Toronto Real Estate Newsletter December 2023 – Kinnear’s Komments

Vol. 31, Issue 7, December 2023

Julie's Scoop

Best of the holiday season to you! Wow! Not sure about you, but I’m gradually getting into the spirit. Personally feeling grateful for many blessings - including my team around me, our unique JKT community bond, and good health. This Fall I had the good fortune of doing 2 nice trips including travelling with my Mom to see my brother Alec & family in Kittsee Austria (near border of Slovakia & its capital city Bratislava) The 3 nephews - aged 8, 4, 3 are growing up! What a joy it is to swoop in and have such fun together. The distance geographically fell away. Brenda and I also took a special 4 day side trip to Prague (which lived up to the hype! Highly recommend).

Walking, biking, scootering & rollerblading to the park with Mom Lucia & Grandma Brenda.

Hilarious fun trick or treating with the Pilot, Power Ranger & Ghost in Austria.

Getting away with Mary to Mexico for my birthday in late November was so nice and sunny.

Gotta love when the hotel decorates your door at the resort - special celebration!

Infinity pool overlooking the Caribbean Sea.



Lots going on personally with the team, including Emily’s big news of deciding to sell and move their family back into the Beaches, where she and Scott grew up and their kids are so excited about walking to school. Jay loves visiting family in Vancouver and Holly is planning a trip to Spain.

Plenty of action and changes happening in the real estate market & industry… Between the new TRESA rules offering options for buyers and sellers in their relationships with realtors as well as offers, the short term rental rules, what the changes in different taxes mean, along with the mortgage rates staying steady.

It is good news that we have seen stability in Bank of Canada interest rates - the last increase was July 12 / 23. Over the past few weeks, the longer term mortgage rates have slowly begun a downward trend, a pattern that experts predict will persist into next year. Re: the mortgage stress test:

  • The mortgage stress test is lessening because rates are coming down.
  • All insured mortgages don't have to qualify with stress test on renewal (less than $1 mil purchase price to start with - can’t change amortization or increase mortgage)
  • In most cases people are renewing with existing lenders because generally speaking, lenders have been really aggressive in keeping their clients.

The Fall market continued to be challenging for sellers who had hoped for peak prices. The good news is that in recent weeks, there has been a noticeable uptick. At this time of year, that is definitely a positive sign. Other signs - steady # of sales, our buyer clients dealing with 7-12 offers on some homes, some properties selling extremely quickly. Particularly in the million dollar price range, it’s hopping. The over $3 mil in the premium Toronto neighbourhoods have low inventory and many are still selling swiftly. Interestingly, we are also seeing homes that were listed for multiple months have now sold (that being a combo of the sellers reducing to a more attractive range, and buyers pouncing at the revised price).

The key always is to balance what is right for your future and family as it is impossible to time the market. It can be less tumultuous when you buy and sell in the same market, as you benefit either on the buy side or the sell side. Long term purchases / moves are highly advised to ride out some of the ups and downs.


  • Vacant home tax - increases to 3% from 1% assessed value. Be sure to send in your updated status with the City again for 2023..
  • Land Transfer Tax in the City of Toronto portion is increasing in the $3 mil and over range. The key point is that the increase happens only in the portion above $3 million so it is confusing and not quite as drastic as it sounds. Ie. Purchase of $3.5 mil Land Transfer Tax increases by $5000 more than it was in 2023.

We are happy to help guide you through these questions and changes.

guiding you home™,


P.S. Hold your loved ones close this holiday season be it physically or virtually. This is a good time to reflect on your priorities for the coming year and enjoy a moment of gratitude.

P.P.S. Check out the JKT Spotlight section about Margot McWhiter - one of our long time clients. If you or a family member or friend is looking for ways to EXTEND living in your home during aging or disabilities - Margot McWhirter and her company can help!

Quote of the Day: 


Krazy Kontest Winners…Kongratulations!

