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April statistics will reveal impact of pandemic on real estate – Belleville Intelligencer

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Amid the worst global pandemic in more than a century, the real estate industry is also making adjustments as an essential service to ensure customers and realtors remain safe during this public health crisis.
TIM MEEKS


jpg, BI

The Quinte area real estate market, like real estates markets across the country, is feeling the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

After reporting strong sales in March compared to 2019, the public health crisis has finally caught up to the market judging by the early numbers for April.

As of Thursday, area listings are down 63 per cent from April 2019, and sales are down 68 per cent. The average sale price has seen a slight one per cent drop while the median sale price is up two per cent from $330,000 to $337,000.

The March monthly dollar sales for residential listings resulted in an increase of 12.9 per cent with $86,013,516 for 2020 compared to $76,165,193 for 2019. The residential average sale price for March showed an increase over 2019, with the March 2020 price of $377,252 resulting in a 10 per cent increase over the March 2019 amount of $343,086.

Residential unit sales for March 2020 resulted in 228 sales, up from 222 sales for 2019, for an increase of 2.7 per cent. The number of active residential listings currently sits at 707 units compared to 833 units in 2019 resulting in a reduction of 15.1 per cent.

Heather Plane, president of the Quinte & District Association of Realtors, said “there is a lag in time that occurs between the time sales and listings are made or posted and when they report monthly sales and listings numbers.”

“Ontario has experienced significant changes during that lag-time, so many people may be wondering why real estate sales in March were strong. That’s because the impacts of the COVID-19 health crisis became evident only in the second half of March,” Plane said. “The amount of market activity changed substantially as the COVID-19 public health authority social distancing measures came into practice and local realtors followed those guidelines recommending to clients to postpone real estate transactions to protect their health and safety until after the state of emergency was lifted.

“Sales figures for April will provide a more accurate reflection of the impact of COVID-19 on real estate markets throughout the province,” she said.

“A lot of real estate businesses are actually putting the extra time staff now have for training purposes, we’re upgrading our skills.

“We’re still here to help and we’re willing to help as long as everything can be done virtually,” Plane said.

“It’s our new reality and it’s quite shocking, but I’m finding that with the technology that we have, and have always had, that we’re starting to learn how to actually use it. That’s the biggest advantage of this unprecedented crisis, it’s about putting a good spin on a bad situation, we’re learning how to use the technology we have properly,” Plane said.

Sean Morrison, president of the Ontario Real Estate Association said COVID-19 is one of the fastest moving issues in our lifetimes and the association is committed to providing members with the latest information to help everyone navigate the global pandemic.

“While real estate agent services in Ontario have been deemed an essential service – it is not business as usual,” he stated. “Ontario realtors should stop all face-to-face business, including open houses, in-person showings, especially of tenant-occupied homes, and agent/public office hours during the province’s COVID-19 state of emergency.

“Now is the time to follow the advice of public health officials and stay home. Wherever possible, realtors should be using the technology to serve clients virtually through any urgent transactions that need your support.

“It is up to us as community leaders to make responsible decisions and do our part to keep our communities safe.”

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The Current State of Vancouver Real Estate

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The pandemic of the coronavirus has shifted the world and its economy. Businesses are closed and homes are being affected by this crisis everyday. The same can be said in one of Canada’s largest cities, Vancouver– and more specifically, Vancouver’s real estate.

 

How Vancouver is Affected

The coronavirus has significantly slowed real estate sales in Vancouver. What was once a hustling and bustling city, is now a quiet solitude with unattended houses. The housing market has seen nearly a 40% decrease as compared to Vancouver real estate in April 2019. Regardless, housing prices have not faltered. In fact, that average price of a Vancouver home has actually gone up by 2.5% since the pandemic. Any major change in the prices of these homes could really affect homeowners, as Vancounver has always been known for having overpriced housing. Homeowners expect the prices of their homes to rise. Those who were hoping to get a discounted home in Vancouver will be disappointed– prices seem to be on the rise all across Canada.

