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Canmore real estate market booming with COVID-19 – St. Albert Today



CANMORE – The real estate market in Canmore is on fire.

Increased inventory, interest and sales have resulted in three of the busiest months for real estate over the past four years according to MaxWell Capital Realtor Robb Aishford.

“When COVID-19 hit, everything collapsed,” Aishford said in an interview with the Outlook. “The market has definitely had an adjustment where both sides want value.”

In February, $35 million in residential real estate was sold in Canmore, which dropped to $17 million in March and $9 million in April. Things began to rebound in May with $22 million in sales and $28 million in June.

But it is the July, August and September sales volume for residential – including single detached dwellings, condos, duplexes and townhouses – that have hit record levels with $59 million, $60 million and $54 million in property sold over the three month period.

Over the past four years, the two highest sale volume levels were $49 million in April 2019 and $39 million in June 2018. 

Aishford said a number of factors are contributing to the hot market, including the low interest rates for mortgages, the value of the American dollar compared to the Canadian and the transition towards working from home that has resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic. He said those with cash or capital to purchase real estate are interested in buying a home in the mountain town.

“Canmore still has a certain je ne sais quoi – it is still popular,” he said, adding Banff is off the table for most purchasers due to the need to reside clause. “It is expensive to live here because there is only so much land and there is demand for it.” 

Virtual tours of properties have become the norm, as it is difficult for those in the United States or overseas to visit Canmore at this time. Aishford said he will Facetime or Zoom with clients to inspect potential properties and has done showings with friends and family members before sales are finalized. 

“It has changed the ball game now,” Aishford said with respect to the coronavirus. “There are no open houses … we do everything by video now – it is different.” 

For those looking for a new community to call home while working remotely, Canmore is an attractive location for those who can afford the prices. He said clients from Montreal, Toronto, Edmonton and Vancouver have all purchased homes in the valley for that very reason.

“We do not need to be in an office anymore due to COVID … as long as you have access to high-speed Internet, you can set up a home office with everything you need,” Aishford said. “They will have everything they want [living in Canmore] for the next three to five years – this thing is not going away anytime soon.” 

The median sale price for residential properties over the past three months has increased significantly. In February, the median residential sale price was $670,000 and increased to $785,400 in April. By June, it had dipped to $727,000, but in July reached a four year record high of $831,750. In September, the median sale price was $825,875.

The number of units sold dropped from 50 in February to 11 in April. By July, there was 70 units sold, in August 72 and 64 in September. Currently, the average  number of days a property is listed before being sold is 17. 

At the end of September, there were 281 properties for sale in Canmore, up 11.5 per cent from a year before. There is enough inventory, including newly developed properties, that buyers at the moment have choices. 

Aishford said buyers are looking for value in the market and so are sellers. It is a different scene than in nearby Calgary, where real estate prices have dropped slightly and sales are down. 

“A lot of people are trying to sell right now, but that does not mean they will get what they want … sellers have to be prepared to price it appropriately and be realistic,” he said with respect to sale prices. “The Canmore market has always done its own thing.”  

As for where the real estate market is headed in the short term, Aishford said it is hard to predict. But having grown up in the community and worked with his father, who is also a longtime local Realtor, he said Canmore has not lost its appeal even as it has become more popular.

“Canmore has changed,” he said. “But still at its core, at least in my opinion, it is an amazing town – the community here is passionate and we look after one another.

“People want to move here because of the quality of life.” 

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Why the London, ON Real Estate Market Continues to Thrive – RE/MAX News



London was considered by many to be Ontario’s best-kept secret. It was a city with everything you would want: affordable housing, jobs and even lauded as the brain capital of province. With more people desiring to escape the big city and find refuge in an urban locale with a small-town charm, London’s popularity is skyrocketing. This is great news for the London real estate market.

Recent data point to an incredible recovery in the housing industry in the wake of the COVID-19 public health crisis. With tight supply and growing demand, the Canadian real estate market is enjoying record-setting numbers in every possible category. All the early forecasts suggest that London can sustain this trend to finish the year and head into 2021.

Although the coronavirus pandemic continues to threaten the broader national recovery, accommodative monetary policy and pent-up demand are driving the country’s real estate industry. So, what is going on in London, Ontario?

Why the London, ON Real Estate Market Continues to Thrive

London is witnessing some strong Fall market activity as the city basks in the afterglow of the best performance for the month of August in more than 40 years, followed by a record-breaking September. According to the London and St Thomas Association of REALTORS® (LSTAR), 960 homes were sold in September, the best September since 1978! Local headlines also spotlighted that the average home sales price reached $521,883, up a whopping 98 per cent compared to the same time five years ago.

Industry observers also point out that homes are being exchanged at a faster pace. In London, the median number of days that a home sat on the market fell from 12.5 in July 2020 to just 10 days in August and a mere eight days in September.

Demand is gaining steam, with interest booming in the market for condominiums, single-detached homes and everything in between. This has sparked interested prospects to submit bids over the asking price, and this could continue to be the norm if demand remains strong and inventories remain low.

“The strong momentum experienced during the summer months continued through September,” said 2020 LSTAR President Blair Campbell. “Similar to many other housing markets across Canada, many are still playing catch up from the COVID-19 lockdown we had during the spring.”