Krazy Kontest Winner… Love supporting LOCAL! We also love the restaurants they chose!

Kongrats to November winner Patrick Rokowski! Patrick chose Eden Trattoria at 58 Marine Parade in Humber Bay Shores for his $75 gift card to a favourite local restaurant!

December winner will be announced on Dec 16th!

Still time to enter HERE!!!


The JKT - A few of our Favourite Things:


  • North of Brooklyn Pizzeria - While showing homes to my dear clients in the Wychwood neighbourhood, they commented they were near their favourite local haunt – North of Brooklyn Pizzeria. Feeling peckish after an evening of showing homes, I took a short walk to enjoy two delicious slices and a cold one. I wasn’t disappointed. It is now one of my go-to places – North of Brooklyn Pizzeria.


  •  Libby - the Toronto Public Library online borrowing system & App. It is so technologically advanced and so easy to borrow books to read or audio versions or magazines and the press. Even if there is a wait list, it goes fast. Cheap and easy. It is an amazing resource. Go get your library card today for FREE!
  • Quetzal Restaurant - Contemporary, high end … Mexican near College and Spadina. The restaurant earned its first Michelin star in 2022, & won the exceptional cocktails award for 2023. Definitely part of the trendy Toronto foodie scene. La comida is truly OUTSTANDING. Staff was super attentive and service was superior. Old school manners. Very interesting after recently dining very well on our trip to Mexico



Here is Aurelien and Julian comfy in their new jammies!


  • Peace Collective - notice her son Will wearing one of their sweatshirts sporting one of their iconic logos - Home is Canada
  • Peter Pan Bistro - Located right at Queen St W and Peter, a great place for fantastic eggs benny and brunch. Don't miss the Mimosa's made with fresh squeezed OJ. A french bistro vibe, with funky art and comfy booths along one side.


  • Tranquility Garden Design - Holly referred her amazing gardeners "Tranquility Garden Design" to Julie too- this is one their seasonal urns which gets lots of compliments.

Market Watch ~ Adjusted home prices ~ Mortgage rates are stable

High borrowing costs and uncertain economic conditions continued to weigh on Greater Toronto Area (GTA) home sales in November 2023. Sales were down on a year-over-year basis, while listings were up from last year’s trough in supply. With more choice in the market, selling prices remained basically flat year-over-year.

“Inflation and elevated borrowing costs have taken their toll on affordability. This has been no more apparent than in the interest rate-sensitive housing market. However, it does appear relief is on the horizon. Bond yields, which underpin fixed rate mortgages have been trending lower and an increasing number of forecasters are anticipating Bank of Canada rate cuts in the first half of 2024. Lower rates will help alleviate affordability issues for existing homeowners and those looking to enter the market,” said Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) President Paul Baron.

GTA REALTORS® reported 4,236 sales through TRREB’s MLS® System in November 2023 – a 6% decline compared to November 2022. Over the same period, the number of new listings was up by 16.5%. On a seasonally adjusted monthly basis, sales edged up compared to October 2023, while new listings were down by 5.5%t.

The MLS® Home Price Index Composite benchmark and the average selling price, at $1,082,179, in November 2023 were basically flat in comparison to November 2022. On a seasonally adjusted monthly basis, the MLS® HPI Composite benchmark was down by 1.7%. The average selling price was down 2.2% month over month.

“Home prices have adjusted from their peak in response to higher borrowing costs. This has provided some relief for buyers, from an affordability perspective. As mortgage rates trend lower next year and the population continues to grow at a record pace, expect demand to increase relative to supply. This will eventually lead to renewed growth in home prices,” said TRREB Chief Market Analyst Jason Mercer.

“Houses and condos are meant to be homes, first and foremost. We know the demand for homes, both rental and ownership, will grow for years to come. We have seen some productive policy decisions recently that should help with housing affordability, including allowing existing insured mortgage holders to switch lenders without the stress test. Additionally, in the interest of household and economic stability, we continue to call on the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) to apply the same approach to uninsured mortgages. It also goes without saying that further policy work is required to bring more supply online,” said TRREB CEO John DiMichele.

