2023 has brought constantly rising interest rates, a spring peak before a rocky summer, skyrocketing rents and untenable mortgage rates. In Toronto, these issues have only exacerbated our already too-expensive market and lack of supply. If Streets of Toronto’s top real estate stories of the year are any indication, Torontonians spent this year looking for affordability wherever we could — here’s hoping for relief and stability in 2024!
We Torontonians had enough to worry about when it came to real estate this year, so a little bit of escapism might have been just what we needed! When Ontario’s own Jim Carrey listed his house for sale in June this year for a whopping $26.5 million, readers clamoured to find out all the details of this sprawling estate and see how the 1 per cent lives. To no one’s surprise, it involves too many bedrooms to count, a full-size tennis court, a waterfall swimming pool, a pool house with a bar, a sauna/steam room and, with a very Carrey-esque twist, a tranquil vegetable garden.
Sage advice from top CIBC economist Benjamin Tal has made our top five list for the second year in a row — and this time, it was his insights on how fast Toronto’s housing market was stabilizing back in the spring. Toronto, and all of Canada, experienced an unusually fast housing market recovery. Prices were soaring, sales were flying — and Tal told us that it was just too fast. And he was right! Look at us now. Prices are almost flat, new listings are much higher than this time last year and sales only increased month-over-month in November for the first time since June.
It’s a tale as old as time — parents stepping in to help their kids afford a home, and the cycle continues. But in this year’s precarious market, it’s become almost a necessity that for millennials and gen Z to enter the market, they rely on their parents for the bulk of the down payment (and maybe even co-owning the property). Our story on a few parents in the GTA who had done this for their kids clearly resonated with Torontonians, and six months later, young first time homebuyers are still turning to their relatives for support to make that first down payment.
When the pandemic hit, people fled to Ontario cottage country, snapping up lakefront properties with a dream of working remotely from there and never having to come back to the city again. But two years later, hybrid work became the trend and people who bought homes in cottage country were either splitting their time between the city and the cottage or trying to get rid of their new properties entirely. Thus, the price drops began — inventory flooded the market and values dropped. And while this story, published in July might have inspired a few city slickers to look to the cottage market to enter it while prices are low, skyrocketing interest rates made that more of a dream than a reality.
Cottage living was clearly on the mind this year! This story, published just a few months before the price drop story, was one our top performing stories of the entire year across every category, indicating that readers might have been considering buying in cottage country during that spring peak when the real estate market was starting to stabilize. With tips and tricks on where to look for the best bang for your buck, the story highlighted North Frontenac and the Rideau Lakes as two up-and-coming locales to consider.