Campbell noted that “Each of the five major areas in LSTAR’s jurisdiction posted gains, led by Middlesex with average sales price of $575,785. Again, it’s important to note this figure encompasses all housing types, from a two-storey single-detached home to a high-rise apartment condominium.”

Campbell said in a recent interview with CTV News, that nobody is really surprised by the developments. Instead, real estate agents and the broader market are surprised by how quickly it occurred. But what is driving this surge in London real estate?

What is Driving London’s Real Estate Market?

After experiencing a brief “pandemic pause” at the height of the coronavirus outbreak in March, the wait-and-see approach was abandoned, and now the pent-up demand is stimulating London’s housing market. Like other cities across Canada, buyers and sellers have returned from the sidelines to take advantage of current conditions and trends.

Since Queen’s Park reopened the province, buyer confidence has swelled, which has been reflected in the latest housing data. Of course, real estate agents are still diligently adhering to public health guidelines. This includes social distancing, wearing face masks, showcasing listing via virtual open houses and facilitating digital paperwork completely online by means of technology.

That said, the second wave is already prompting some local governments to reimpose COVID-19 restrictions, and industry experts say that people on both sides of real estate transactions are looking to get some deals done before any drastic measures transpire. Plus, as market observers understand, cool temperatures and the flu season can impact real estate. With so much uncertainly on the horizon, the market remains hot as buyers and sellers fight to “get in while they can.”

London, like other smaller towns across the province, is witnessing an influx of buyers from the Greater Toronto Area. Although London area home prices have gone up, they remain more affordable than what you can purchase within downtown Toronto, or even other municipalities within the Greater Toronto Area.

Homebuyers are ostensibly using the work-from-home trend to their advantage, no longer tied to live close to their workplace. Plus, with greater investment in public transit within cities province-wide, if professionals needed to travel into the nearest urban centre, there are a greater number of transportation options at their disposal.

Moreover, since more people are spending significantly more time at home amid social distancing measures and remote working environments, a lot of buyers are reconsidering their living space. For example, some seek to upsize to properties that have room for an office, a learning centre for kids, and other features that may not have been important even just a year ago.

As the list of priorities for homebuyers changes, real estate trends are shifting across the country and municipalities like London, Ontario are projected to continue this trend of strong housing demand, tight supply, and swelling real estate prices into 2021!

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Canada real estate: TD Economics sees high home prices holding up in fourth quarter before dropping in 2021 – The Georgia Straight



Home buyers looking for a bit of a discount may want to wait a little.

A housing report by TD Economics predicts that high home prices will persist for the rest of 2021.

“Regarding prices, we think they’ll hold up at these record levels in the fourth quarter…,” economist Rishi Sondhi wrote.

Then things will start to ease in 2021.

Sondhi explained that tight supply is driving high home prices.

According to the TD Bank economist, the real-estate market is currently in seller’s territory.

The economist noted that the national sales-to-new listings ratio in September “registered a drum-tight reading” of 77.2 percent.

He noted that “markets were the tightest they’ve been in nearly 20 years in September”.

Sales-to-new listings ratio is the number of sales divided by listings.

A seller’s market means that the sales-to-listing ratio is 60 percent or more, or six sales out of 10 listings.

A balanced market features a ratio between 40 percent and 60 percent.

A buyer’s market happens when the ratio is less than 40 percent, which means fewer than four sales for 10 listings.

In a report on October 15, the Canadian Real Estate Association noted that the national average price of a home set a new record in September.

The average price topped the $600,000 mark for the first time at more than $604,000.

In his report on October 15, Sondhi predicted “some easing is anticipated” for prices after the fourth quarter of 2020.

This is consistent with Sondhi’s previous report on October 8.

The bank economist noted in that earlier report that “unlike sales, an immediate fourth quarter pullback is unlikely” for prices.

 “In fact, another (modest) gain could be in the cards,” Sondhi wrote.

“After the fourth quarter,” Sondhi predicted on October 8, “Canadian prices will likely drop through the first half of 2021 by around 7%, before regaining some traction later next year.”


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Brookfield weighs US$3B life-sciences real estate portfolio sale – BNN



Brookfield Asset Management Inc. is exploring a sale of its life-sciences real estate portfolio, and seeking about US$3 billion, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The Toronto-based alternative asset manager is working with advisers to sell roughly 2.3 million square feet of life-sciences real estate it acquired as part of its 2018 purchase of Forest City Realty Trust Inc., said the people, who requested anonymity because the information isn’t public.

A Brookfield representative declined to comment.

Blackstone Group Inc. agreed last week to recapitalize a portfolio of BioMed Realty life-sciences buildings for US$14.6 billion, a deal that will generate US$6.5 billion of cumulative profits four years after investing in the properties.

Life sciences, which includes pharmaceutical, biotech and other medical research fields, is a sector where most staff can’t work remotely. That has stabilized the value of such properties.

Alexandria Real Estate Equities Inc., one of the largest real estate investment trusts that owns on life sciences properties, has fallen 2 per cent this year compared to a 14.6 per cent decline of the Bloomberg U.S. REITs Index.

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