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2020 on track to be most active year in Canadian real estate – TheSpec.com

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This year is on track to be the most active year in Canadian real estate history, likely thanks to the number of people exiting urban living after switching to working from home.

October home sales dipped 0.7 per cent from September, but still set a record for the month from previous years, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association — at 32.1 per cent over October 2019.

The year 2020 was already set to be a record year, said Shaun Cathcart, CREA’s senior economist. When the COVID-19 lockdown hit, however, sales plummeted, only to return to pre-COVID levels in June. From there, sales continued to rise, Cathcart said, though growth in that spike has slowed month over month.

In the first 10 months of 2020, 461,818 homes were sold over Canadian MLS systems. That’s an 8.6 per cent increase from the same period in 2019.

This is already Canada’s second-best year to date, said Cathcart, trailing 2016 by only 14,000 sales, which he thinks will be easily surpassed.

“It’s completely within the realm of possibility that this is going to be a record year, which I don’t think anyone thought just a few months ago,” Cathcart said.

Cathcart said many of these moves are likely due to COVID-19, as companies give their employees more flexibility amid the pandemic — some permanently.

He also thinks 2020 has shown people the “importance of home.”

“There’s a lot of people out there who own their homes who …have maybe reconsidered where and what type of property they live in,” he said.

In the first 10 months of the year, 461,818 homes were sold over Canadian MLS systems, up 8.6 per cent from the same period in 2019.

The national average home price also set a record in October at $607,250, up 15.2 per cent over October 2019. Prices were particularly up in Ontario’s Quinte & District Association of Realtors, which includes Prince Edward County and Belleville, as well as the Woodstock and Ingersoll Real Estate Board in southwestern Ontario. These were followed by other smaller cities including Hamilton, Guelph and Niagara, as well as what CREA calls “Ontario cottage country areas.”

Cathcart said rising prices indicate high demand compared to the housing supply, which remains tight. This is something CREA has seen coming “for a very long time,” he said.

“It’s been made more acute by COVID,” he said.

However, COVID has shifted the landscape of the already-tight housing market in a few ways. Interest in smaller cities including Hamilton or Guelph was already a trend, Cathcart said, but interest in cottage country has been “blowing up” since May.

As well, the balance has shifted in terms of what kind of homes people are buying, he said. Coming into 2020, interest was “red hot” for both stand-alone homes and condos, but there’s more interest right now in the former, Cathcart said.

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But that’s already starting to rebound, Cathcart added: “We’re starting to now see more sales on the condo side of things just simply because there’s more supply.”

With files from Canadian Press

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Ontario Real Estate Prices Continue to Soar | RE/MAX Canada – RE/MAX News

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The Ontario real estate market has been surprisingly resilient during the coronavirus pandemic and has even been an engine of recovery for the overall Ontario economy. Yet, cases of the virus are on the rise in this province and open houses are off the table once again.

As homebuyers and sellers rely on technology to dip their feet into the market, activity continues despite fears and anxieties.  

According to the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA), Ontarians continue to see home-buying as a good investment. Just over one in two Ontarians (51%) in the real estate market report they are currently actively looking to buy a home. Meanwhile, the public is also lobbying for a Land Transfer Tax holiday in order to increase inventory and address some of the supply issues that the province of Ontario is experiencing.

Although the rental market has had some tough blows since many service-sector jobs were lost, home ownership continues to be a priority for many Canadians. This disproportionate demand has created upward pressure on house prices across the province. Below we explore some of the key trends in the Ontario housing market contributing to this persistent price growth.

House Prices in the Ontario Real Estate Market

Last spring, some of Canada’s top economists predicted a sharp decline in house prices up to 18 per cent, yet many weren’t convinced this would be the case. Months later, experts still believe the strength of the market will remain on its upward course, with prices continuing to rise in Q4 2020.

Ontario Submarket Differences

While the province is seeing overall gains in the real estate market, a disparity exists between urban and suburban regions. House prices are reflecting the shift in lifestyle preferences within these markets. Notably, some of the biggest price gains have been seen in suburban cities like Oshawa, Hamilton and Mississauga. Another small city seeing significant, unprecedented growth is Windsor. In fact, at 17 per cent, Windsor had the largest average price appreciation in the past three months.

Social distancing measures have left condo dwellers cooped up, which has contributed to the shift toward larger homes in suburban and rural locations. Over the past six months, “home” has transformed into a multi-use space for living, working, learning, staying fit, relaxing and more. Not surprisingly, homes with spacious multi-level floor plans and home offices are becoming more desirable.

