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Edmonton’s real estate market looks to bounce back after sales drop due to COVID-19 – Globalnews.ca

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As much of Alberta tries to recover from the economic impacts of COVID-19, Edmonton’s real estate sector is among the industries hoping to bounce back.

After facing a major decline in home sales in April, many realtors say they are looking forward to a relaunch of their own.

“Mid-March we got that announcement that everybody needed to stay and work from home and that sort of dropped off, and then we really saw the effects of that impact happening in March in April,” Jennifer Lucas, chair of the Realtors Association of Edmonton, said.

Buyers and sellers started expressing safety fears about touring homes. In the latest report released by the Realtors Association of Edmonton, sales of single-family homes were over 55 per cent in April, compared to the same period last year.

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The average sale price of single family homes is $410,200 — a drop of just over 4.14 per cent from last year.

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“Even though the numbers dropped we didn’t see huge price drops — so this is an industry that bounces back. It just may take a while to do that,” Lucas said.


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Alberta’s regional relaunch prompts some Calgarians to travel north for haircuts

With no exact timeline for a market rebound, there has been some indication that things are changing.

“We’re starting to see now that the government has introduced their phase-in plan for the economy, that people are starting to feel comfortable with the protocols we’ve put in place… they’re starting to get their houses back on the market and we’re getting a lot more calls from buyers to start looking at houses,” Lucas said.

“There’s no question this last week, week-and-a-half we’ve had tons of conversations with buyers and sellers that are definitely looking to get going,” realtor Ryan Boser with Sarasota Realty said.

While many realtors switched to virtual showings and assessments during heightened COVID-19 restrictions, they said making such a large transaction could benefit from a more personal approach.


READ MORE:
Technology used to overcome impacts of COVID-19 on Edmonton’s real estate market

“Buyers want to physically get through properties just to have that feel, because pictures, video it only tells you so much,” Boser said. “At the end of the day, you really have to see a property and go through a property to get a feel for if its right for you.”

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The province has yet to give the green light on open houses, a step the Realtors Association of Edmonton hopes to see happen in the near future.

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Alberta government tables new structure for beleaguered real estate council – Edmonton Journal

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The board of directors would be responsible for running the corporation and be chaired by one of three members of the public who are appointed by the minister. The remaining board seats would  be filled by one member appointed by each industry council from its elected industry members.

Each industry council would be made up of three industry members elected by their industry and two public members appointed by the minister and a chair.

The new board of directors will would have two years to come up with bylaws and rules  to be approved by the minister.

In the first year, the board of directors must create a bylaw that establishes a dispute resolution process. The new legislation also defines the roles of the executive director who would be responsible for administration of the organization and the registrar who would be in charge of investigations and enforcing the rules. Investigations were previously the responsibility of the executive director.

Kristie Kruger, chair of the Alberta Real Estate Association said her organization is pleased the government has heard its concerns

“This legislation demands greater openness and transparency, which will help rebuild eroded trust in the real estate regulator,” she said in the government’s press release.

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Nanaimo Real Estate Market Report: April 2020 – Nanaimo News NOW

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By Maria Doty

Nanaimo Real Estate Market Report: April

Jun 03, 2020

NANAIMO – The reality of COVID-19 impacts the Nanaimo housing market.

The Nanaimo real estate saw single-family home sales drop by 47% compared to April 2019 and Island wide they went down by 54%.

According to the most recent Market Intellignce Report, the BCREA(British Columbia Real Estate Association) predicts the corona virus recession will be profound, however the duration will be shorter than previous downturns.

The average sale price of single-family homes went up from March 2020 by $1,241 and also increased from April 2020 by $6,995. The average sale price for Nanaimo single-family homes in April 2020 was $593,503.

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Real estate deals stalled according to Altus Group report – Daily Commercial News

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Webinar panellists asked for their reading of the real estate sector across the country during a recent session billed as a pan-Canadian “pulse check” suggested the prospects of recovery in the industry are fraught with uncertainty.