 

The Average Cost of Vancouver Housing

The pandemic can stand to deter the average cost of houses in Vancouver. While the average cost of a home in Canada sits at $400,000 Canadian dollars, the average home in Vancouver is about 1.3 million– even condos average around $800,000. As it stands, Vancouver is one of the most expensive places to live in North America, coming only second to San Francisco. The median income in Vancouvers is around $70,000. Vancouver’s citizens are struggling to pay their high mortgages during this troubling time. Because so few can work and housing/renting costs are so high, people are not able to make payments on time.

 

What Vancouver is Doing

Luckily, Vancouver is not leaving its citizens to fend for themselves. They are offering potential benefits and rental reliefs of up to $500 CAD/month. Some landlords will also see a mortgage relief, too. The government has also been working with banks to possibly defer mortgage payments.

 

The Major Concern

The major concern within Vancouver real estate is that if the coronavirus lasts longer than three months, prices will start to drop. Vancouver is able to maintain its strong prices and low interest rates for now, but if they continue to lose revenue due to a lack of tourists and immigrants, they will have to make up for it elsewhere. Housing tax prices will increase for “satellite families” (families who do business outside of the country from home). The Vancouver real estate market is doing well for now, but it may not last if the pandemic doesn’t soon end.

Overall, the coronavirus has made a tremendous impact on real estate all over the world. Vancouver is particularly susceptible to the issues regarding real estate because it costs so much to live there. The prices are still on the rise in Vancouver, but that will likely not be the case if the pandemic lasts past June.

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CHL Leaders: QMJHL grad Vermette enters exciting new career in real estate – Canadian Hockey League

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Gabriel Vermette spent four years in the QMJHL lacing up the skates while also learning many life skills he continues to use today.

“Balancing school, life, playing hockey at the same time, it’s a lot, and it teaches you a lot in life,” recollected Vermette in speaking with Junior Hockey Magazine as part of its CHL Leaders segment. “The big thing is to manage the stress with all of the things that you have (to do). You just have to go with one thing at a time.”

Following four full seasons in the QMJHL from 2009-13 that spanned 246 career contests with the Chicoutimi Sagueneens and Drummondville Voltigeurs – highlighted by a playoff elimination of the Memorial Cup host Shawinigan Cataractes in 2012 – Vermette elected to pursue an education, majoring in psychology at the University of Ottawa where he also suited up for another two seasons with the varsity Gee-Gees.

In all, it was an opportunity that became a reality given Vermette’s ability to access the CHL’s invaluable post-secondary scholarship program.

“At the end of my junior I shifted my plan and began thinking about what I would do in real life if it’s not hockey, so (the scholarship) is vital,” Vermette said. “It took away a lot of stress of having to pay a lot.”

Today, Vermette puts his skills to use in enjoying a new career as a real estate broker with RE/MAX Vision Gatineau in his home province of Quebec.

“It has been one year,” Vermette concluded. “I am really happy with what I am doing. I think I have had quite a lot of success so I am really proud.”

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Gloomy B.C. real estate forecasts not as bad as some predict: agent – CityNews Vancouver

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VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — The forecast for buying and selling real estate in B.C. isn’t what it could have been, but it’s not as bad as the double-digit price drops some analysts have predicted, according to a Richmond presale condo and townhouse agent.

Vince Taylor admits he’s biased, but said the facts are not — supply is low in B.C. and interest rates are historically low, so prices will be relatively stable.

“I am expecting a drop-off for sure. I don’t expect the market to rebound in 2020 like it was going to in March, but I see no structural, no macro or micro economic reason for the kinds of drops that have been reported,” he said.

“Tell me how that makes any sense that prices are going to go down when you have the lowest interest rate in 40 years, limited supply, and not that many people actually lost their jobs.”

He adds the COVID-19 cloud is dark, but there is a silver lining, and nothing structurally has changed about the real estate market.

While Canada is seeing the worst GDP numbers in a decade, Taylor said the easing of health and safety restrictions will bring more buyers and lower prices to the market.

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. expects home prices and sales to decline substantially this year and still won’t have recovered by the end of 2022.

The federal housing agency’s special housing market outlook predicts home prices to decline between nine and 18 per cent, and as much as 25 per cent in oil-producing regions, before starting to recover by mid-2021. The report also suggests average home prices in B.C. could drop close to $100,000 this year.

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