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What could happen in 2023

The central bank tightening and interest rate hikes that we saw last year will come to an end in the first quarter of 2023 as inflation gets under control. This will ultimately lead to a recession but my sense is that it will be more mild than severe. For this reason, I don’t think anyone should expect ultra-low rates to return in the short-term.

Much of the real estate sector went on pause in the second half of 2022. But ultimately this reset to a more balanced market is going to be necessarily painful for some. And I think we will see that pain play out in the first half of the year. This will obviously be bad for some, but it will create opportunities for others.

Construction costs tempered in the second half of 2022 and started to show some evidence of price softening. I think we will see more of this in 2023, which will be healthy for the market. Cost management over the last few years has been a meat grinder for the development industry.

Pre-construction condominium sales for well-located projects will return in a more fulsome way by the spring. This will be driven by buyers now having clarity around where interest rates will be hanging out in the short-term and, in the case of Canada’s largest cities, by record-high immigration levels.

For the tertiary/fringe housing markets that saw big run ups in pricing during the pandemic, I unfortunately think it will take many years for prices to fully rebound. The price increases we saw in these submarkets were of course a result of low rates, but it was also driven by a view on urban decentralization that in my view did not actually materialize.

The desire to add more housing to single-family neighborhoods will continue to pick up steam across North America. How exactly this plays out will be market specific, but in Toronto I expect to see new planning policies put in place, as well as supportive building code changes.

Public transit ridership will remain below pre-pandemic levels throughout 2023. This will continue to exacerbate public finances.

Autonomous taxis will grow rapidly this year. Companies, such as Cruise, will expand into a number of new US markets and, at some point during the year, I will take my very first ride in an autonomous vehicle.

2023 will be a big year for augmented reality and “phygital” goods. Last year I thought Apple would release a new product in this space. That didn’t happen, but it will this year. At the same time, we will see more companies releasing products that blur the lines between our online and offline worlds (hence “phygital”). This will include NFTs and other crypto-related things that will start to operate more seamlessly in the background of consumer-facing products/services.

I continue to be bullish on Ethereum and I think it will overtake Bitcoin in terms of market cap in the next 2-3 years. But I was very wrong about Solana last year. And now I am struggling with its value proposition. Today, layer 2 chains such as Polygon feel more likely to win out. Broadly speaking, I suspect 2023 will be a positive year for crypto, but not a record-setting one.

In summary, I think we are going to see more pain at the beginning of 2023, but that on the other side of it will be healthier and more balanced markets. This means that we can look forward to the end of the year feeling much better than it does right now. All of this said, please keep in mind that I’m often wrong and that nothing in this post should be construed as actual advice.

Happy 2023, friends. I’m excited to get going.

1 Comment so far

  1. Pingback: What could happen in 2023 - POSTOLINK

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