Have a camper or adventurer on your list? This solar-powered phone charger, which comes with a built-in flashlight and compass, is a must-have. It will also make a great addition to their home emergency kit.

FOR THOSE WITH THEIR NOSE TO THE GRINDSTONE

Like it or not, most of us spend a good chunk of our lives working—whether at a job or on projects and chores around the house. These gifts are designed to make that work a bit easier and more enjoyable.

  1. The Remote Worker
    Home Office Lap Desk – $45
    Working at home can be great—in part because you can work from anywhere in the house. The remote worker on your list will appreciate this lap desk with a built-in mouse pad and phone slot, which will allow them to work comfortably from the couch or the bed without overheating their computer.
  2. The Back-to-The-Office Worker
    Bento Lunch Box – $35
    If your loved one is heading back to the office, it doesn’t mean they have to give up the healthy habit of a home-cooked meal. Send them to work with this stylish lunch box packed full of nutritious food.
  3. The Do-It-Yourselfer
    Laser Measure – $35
    The handy person on your list can say goodbye to unwieldy tape measures with this nifty device. It’s perfect for DIY projects of any size.
  4. The Clean Freak
    UV Sanitizer and Charger – $70
    In the COVID-19 era, we’ve all become a little germaphobic. This UV smartphone sanitizer kills bacteria while it charges. Plus, its clever design enables you to hear your phone notifications while the device is in use.

FOR THOSE MOST PASSIONATE ABOUT THEIR HOBBIES

Of course, there’s a lot more to life than work. If you’re gifting a friend or family member who really lights up when they talk about their hobbies, we’ve got you covered.

  1. The Sports Enthusiast
    Hockey Stick BBQ Set – $61
    Looking for a gift for the sports enthusiast in your life that isn’t another jersey? These BBQ tools made from repurposed hockey sticks are a great pick. Perfect for cooking up food to watch with the game!
  2. The Bookworm
    The Book Lover’s Journal – $19
    Know someone who loves to curl up on the couch with a good book? This journal will help the book-lover on your list keep track of what they’ve read, as well as their ever-growing “to-read” list.
  3. The Runner
    Marathon Map Hydration Bottle – $49
    Help the runner you love to stay hydrated (and motivated) with a water bottle inscribed with their favourite race route. It’s perfect for runs around the neighbourhood or just toting around the house.
  4. The Tourist
    Travel Backpack – $120
    Make it easy for the travel lover on your list to bring back souvenirs. This lightweight backpack folds flat so it’s easy to pack but sturdy enough to carry their new treasures all the way home.

FOR THOSE WHO PUT FAMILY FIRST

For many of us, the greatest joy in life comes from our relationship with our family. Help your recipient strengthen and celebrate those all-important connections with these thoughtful gifts.

  1. The New Parent
    4-in-1 Baby Food Maker – $230
    It’s hard to know what to buy for new parents once their registry is cleared out, but if they’re interested in making baby food at home, this tool is a must-have. It makes the process, from steaming to mixing, fast and easy.
  2. The Genealogy Fan
    DNA Kit – $129
    Know someone interested in reconnecting with their ancestral home? This DNA kit can help them trace their geographical heritage and uncover their family history.
  3. The Dog Person
    Custom Printed Socks – $28
    Is your friend’s dog their favourite family member? These adorable socks are sure to put a smile on their face as they cozy up on the couch with their pup. And since you can feature up to two pets on each pair of socks, no one needs to feel left out.
  4. The Documentarian
    Mini Link Printer – $130
    We all have that relative who snaps a million photos at every family event. Help them capture each precious moment with this unique gadget that essentially transforms a smartphone into a Polaroid camera. It makes it easy to customize and print out snapshots to display around the house or insert into a scrapbook for posterity.

READY TO GIVE YOURSELF THE ULTIMATE GIFT?

We want to be your real estate consultants through every season of life. So please don’t hesitate to reach out with questions or to ask for recommendations or referrals any time of year. And when you’re ready to give yourself the gift of a new home, contact us to talk about your options. From finding the right neighbourhood to identifying the amenities that will make the biggest difference to your quality of life, we’re always eager to help.

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