I will keep this brief as I think it is about time I started my Christmas shopping.

I know what you’re thinking.  “Shopping for Christmas today Jeff?  That’s crazy talk!  Why shop today when it’s only the 23rd?  You have all day tomorrow to shop.”

I know that technically you’re right, but call me old fashioned.  I like to get my shopping done early, so I’m off to the mall.  Just run in, grab some presents and run out.  It will take an hour, tops.

If I waited until tomorrow, I imagine it’ll be pretty busy at the mall.  The thought of all those last-minute shoppers running around looking for presents make me glad I planned ahead to shop today.

I recently heard a statistic about another busy day.  It turns out that the busiest day of the year for the public multiple listing service (MLS) at www.realtor.ca is January 1st.

I was initially pretty surprised at that but the more I thought about it, the more it made sense.

With January 1st being a day off for pretty much everyone, spending some time looking at houses for sale is a relaxing way to recover from New Year’s Eve.

If you are one of those people who are going to spend some time on the 1st looking at houses, I’ll share a few things you should know.

  1. January is historically the month where the fewest sales take place. According to the Toronto Real Estate Board, January typically sees about 1/3 of the number of sales of May, which is typically the month when the most sales take place.  Click on the chart below to see the fullsize version, with the number of sales each month over the past three years.

  1. While December is the absolute lowest month in terms of number of new listings, January comes in second, with under 10,000 new listings in all of the GTA in January last year. If you’re looking on January 1st, I can assure you that you’ll only be seeing the December listings, so make sure you look again in a few weeks as this is the lowest time of year for number of listings.  Click on the chart below to see the fullsize version, with the number of new listings each month over the past three years.

  1. If you’re looking for a bargain, January is your best bet. The average resale home price in the GTA has been at its lowest for more than three years running.  I think that trend will continue this year, with January being the time when home buyers are most likely to save a few bucks on their purchase.  Click on the chart below to see the fullsize version, with the average resale home price each month over the past three years.

If you or someone you like is considering buying a home in 2017, please reach out to me.  I’d love to be responsible for what comes next.



PS – Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!



A staircase is not just a way of getting from one floor to another.  The stair itself is a space, a volume, a part of the building; and unless this space is made to live, it will be a dead spot, and work to disconnect the building and to tear its processes apart.

What I like about this lesson is the idea of having a staircase perform double duty.  In most houses, they are utilitarian, simply a way to go up and down a level.

This lesson gives us the idea that we can flare out the bottom of the stairs and by widening the steps, make it a useful part of the room rather than simple a way in or out.  People coming down the stairs are part of the action immediately and people below will naturally use the stairs for seats.