First and foremost, take a deep breath and ground yourself for a future we don’t fully grasp, not yet anyway. I do love real estate, but the state of the market ranks a distant second behind health and happiness. That being said I do want to share my perspective on the impact of COVID-19.
For the record: 2020 was off to the strongest start in the history of Toronto real estate… We saw prices skyrocket for homes and condos. There was no sign of a slow down, nor did we have any idea for what a pandemic could do to us.
At the risk of repeating myself, it’s essential to keep in mind that we don’t know what the future holds. The only thing I know for sure is that COVID-19 is an opportunity for each of us to grow, change and learn. Today, however, is the time to take care of ourselves and others and do what we can to keep safe. We will get through these days. The real estate market has seen a drop in value and volume since the arrival of COVID-19 – no one expected otherwise. With fewer listings and showings, a downturn was inevitable. But, unless you’re buying or selling, the drop in value is essentially a “paper loss”. Most purchasers are still well above their purchase price. Rest assured, this market will rebound.
For those who are struggling to make mortgage payments, have a look at the support the Government of Canada is offering in terms of mortgage deferrals, but be sure to read the fine print in your bank’s paperwork. Apparently, the interest on those payments will be added to the outstanding balance and result in more interest on top of the deferred interest; resulting in higher borrowing costs. While Prime Minister Trudeau is looking into this, you may want to ask your bank for other solutions. Perhaps refinancing or a HELOC warrants consideration.
We cannot forget that Toronto is a very desirable world-class city. It has much to offer, and the rest of the world knows it. Our leadership, while less than perfect, is the envy of many other countries. As immigration returns, it will certainly breathe new life into our housing market and help recover the short term dip in price. The spring market has been pushed back, but pent-up demand could very well lead to an active market later this year. I’m expecting things to start up again by late summer, or early fall. What do you think?
For now, the most important thing to keep in mind is that the isolation effect is intended to keep us safe and healthy. When this is over, we will know much more than we do today. Be patient and don’t hold too tightly to the stats during this unprecedented time.
Of course, I’m always here to help you decipher the market, and if you’re looking for opportunities, we may be able to find them.
More than ever, our collective health and well being is of the utmost importance. Stay connected with your family, friends and colleagues… and stay physically active. I wasn’t into yoga until I came across Down Dog. They’re offering free classes until May 1st.
Stay safe and healthy. This, too, will pass.
You’ll find this month’s market report below. As you read it, bear in mind that it’s a snapshot in time that we’re just beginning to wrap our heads around.