Mortgage Rates 

You might think that the bank you’re with is going to give you the best rate on your mortgage. Many times, you’d be incorrect.

The person you really want to speak to is a mortgage lender. All they do all day is mortgages. Many of them even have special programs that can make buying a home more affordable.

Having a pre-approval letter is essential. It also lets you know exactly how much you can afford, as online estimates are rarely accurate.

Feeling like Giving Back? 

Daily Bread Food Bank

Can’t say enough about this amazing organization. At this time of year, let’s support those who need it most. The JKT have volunteered here numerous times and are in awe of the difference they make.

If you are in the position to pay it forward, please donate to a favourite charity at this time. 💕

The Julie Kinnear Team's GEMs (Genuine Evidence of Merit)

A company's success is strongly impacted by the customer reviews and for those of us in real estate, Google reviews and Facebook reviews create the biggest impact. We are asking for your help to go online and add your input and we will happily donate to a charity of your choice for your efforts!

You can do it on Google Maps here (it's very very important that youwrite a comment as well in addition to the rating), or you can also leave the same review on JKT's Facebook page here by clicking on "Yes" next to the "Do you recommend the JKT?" It's true, 5* reviews are almost  as precious as a referral nowadays!  


Spotlight on Margot McWhirter, MA, OT Reg. (Ont.) Accessibility & Aging-in-Place Consultant 

Here at the JKT, it is not only about you buying or selling, as much as it is that we are here for you and any of your real estate needs. In this case it is about staying in your home as long as you can/wish.

Margot McWhirter of Inclusive Aging

More than your average homecare occupational therapist (OT), Margot McWhirter of Inclusive Aging applies her 30+ years’ experience to help navigate the (un)anticipated transitions of middle & later life. She works with clients, families, and care partners to assess, recommend, and coordinate home safety equipment & modifications, personal care & community support, and patient & caregiver education to help you live life to the fullest - wherever you call home.

Reach out to Margot for a no-cost, no-obligation discovery call if you (or loved ones) are:
- planning a renovation project of your ‘forever home’ - especially bathrooms and kitchens!
- curious about attractive, functional features that maintain or even add to your home’s value
- struggling to cope with short- or long-term mobility or medical issues
- unsure who to call, what to do, or where to start searching for government-funded and/or private-pay elder care and housing options

Website: Email: Tel.: 416-488-5280

What They Got - More of our happy buyers & sellers!

A continuing column of the Julie Kinnear Team's sales...

5444 Yonge St #1502
in North York - Willowdale
~ SOLD (represented buyer)

801 Bay Street #909 | Central Toronto - Downtown ~ SOLD (represented seller)

16 Parkman Avenue | West Toronto - The Junction Triangle ~ SOLD OVER ASKING (represented seller)

34 Glendonwynne Road | West Toronto - Bloor West Village ~ SOLD (represented seller)



170 Avenue Road #1607 Yorkville $829,900
~ Incredible price! Rarely available 2 bed 2 bath unit at the luxury building "Pears On The Avenue"!

1 owned underground parking spot
1 owned locker located next to parking

Amazing price! More details in here. 

57 Brock Avenue #403 | Central Toronto - Brockton Village ~ Brand new never been lived in! One bedroom plus amazing separate den. Den large enough to be used as an office or guest room. Snazzy. Open concept kitchen living-dining room with walk-out to terrace and tree top views to the west. Fabulous location! Gorgeous new building with concierge located a short walk north of Queen St West and all amenities.More details in here

Did You Know? We have a large number of awesome trusted realtors in different towns and communities across Ontario, Canada and Internationally. Just get in touch so we can introduce you.

Our Purpose

Our purpose is for you to be so outrageously happy with the service we provide that you gladly refer us to your friends and family before you've even bought or sold with us.

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