As the whole world sits inside their homes, practicing social distance and working from home to avoid being infected by the coronavirus. The majority of industries are at a standstill and almost all major sports leagues around the world have either wrapped up their seasons or are going to continue later in June.
Economies worldwide have been wrecked too. Despite stimulus injected by the U.S, Canadian, German and other governments of developed nations; layoffs have still occurred. The real estate industry managed to survive and then started to thrive, thanks to the usage of video conferencing and virtual tour tools. These tools are also helping the automotive industry recover from the shocks of the COVID-19.
The COVID-19 is the formal name of the novel coronavirus. When the virus made its way to Canada and that too through Ontario, in March & April; the message of most top-notch realty and real estate firms to clientele was clear: it is best to Pause, watch and wait.
Even if the listing of Toronto condos for sale looks quite attractive, buyers and sellers alike need to wait and see the market conditions because uncertainty still prevails.
No one knew to what extent the virus would affect Toronto. No one was sure if hospitals in Toronto, Ontario, or Canada would be able to cope with the disease and what kind of government support would be available was also never thought of.
The capital markets? Stock exchange? No one could ever predict how they could perform. No one ever thought that the real estate industry would start using e-conferencing tools to a large extent. These tools made it to apparel and automotive purchases too.
However, this is not the time to purchase or sell a home.
Eights weeks have passed – what has happened up till now?
No one has all the answers. But here are some things we Canadians know without any doubt.
Municipal and provincial governments (as well as the Government of Canada) are covering Canada
All municipal and provincial governments in Canada, in collaboration with the federal government; introduced dozens of programs to help bridge the gap between people, communities, organizations, businesses, and the economy in the pandemic.
The programs were not perfect, and a lot of organizations and businesses endured difficulties. Nevertheless, Canada weathered the storm and consistently demonstrated its commitment to making decisions based on facts, choosing to help people instead of going for material gains and moving forward united as a nation.
For a large part, Canadian banks showed their customers grace and compassion during the worst parts of the pandemic.
They honored mortgage commitments, processed mortgage deferrals without much questions and pre-pandemic sales were able to be transferred to their new owners on time. They also embraced digital signatures, allowing sales to close in without any personal meetings of buyers/sellers with their lawyers. Even the worst-case scenarios real estate businesses prepared themselves for did not happen.
Interest rates are low and will remain like that for quite some time
A long road to economic recovery lies ahead for Canadians.
Toronto still is one of the best cities in the world today
That being said, all neighbors and communities joined hands together and supported everyone, keeping all local businesses active and afloat.
Home is where our heart is and is integral to everyone’s life
Home is always important, pandemic, or not. No real estate company will be overlooking pending processes. Rather, they will be doing all they can to make sure that buyers in need are facilitated as much as possible (same goes for the sellers too).
Still, uncertainty prevails because of the coronavirus. However, breakthroughs have been made and a vaccine is on its way. The province of Ontario is slowly reopening its economy and the real estate sector is benefitting from it.
As the Toronto real estate market starts to remove the pause from itself, real estate businesses and professionals will be treading softly and will be monitoring the situation carefully and closely. They certainly will not hype residential properties for sale.
The situation of Toronto’s real estate before and after COVID-19 explained briefly
Before the COVID-19 outbreak, Toronto was experiencing some of the most unusual conditions in the history of its real estate market. Buyers flocked to see new listings with seemingly affluent finances and an insatiable appetite for purchasing expensive houses and condos.
Sellers, on the other hand, practiced and repeated their habit of delays in listing their homes for sale until spring. This created some of the fiercest bidding wars Canadians have ever seen.
The reality of the novel coronavirus became evident in the mid of March. Canada soon came under lockdown and a state of emergency. Buyers and Sellers stayed in their homes and sales volumes of homes fell by 70% in April this year. Though prices were higher than that of last year, they fell from their all-time highs in March.
Where is the heat coming from now?
Previously, the market was dominated by calls from sellers in panic and desperate buyers. Now the market is pretty much in the balance. But everyone is cautious as they are unsure about new safety protocols and how buying & selling real estate has changed.
The market is seeing activity and motivation from:
- First-time buyers finally hoping to make it in the market.
- Buyers looking to move to suburbs with more private greener spaces, bigger homes, and lower population density.
- People separating from their spouses.
- Upgraders and up-sizers looking to take advantage of a slow market in obtaining their own home.
- Professionals looking for different kinds of communities and spaces to accommodate freelance working capability and freedom.
- Essential professionals (nurses, doctors, etc.) who were unable to pause the pandemic.
- Buyers looking for a second home having secure income and good down payments looking for a retreat this summer.
Real estate companies are soon to see increased interest from
- Investors looking to sell their condos occupied by tenants with arrears.
- Airbnb owners facing restrictions and costs due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
- Families looking for multi-purpose and multi-generation homes to avoid long-term care facilities.
- Sellers in need of selling due to financial and job changes as well as mortgage deferrals and government support programs.
- Buyers and investors looking to capitalize on opportunities.
With prices coming down, interest rates being low, Torontonians being united and the city re-opening slowly, the real estate market is also beginning to thaw. Though the market remains cautious, buyers and sellers will now get the opportunity to be back in business, once again.
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