Despite Fluvid & Rising Interest Rates, The Shelter Prize Is Safety & Convenience When You Live In Swansea, Toronto

COVID-19 & Toronto Real Estate, Finance, Junction / High Park / Bloor West / Swansea, Swansea / High Park / Bloor West Village, Tales From The Real Estate Trenches

I’m Steve Fudge, and I’m a property consultant and seasoned realtor in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Welcome to my blog on housing, culture, and design, where I explore all the facets of real estate, shelter, and home. Today I’m sharing my thoughts on living in the time of Fluvid,  our current market conditions amidst rising interest rates and high inflation, and the convenience of living in a fantastic central city location.

 

 

Living Life In The Time Of Fluvid

Even as Canadian households attempt to return to their pre-Coronavirus patterns of Life/Work/School Balance, we’re also collectively in the midst of navigating ‘Fluvid’ (and by this I don’t mean the Video Recording Software), which appears to be a reiteration of a similar but very different health crisis I fear is becoming part of our globe’s everyday norm. Rather than living in hindsight, my intuition says our safety and survival rely on keeping our focus on the future, including adopting a number of lessons from the pandemic we may have to endure for the unforeseen future. For example, since my June 2020 assessment of how COVID-19 Will Change How We Design Our Homes, I’ve found consumers prioritize a dwelling with a large covered front porch or an enclosed air-lock foyer that can be a transition space between inside and out (including a secure place for Amazon packages to combat theft), a Work From Home Office (or two) for quiet contemplation or concentration, the preference for private outdoor space, and having self-contained sleeping/bathing options for extended or multi-generational families after Long Term Care homes failed to provide sufficient protection of our elders from the virus.

The Space Race for bigger houses on larger lots in the suburbs and exurbs was the penultimate healthy and safety status marker for Ontarians during the pandemic, particularly after the Bank Of Canada lowered interest rates and, through quantitative easing, flooded the market with cheap mortgage money. As we witnessed, it fueled an already frothy Canadian housing market and, in concert with supply chain woes and other factors resulted in run-away inflation that spurred the unanticipated Rising Interest Rates that will eventually – I fear – cause a reversal of fortunes for many.

 

 

 

Demand Versus Supply

Despite all of this, there are still many many buyers who are keen to secure a property in the original City of Toronto. How do I know? Well, in the third week of September, one of our Buyers was one of 57 Offers On A Scarborough Bungalow, which was a strong indicator of demand still outstripping supply. Yes, several buyers have retracted from the market (speculators and investors, for example), but the number of listings has also dropped. In fact, new listings were down by 11.6 percent year-over-year and reached an October level not seen since 2010. And the total number of sales posted on the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board’s MLS is half of the number of trades in October 2021. What does this mean for Buyers? Well, for many it means if their objective is to find a place to put down roots for years, if not decades, in a Forever Home if the numbers work it Makes Sense To Buy A Home In A Declining Market.

 

 

 

Yes, Toronto Property Values Have Dropped

Centrally-located houses and condos in Toronto that sold in the Spring Market Peak (January through April 2022) have, over the past six months, tumbled in value by as much as 30% depending on your location. Excuse me? In what locations you ask? For example, a 700-square-foot condo with deeded parking and locker near St. Lawrence Market that we sold mid-June for $740,000 ($1057/sf) garnered 7.5% less than the sale of a near-identical unit 2 floors lower in the same building 90 days earlier in mid-March (for $1143/sf), whereas a suite 6% larger than the one we sold mid-June just sold at the beginning of November (4.5 months later) for $640,000 (or $859/sf). In September, we sold a detached 3-bed dwelling with a main floor family room addition and private drive near Danforth & Woodbine for $1,390,000. Our Sellers had had their house appraised by their lender for $1,440,000 in February and an additional $80,000 was subsequently spent attending to deficiencies in advance of listing, which extrapolates to a 9% decrease in value in that 7-month time span. On the west side, a detached 3bed ready-for-a-refresh square plan Edwardian with a private drive on a 30×123 foot lot with as-of-right approvals for a 1700+sf Garden Suite sold at the end of January for $2,165,000 but never closed because the bank appraisal fell short (we saw a lot of this across Ontario in the Spring Market). It was subsequently relisted and eventually sold in mid-October (a month ago) for $1,700,000 or 27% less.

 

 

 

Have Car, Will Walk

If you ask me, the ideal lifestyle isn’t about living behind gilded gates removed from the masses, but about being in a perfect pad situated in a dynamic neighbourhood that offers immediate access to all the must-haves an urbanite could want, including cafes, retailers, and purveyors of extraordinary delights, leisure & culture hot spots, plus every mode of transportation to all points north, south, east, and west. And I thought a great way to demonstrate this is by sharing what I like about a semi-detached house we have listed for sale in Toronto’s Swansea Neighbourhood – where you’re rarely for want of anything.

One of the pillars of urban living is enjoying superior convenience and choice just beyond your front door. Depending on your daily wishes or needs, you should be able to stroll or roll easily to where they’ll be fulfilled! And when life requires you to head a little further afield, having quick and easy access to public transit is a must – so you can spend more time where you need to be, and less time getting there.

After all, isn’t that what a vibrant urban life is all about?

There are numerous benefits to a pedestrian lifestyle, which I have written about a number of times, including in this post about The Real Financial, Emotional And Health Costs Of Commuting. Being able to walk or bike – as a means of transportation or simply for fresh air and exercise – contributes in no small way to mental and physical health. (It’s also good for the health of the planet!)

