One of the main things that separates COVID-19 from other virus outbreaks is uncertainty. That’s why staying home and keeping yourself and your family safe are everyone’s absolute top priorities.
Even with its serious health implications aside, the isolation and quarantining that COVID-19 forces us into, opens up all kinds of other uncertainties. What will happen to the economy? Will I lose my job? Will we find a vaccine?
While there are many more serious uncertainties to worry about in the face of COVID, homeowners and homebuyers can’t help but wonder how it all will affect the Toronto and GTA real estate market. Will my home go down in value? Is it a good time to buy? Should I sell?
No one can answer those questions with any level of certainty. But we thought we’d take the pulse of sentiments in the industry and here’s what we found experts are predicting on the effect of COVID-19 on real estate.
- House Prices Increased in February – This one is fact. According to the Toronto Real Estate Board’s Market Watch report for February 2020, the number of residential sales across the GTA increased by 45.6% versus February 2019, when we experienced a 10-year sales low.
In Markham, the average price of homes of all types increased by 13.73% in the same time period.
- A Slower Spring Than Usual – Residential real estate activity usually ramps up in April after a winter slowdown. Many realtors and industry experts are predicting a slower spring than usual, if only because we’re all being encouraged to be isolated and keep social distancing.
In response, many realtors are making more use of online video tours and are disinfecting surfaces in homes that buyers must visit.
- Demand for Pre-Construction Sales May Remain High – Buyers can’t tour a pre-construction unit anyway, so many realtors feel that pre-construction sales won’t be affected the same way as they may be for resale homes.
- Sales Agreements Are Changing – In an effort to address some of the uncertainty, some real estate lawyers are adding a clause to sales agreements that says both sides, buyers and sellers, must be flexible around closing dates.
- Buyers May Need More Security for Mortgages – If a buyer’s employment situation changes, it can affect their ability to get approved for a mortgage. With a cosigner, they will have fewer problems.
The Tar Team remains open and available to answer your questions and help home buyers and sellers get through the COVID-19 crisis as well as possible. If there is anything we can help you with, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.