In addition, common areas within condo buildings, such as lobbies and elevators, are turning some people off condo living. Personal space has become more important in light of the pandemic, which can be hard to find in a dense urban setting.

Ontario markets such as Durham and Peel are seeing booming sales activity. While some may have expected the biggest price gains to take place in popular cities such as Toronto, many homebuyers are gravitating towards the outskirts. The opportunity to secure larger homes with more square footage and access to green space are just a few factors luring buyers further from urban hubs.

Supply and Demand

Ontario experienced lingering demand after the traditional spring home-buying season was pushed into the summer and autumn months. As the economy opened back up across the province, people were eager to purchase homes again.

Yet, low housing inventory has led to upward pressure on prices as competition rises. At the local level, several Ontario markets are now into weeks of inventory rather than months. Highlighting supply issues, the majority of the province was close to or just under one month of inventory.

Low Interest Rates

Across the country low interest rates are attracting homebuyers and helping to keep the market afloat. The Bank of Canada has lowered the rate to 0.25 per cent, which is historically the lowest it’s ever been. Those who were previously sidelined can now borrow at a lower cost. This could be enticing for hopeful homebuyers, who can now potentially secure more financing to purchase the home they desire.

The Ontario housing market is continuing to experience soaring prices in various submarkets. COVID-19 has influenced some home purchasing trends as people expand their home search to suburban and rural areas.

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Vancouver real estate: heritage home called Jeffrey House sold $1.6 million, was bought in 2010 for $809000 – Straight.com

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One of Vancouver’s heritage homes has a new owner.

The residence called Jeffrey House sold for $1,614,750 after only two days on the market.

The 2168 Parker Street residence is located in the Grandview Woodland neighbourhood, where many heritage homes can be found.

In 2018, the Jeffrey House got a centenary sign from the Grandview Heritage Group.

The grassroots-based organization recalls online that the building permit for the house was issued on November 18, 1912.

The house was built for William Jeffrey, who worked as a furnace man at the Terminal City Iron Works.

The builder was R. Armishaw, according to the Grandview Heritage Group.

“It was to be a $1,500 one-storey residence for William, his wife Georgina, and their three children,” the local heritage group related.

“In 1921, they added a $75 garage. They were still living in the house when Georgina died in January 1924 after a long illness. This house is a bit of a hybrid, but its main form is California Bungalow – the cottage-sized version of the Craftsman house of the period.”

The Jeffrey House is listed in the Vancouver Heritage Register in the C category.

This means that the home’s heritage significance is “Contextual or Character”, based on the City of Vancouver’s classification.

A home of contextual or character significance “represents those buildings that contribute to the historic character of an area or streetscape, usually found in groupings of more than one building but may also be of individual importance,” the city register explains.

On its website, the Vancouver Heritage Foundation refers to the original owner as William Jeffery.

“Jeffery, a printer, remained at the house until at least 1955. The house is an example of a simple Craftsman style residence,” the heritage foundation relates.

RE/MAX Select Properties listed the home on November 10, 2020 for $1,698,000.

The listing was terminated, and replaced with a new one on the same day for a reduced price of $1,568,000.

The property sold on November 12 for $1,614,750, according to tracking by real-estate information site fisherly.com.

Real-estate site Redfin provides a sales history for the 2168 Parker Street home.

Available information from the site indicates that the house sold in 1975 for $45,000.

In May 1985, it was bought for $104,000.

In June 2010, a buyer purchased the heritage home for $809,000, according to documentation by Redfin. 

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Real Estate Can Be Your Solution in 2021 – Entrepreneur

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November
26, 2020

6 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their owns.

 

As we enter the homestretch of perhaps the most turbulent year of our lifetimes, it’s hard not to ask the major questions: How did we get here? How can we fix it? And what does the future hold?

In March, virtually the entire US shut down as the world grappled with the Covid-19 pandemic. Companies around the country were forced to close their offices, quickly implementing work-from-home policies for non-essential workers; and many of those policies remain in effect for the foreseeable future, as organizations continue to prioritize their workers’ health and safety. The closing of offices and need for social distancing simultaneously caused a mass exodus from major US cities like , and , with suburban markets experiencing a boom as a result. And systemic — highlighted in recorded acts of police brutality, violence and injustice — spurred widespread, national protests and ignited a sense of responsibility for many Americans.

