As we enter the true dog days of Summer, it feels like the perfect time to share some quick thoughts and a Fall market prediction. No intro required, just dive in!
Thoughts On Elon Musk
Elon Musk is many different things to many different people. To some, he is a pasty, bloated narcissist who invented an overpriced car that runs out of power halfway up to the cottage. He is also the worst host ever of Saturday Night Live, which is a real achievement when you consider the sorry state of the show in recent years AND the fact that Kim Kardashian has also hosted. This is bad Elon.
But there is also good Elon. He has provided me with Starlink, which has revolutionized the cottage going experience. I remember going to the cottage as a kid, with a crappy metal rabbit ear satellite on the roof that you could rotate with a dial. In those days we got one TV channel – CKVR out of Barrie. Imagine a Summer spent watching nothing but non stop black and white reruns of Leave It To Beaver and Perry Mason. Simpler times indeed.
Now, up North, we have every channel and streaming service known to man, and I am currently writing this blog on the dock with a beer in my hand and scouting online for my fantasy football draft. Some might argue this takes away from getting fully immersed in nature, but I know which era I prefer.
Also consider that Elon is also about to go full Ivan Drago, and put Mark Zuckerberg down for a death nap just like Apollo in Rocky 4. So you take the good with the bad.
The Dream Of Affordable Housing Is Dead
Justin Trudeau has been having a bad month, even by his dismal standards. First, it was announced that he was separating from his wife after 18 years of marriage. That alone would be a body blow to the best of us, but Justin then doubled down and proceeded to give a sound bite in an interview that had the press roasting him like a pillowy white marshmallow on a Summer night.
Maybe he was distracted with his personal life, maybe he was day drinking to numb the pain, or maybe he just doesn’t give a fuck anymore. I won’t share the entire quote, but in a nationally televised speech he dropped the bomb that affordable housing “is not a primary federal responsibility, and not something we have direct carriage of”. Huh? That’s like your kid leaving a turd in the bowl and making you flush it.
The truth is I always knew this to be true, but it was still a shock to hear him actually say it. And therein lies the rub.
We have a federal government that wholeheartedly embraces immigration (which I have no problem with and I believe is necessary), but has zero interest in actually providing housing for them. And their leader has now washed his hands of the whole clusterfuck and openly admitted his strategy is to just pass the buck down. I guess there’s always that van, down by the river…
Those Hidden Marketing Fees
Marketing is obviously a huge part of the real estate industry, and to do it properly requires skill and money. Think about property photos, virtual tours, lifestyle videos and webpages. When done properly it can be dazzling and the sale price reflects that. But today I am celebrating the heroic, heavily discounted, bottom of the barrel agents, and how their marketing can sneak up on you in a different way.
Consider this scenario. I’m perusing the details of an MLS listing sheet, one in which the photos have clearly been taken with a cell phone. The brokerage remarks still list an offer date that passed a month ago, and the listing agent has a 705 area code number. Sadly you see this all the time.
Finally, I get to the bottom where the commission is detailed. Any reputable agent / brokerage will always offer 2.5% Plus HST. This is standard. But today I see 2.25% Plus HST – $100 Marketing Fee. Once again, sadly, you see this all the time too.
The first kick to the nuts is obviously the reduced commission, but what really has me intrigued is the $100 being held back for marketing. I need to know about this embattled agent that is willing to draw the ire of their hard working colleagues for $100. And please tell me what marketing you are doing with this $100. Tell me you are popping a bunch of edibles and posting a shitty TikTok video.
The Fall Market Will Be Strong
Crystal ball time now. I believe the Fall market is going to be a strong one, with robust prices. And here’s why:
- The BOC is going to hold the interest rate on September 6th. Many people believed they jumped the gun with the rate hike in July, and they won’t double down in September.
- Buyer demand is there. I can tell you from my own experience and from speaking with fellow realtors that there are lots of active buyers in the market. There is just nothing good to buy.
- Inventory will remain limited. As of this writing, 2023 is on track to have the lowest total sales since 2010. At this rate, even the pandemic afflicted 2020 will beat it by a wide margin, and there are zero indications this will change come September.
- The Summer market has shown signs of life. There have recently been some big sales, including a detached on Monarch Park Ave listed at $1,399,000 that sold for $1,913,000, and a semi on Roseheath Ave listed for $999,000 that sold for $1,401,000. These big sales tend to be harbingers of what is to come.
Throw in the blender a pause in interest rate hikes, strong buyer demand, low inventory and some hot Summer sales and that’s a spicy margarita.
Time for a margarita myself good people, enjoy what’s left of this beautiful Summer.