The May 25 Urban Land Institute webinar began with analysis of first-quarter real estate market statistics as well as second-half 2020 market forecasts by Altus Group executive researcher Raymond Wong and his colleague Patricia Arsenault, an executive vice-president in research consulting with the firm.

Wong reported that a survey of clients showed over 50 per cent of respondents said all real estate investment transactions were currently on hold. Broken down into sectors, 50 per cent of office deals were on ice and 58 per cent of retail transaction were on hold, as were 51 per cent of industrial transactions and 53 per cent of residential.

Arsenault addressed the supply side of housing, noting COVID-related uncertainties influencing investors and builders included future low immigration and flat employment numbers.

“Most but not all new project launches planned for spring were pushed off,” Arsenault said. “Most of the delayed projects could be brought to market fairly quickly but that is only if there if was evidence of sustained pick-up in demand.

“As well, I suspect there will be many project postponements for a longer time period as proponents re-evaluate their projects’ viability.”

On the housing demand side, there was bad news and better news, Arsenault said.

The poor economy won’t necessarily mean housing demand will switch from ownership to rentals, she explained.

“Rather, household formation rates tend to go down, younger people will stay at home longer, they will move back in with parents, singles double up, couples delay splitting up, all those factors…will impact housing demand levels,” Arsenault explained.

But the burden of unemployment has not been borne equally, she said, with layoffs hitting people on the lower end of the socio-economic spectrum more than the more wealthy.

“Many of those could choose to buy right now,” she said. “Or they could still choose to wait and see what’s going on in the short term.”

But eventually, Arsenault said, that group represents potential future pent-up demand.

The presentations by Wong and Arsenault were followed by a panel discussion of real estate and construction prospects across the country featuring development experts from Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia.

Jeff Thompson, Alberta-based vice-president with Ledcor, a constructor active in many sectors, noted there was a lot of “tire kicking” going on in the housing sector.

“Everybody still has lots of projects that they want to proceed with,” he said. “They don’t know when exactly. They have to figure out what the metrics need to look like.”

But still, across the country, the pipeline of potential projects is full, though there is regional disparity, he said. He said the dip in productivity felt during the pandemic might continue for a couple more months but then production could return.

Brian McCauley, Vancouver-based president and CEO of Concert Properties, which has a busy portfolio in the residential, commercial and industrial sectors, said construction productivity in his province was returning to normal after cratering in the first weeks after the start of the crisis in March, with 85 to 90 per cent of the construction workforce now back on the job, but costs raised potential alarms.

“We don’t know how trade contractors will price this uncertainty or these hiccups that are related to COVID’s new safety precautions,” said McCauley. “That is not only causing some delays on the production side, but it is also a point of uncertainty moving forward.”

He said he doubts the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s warning that housing prices could drop by up to 18 per cent in the next year. He said given supply constraint and continued demand, it is likely prices will remain high, especially in Vancouver and Toronto.

Key factors to rebuilding homebuyer confidence, McCauley said, are jobs returning in a stable economy, resumption of immigration and low interest rates.

Meanwhile, McCauley said there could be a “seismic shift” in the public-oriented retail market, including restaurants and bars. It was a point introduced by panel moderator Duncan Wlodarczak, Vancouver-based chief of staff with the Onni Group, who said he heard from one U.S. commentator recently that 80 per cent of restaurants might go under.

“Some of them might not survive going forward but we are doing everything we can to keep them active and engaged,” McCauley said.

Panellist Lesley Leech, a Toronto-based director with office and retail developer Cadillac Fairview, acknowledged the retail market was hit hard. She said her firm is working constantly to help tenants survive their months-long shutdowns. Leech was asked if the developer was working on a strategy to repurpose some of its retail portfolio.

“Our investment team and development team is strategizing on all our current plans out there and we will wait to see what the trends are,” she said, adding Cadillac Fairview would wait to obtain more information before making such “major decisions.”

Follow the author on Twitter @DonWall_DCN.

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