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Ontario Real Estate During COVID-19

While outdoor engagements and personal interactions are still on the decline and under total lockdown, real estate prices are on a record surge and are seemingly not suffering from lockdown side effects. The astounding question is why and how?


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COVID has altered our perception of everyday living and life has now become entirely focused at home. As we witnessed, 2020 was a year spent in relearning and restructuring home living. Our mantra had become live, work and play at home. We are now again driven back into our homes as 2021 seems like a reroll of 2020. 

While outdoor engagements and personal interactions are still on the decline and under total lockdown, real estate prices are on a record surge and are seemingly not suffering from lockdown side effects. The astounding question is why and how? There appear to be a few reasons the pandemic has become a tail-wind for the real estate industry. As everyone has been restricted to their homes, it makes complete sense that people would like to buy better, more functional homes to facilitate their new lifestyles. A better backyard to spend their days and nights out, more rooms to adjust a home-office and at-home classes, or simply a larger space. Also, at such a pensive time, people are rethinking their lifestyle decisions. Do they want to live city-side or country-side, should they move to another country, closer to family or simply trying to decide if they should invest in a second property for income. 

With the pandemic, interest rates have taken another nose dive and show no signs of reversing back higher. This is undoubtedly contributing to increased demand for homes by first-time and repeat buyers. Ontario has become a hot seller’s market and frankly, it doesn’t look like it will cease being so anytime soon. Conventional wisdom would say “buy low, sell high”, but how do we know when the top is in? The answer is, we don’t. So most go with the trend and hold on to what we have or even buy second or third properties. 

Conventional wisdom would say “buy low, sell high”, but how do we know when the top is in?


On the contrary the only aspect of real estate that has taken a hit are owners of city condos, for both renting and selling. Tenants are moving out, finding competitively priced spaces and homes amid the downfall of value of downtown real-estate, or deciding to finally become home-owners. Downtown, always a hot spot for great restaurants and accessibility, has now become a bit of a wasteland. Those who purchased condos for a lucrative return are now in a conundrum of what to expect. The only reassurance realtors have is that when the market rises and part of the former normalcy returns, downtown will once again become a hotspot for those who love the city life and are looking for work. 

“Tenants are moving out, finding competitively priced spaces and homes amid the downfall of value of downtown real-estate, or deciding to finally become home-owners.”


Whats Next?


It has become a situation where new buyers must “buy high and sell higher”, hoping that the future value of their home purchase will be greater than their purchase price. However, we all know, hope is not a strategy, so taking steps like locking in a 5-yr fixed mortgage and buying a fixer-upper in a good neighborhood are a few ways buyers can protect their purchase from any steep drops in home prices that may come along. 

The pandemic has mostly wiped out our plans for travel, ambitious projects and many family and friend gatherings but it has allowed all of us to focus on what the home means to us. It has given us an opportunity to invest further in our homes and our lives with our families and value our time with them. During this weird and unprecedented time, it’s not hard to see why we are all comforted but also uneasy about the real estate market in Ontario. 


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