Walkable neighbourhoods are known to foster greater community, as well.  It makes sense; instead of being cloistered behind the wheel of a car (individually, in gridlock), connected neighbourhoods allow you to spend more hours interacting and immersed in your community in real time.

One of the lessons that urban planners are taking to heart from the pandemic, is the myriad of benefits for traffic flow, infrastructure, and public health when walkable and bike-friendly areas are the hub of your urban core. In fact, as this BlogTO article shares the City of Toronto is installing 3.5 kilometres of bikeways in the Bloor West area, which includes contra-flow bike lanes and traffic signals, a reduction in on-street parking spaces, and modifications to vehicle travel directions in an effort to make the area more cyclist friendly.

 

 

 

Ultimate Urban Experience – Defined 

I think that we can all agree that living in the ‘centre of it all’ is highly desirable. It’s one thing to discuss that experience in ideological terms, but how does one determine the potential ‘level’ of benefit at a given address?

Easy! You employ the metrics that have been created to reflect just that: walk scores, bike scores, and transit scores! I’ve written how these metrics are determined in this post: Walk Score: The Measure Of A Pedestrian-Friendly City. With just a few quick taps on your phone, these scores can give you a broad sense of how connected a location is, and what the movements and patterns of daily life might look like for those who live there.

So what does it mean to reside at an address with nearly perfect Walk, Transit and Bike Scores? It means having a lot of choice and convenience at your fingertips – that is for sure!

Take our listing in Swansea, for example.  It’s south of Bloor, west of Runnymede with a Walk Score of 86, a Transit Score of 82, and a Bike Score of 73. Enjoy the confidence of knowing that most of your daily errands can be met walking five minutes north to Bloor West Village! Cross off those ‘To-Dos’ lickety-split! Doctor appointment across the city? Meeting friends for dinner and dancing? Plentiful public transit options are nearby to get you there quickly and easily! From your Swansea abode, you can hop on the Bloor Danforth Line at Runnymede Station by walking 5 minutes north!

Are bike lanes beckoning? If you prefer to cycle to your date, it’s easy-peasy when living at this address!  It’s a 5-minute stroll to Neil Mclellan Park opposite Runnymede Subway Station where you can rent one of 10 Bike Share cycles, or a 10-minute stroll to Swansea Community Centre where there are 14 Bike Share cycles! Don’t have a car? For those times when you need a little more storage space (that IKEA couch isn’t going to fit on your handlebars!) Zipcar will save the day with an exchange zone a 6-minute walk from 48 Deforest Road to Mike’s No Frills located at 2187 Bloor Street West!

Flying out of town to visit family or friends? When heading out of the city the last thing you want is to stress over departure times when laden with luggage. Luckily, you can Uber to the Union Pearson Express Bloor Station in just 7 minutes for $12 and catch a UPexpress train to the airport every 15 or 30 minutes (depending on whether it’s a weekday or weekend) and arrive 25 minutes later! How amazing is that?

And this particular address has dreamy pedestrian-friendly destinations for shopping, dining, and living life large, with Bloor Street Village and a host of cool eateries, bars, cultural institutions, and Rennie Park + High Park within grasp!

Next time you’re bored on a sunny Sunday afternoon, or you’re eyeing a long list of pragmatic errands to run here, there, and everywhere, take a moment and imagine how different your life might be living within a connected ‘hood and enjoying ultimate convenience!

 


 

Love Swansea as we do? Check out our new listing at 48 Deforest Road!

Here’s a family residence we think everyone should see. This 3bed, 2bath, renovated semi-detached home (with a finished lower level and semi-detached one-car garage) boasts countless modern upgrades and represents a tremendous opportunity! This property is SOLD.

 

A Splendid Semi-Detached Residence In Family-Friendly Swansea

 

 


 

We SOLD this great 3bed 4bath townhome we called A Stylish Family-Friendly Townhouse In Desirable Swansea. It truly was an urban oasis!

 

 


 

We also SOLD this handsomely restored and renovated  Stately Purpose-Built Duplex With Lower Level Suite, Steps To High Park !

 

 

Plus we SOLD Sun-Soaked Swell Dwell In Swansea for $576k over asking!!

 

 

And this Vintage Bungalow Perched On The Slopes Of Morningside Avenue we SOLD for $651k over asking!!

 

 


 

Did you enjoy this blog?

 

Here is a sprinkling of the amenities and services we love in Swansea!

How Toronto’s Original BIA Betters Bloor West Village & The Surrounding Communities (+ Holiday Events!)

Buck’s Hard Goods: A Big Bucking Deal In Bloor West Village!

Sporting Fish-Eating Grins At Snappers Fish Market

Cycling The West Toronto Railpath

Born To Ride: Exploring High Park And Beyond By Bicycle

A Lotta Love For Toronto’s High Park

Rennie Park Is My Swansea Sanctuary

Stepping Back In Time In The Village of Swansea, Toronto

 


 

Now more than ever, it is essential to plan a well-researched, data-driven, tactical strategy if you are in the market for a new home. Especially in changing times, when the pandemic has prompted many to shift their focus and objectives. Have yours changed? Please know The Urbaneer team is here to help!

May we be of assistance to you, or someone you love?

 

 

The Urbaneer Team

Steven Fudge, Sales Representative
& The Innovative Urbaneer Team
Bosley Real Estate Ltd., Brokerage – (416) 322-8000

– we’re here to earn your trust, then your business –

 

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