So what does have to do with this, you might ask?  and Urban Land Institute recently published a new report, “Emerging Trends in Real Estate 2021,” which highlights the ways the pandemic will change how property is bought, sold and used. Perhaps one of the most interesting takeaways from the report is “Housing as a solution — for people, for communities, and for societal repair” — and the way real estate will emerge as one of the coming decade’s forefront business opportunities.

In this article, we examine some the report’s findings, including the opportunities for housing and real estate to emerge as a solution for afflicted individuals, communities and at large.

Related: Here Are Real Estate’s Winners and Losers In the New Normal

Real estate as a solution for individuals

When examining recent trends from an individual perspective — for buyers and sellers of single-family properties — Covid-19 has impacted everything. According to the PwC and Urban Land Institute report, “listings during the first half of 2020 declined,” with many homeowners fearful of inviting contagious disease through their doors during showings and open houses. But the second half of 2020 has seen a boom in both listings and sales, particularly in suburban areas. The report goes on to suggest that the months spent adjusting to social distancing, working from home and sheltering in place, “emerged as one of COVID-19’s wild-card forces, tripping thoughts to motivations, tripping interest to pursuit, and tripping new-home purchases into a higher gear.”

Individuals and families are shifting into planning mode. Looking ahead, they are thinking about their living space in terms of both personal and professional comfort, as well as safety. This shift in focus has undoubtedly impacted the homebuilding and construction sectors, which despite logistical challenges due to the pandemic, experienced booms in the warmer months as families and individuals continued to seek home upgrades ahead of the colder months.

Technologies like Punch List, which enables seamless, contact-free communication, progress tracking, project approval and payment via a mobile app, have made the process easier and safer for both contractors and homeowners. If anything, the pandemic has cemented the importance of “home” for many Americans, as home has become not just where we sleep and eat, but also where we work, where our children learn and where our in-laws and even adult children can stay safe. At Punch List, we’ve witnessed a continued increase in bathroom and kitchen renovation projects, as well as upgrades to indoor/outdoor space, in-law suites and home-offices. Homeowners and contractors are doing what they can to prepare for the uncertainty of this winter with home purchases and upgrades that will help keep everyone safe.

Related: 3 Reasons to Invest in Real Estate Right Now

Real estate as a solution for communities

For larger developments, living communities, and multifamily enterprises, the need for social distancing has caused a massive shift in focus and outlook. Amenities like community pools, fitness centers, theaters, and game rooms were a top selling point for these developments — until recently, when the health and safety of residents became top priority. Then there is the pandemic’s economic effect on vulnerable populations, who can’t afford to contribute a large percentage of their income toward rent.

As the pandemic has decreased the popularity of community living, many developers and investors have temporarily hit pause on large development projects, both in major cities and suburban markets.

But pausing is not the answer. As an industry, real estate needs to better address the needs of working-class families and individuals with secure, affordable communities — focusing less on amenities and more on health and safety.

As the PwC and Urban Land Institute report indicates, “The pandemic’s lens could favorably alter the conversation. For instance, in light of the likely need for a New Deal–style work, training, and economic vitalization megaprogram, might housing — especially multifamily rental communities for working-class families and individuals — qualify as infrastructure?” It’s certainly a solution worth considering.

Related: 3 Factors Driving Real Estate Investment in 2020

Real estate as a solution for society

As I pointed out earlier, 2020 has been trying — both due to the pandemic, and the police brutality and violence that highlighted our society’s ingrained systemic racism. It is our responsibility as a society to do better. According to the 2021 Emerging Trends survey, only 25 percent of respondents agreed with the statement, “I believe that the real estate industry understands how past policies and practices may have contributed to systemic racism.” We need to educate ourselves and take an objective look at how the real estate industry, lenders and the government share responsibility for historic redlining and segregation across the .

Per the report, “Many interviewees suggested that the real estate industry could be more proactive in creating and supporting neighborhoods that are racially and socioeconomically integrated, and reversing the impact of de jure segregation, as well as investing more in areas that have been overlooked and that have suffered from perpetual and deliberate disinvestment. Institutional investors are increasing commitments to ‘impact investing,’ and real estate investments that address racial inequality are a key target.”

Let’s challenge ourselves to be more proactive in addressing the wellbeing of our society — and in promoting racial equality within the real estate industry, starting with housing. We can and should be part of the solution.

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