The Open Space Trend May Be Taking a Shift

The open space trend may be taking a shift. In the past few years open airy space was what everyone wanted. Now, with almost a year of pandemic behind us and the amount of time we have all spent at home, both working and family time, some privacy and walls may be needed. This shift in needs may be permanent and may affect how homes are designed. It’s quite amazing how quickly the world has changed and how we have needed to adapt with it.

Nothing is Stopping Buyers!

Nothing is stopping buyers – snow, pandemic, virus variant, vaccine shortages, lockdown. Buyers are still scrambling for houses and now even condos are starting to get multiple offers. Toronto keeps going up in value and so does cottage country. Maybe a new perspective for many – if we are going to spend so much time at home let’s make it comfortable. Pandemic may have highlighted the value of a home – its maybe something that we didn’t appreciate as much before. Home has become our safe place and for many their sanctuary.

 

February blues are even bluer this year.

Everyone is getting tired – February blues are even bluer this year. Despite all that this real estate market is forging ahead. Buyers are clamouring over listings and bidding wars are rampant. People seem to be focused on better living space as they are home so much and there is nothing else to do.  “The comforts of home” are the little joys that we have to look forward to. We have to remember that spring is around the corner and the pandemic WILL end.

How you know when the real estate market is super-hot!

How you know when the real estate market is super-hot… A number of agents called us in the past week asking if we have any listings coming out in a few prime areas. One agent even said – tell your clients to name their price. When agents start calling it means they have super motivated clients and there is very little product available. That means that any house that is priced reasonably will probably attract multiple offers and one party is bound to bid high. That’s when prices start going up. It’s not to say that houses can be listed for unreasonable prices but If the number is substantially too high, it won’t sell. A number of homes that were listed last year and didn’t sell have sold early this year. Buyers are jumping high, but sellers don’t get too greedy.

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Weaker condo market is starting to attract investors

Weaker condo market is starting to attract investors. We are seeing an increase in activity in the somewhat pandemic battered condo market. Investors are starting to look for deals as cash strapped condo investors/owners are struggling to rent their condos. Many investors have opted to sell. Now we see a definite oversupply of condos on the market. TRREB reported “The number of new condominium apartment listings in Q3 2020 amounted to 17,613 – an 84.6 per cent increase over Q3 2019”. Ultimately, we think this should correct as the pandemic passes and we see more immigration start to come in. However, it may take time and not everyone has time.

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Some housing predictions for 2021

Some housing predictions for 2021. CIBC issued their weekly market update with some very interesting observations and predictions. The pandemic has resulted in job loss in the lower end of the job sector including services which is a major factor. The higher end job sector has for the most part not been impacted, people spent less hence they saved money plus interest rates are very low. They need and want more space and have created demand in the higher end market. On the other hand, the demand for less expensive houses is less due to economy. Hence in Toronto, the more expensive houses have escalated faster than the less expensive ones. So if you are a mover upper the house that you are buying is rising faster than your house. This will impact the trajectory for the market this year. Vancouver on the other hand which is heavily influenced by foreign investment in the more expensive houses has the reverse effect. This is shown in the graphs below.

In general the prediction is that real estate will be strong this year, particularly spring and moving forward. We are bracing for a busy year.

CIBC WEEKLY MARKET UPDATE & 2021 FORECAST – LIGHT AT THE END OF THE COVID TUNNEL Benjamin Tal Deputy Chief Economist, CIBC Capital Markets

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“Garbar” and “gargym” the newest trend

Holidays are approaching and we will have to deal with a different holiday where families can’t always be together. Kids will be off school, what will they do and mothers are trying to figure out how their kids will survive the holidays in a safe way. We all need people – community is important now more than ever. “The Garage” has become an important piece of real estate. Garages all over are being converted to gyms and places to have small gatherings -a friend termed it the “Garbar”. Outdoor activities will be the only way to see people and maintain social contact. Let’s hope we all get through the holidays and manage to keep some holiday spirit.

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