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Home sales in Toronto are falling off a cliff this month – blogTO

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Given everything that’s going on right now — like, you know, a deadly pandemic and consequent global economic fallout — buying a new home isn’t really a top priority for most people.

Though experts say COVID-19 won’t have a long-term effect on housing markets in Canada, things like job loss, financial precarity, general uncertainty, and a lack of tools that the real estate market relies on (like open houses) mean that buyers are understandably more hesitant than usual and may be willing to put shopping for a house off for the foreseeable future.

Toronto’s housing market stats for March were a mixed bag, averaging out better than March of last year, but Toronto property sales have fallen drastically ever since — April’s home sales so far are only 16 per cent of what they were last month, and we are nearly two-thirds of the way through.

But, as realtor Gord Collins notes, “everyone knows demand is there, which keeps prices from dropping too much.”

The Toronto Regional Real Estate Board said that home sales in the GTA were up 12.3 per cent last month compared to March 2019, but that there was “a clear break in market activity” after the 2019 novel coronavirus crisis began mid-month.

While sales in the city skyrocketed in the first half of March 2020 — up nearly 50 per cent from the same time last year — they dropped down a staggering 15.9 per cent from March 2019 in the second half of the month.

The early-month sales ended up accounting for 58 per cent of all homebuying transactions in March 2020.

New listings in the city were likewise significantly down in the second half of last month, though home prices were fairly unaffected and still higher than last year (but did drop, on average, $40,000 from the beginning on March to the end).

“Clearly, uncertainty surrounding the outbreak’s impact on the broader economy and the onset of the necessary social distancing measures resulting in declining sales and listings since March 15,” the board said.

Gord Collins echoes this, saying in his market forecast based on TREB figures that “we can predict these prices will drop much further as the full impact of growing unemployment and work shutdowns.”

A report from Toronto real estate brokerage Zolo similarly anticipates property prices will plummet.

Many real estate groups like Zoocasa and Royal LePage have speculated that despite a temporary hit due to COVID-19, the market will end up recovering later in the year, as ” the fundamentals of the housing market generally don’t change” in big cities such as Toronto.

Despite the fact that most young people in Toronto have come to terms with the fact that they will never be able to become homeowners, we’ll have to wait and see if low prime lending rates and COVID-19 pricing ends up bringing property ownership anywhere within our reach (if you’re even into that sort of thing).

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Kamloops real estate sales numbers down, prices up – Kamloops This Week

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Real estate sales in Kamloops and the surrounding region are the lowest they have been in more than five years, with the number of residential units sold down 25 per cent compared to last year and the five-year average.

But the prices remain high.

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The data comes from the Kamloops and District Real Estate Association, which issued its report for May on Tuesday.

A total of 175 residential units were sold in May, down 46 per cent compared to May 2019. That figure also represents a five-year low and is nearly half of the five-year average of about 325 units sold each May.

The price of those residential units, however, is at a five-year high.

In 2016, the average price of a home sold in May was $337,953, but with steady increases each year, the average price of a home sold in May 2020 was $435,621.

KADREA president Wendy Runge said realtors were prepared for a sluggish month after April, which saw a 56 per cent drop in sales and a 51 per cent decline in new listings, noting sales figures have improved since the government enacted Phase 2 of its pandemic-related restart plan.

The number of new listings has also rebounded somewhat. March saw 474 new listings, April had 232 new listings and May recorded 327 people list their homes for sale.

Runge said she anticipates a sharp rise in sales in June.

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Real estate market sees 'thaw' in Langley – Aldergrove Star – Aldergrove Star

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The sale of homes started to increase in Langley in May as restrictions prompted by the coronavirus slowly eased, but numbers were still down sharply from last year.

“Everything’s now thawing,” said Ty Corsie, a local realtor.

He said that 60 days ago, it was like the entire local real estate market was frozen, but now things are starting to move again as buyers and sellers adjust to the new normal.

According to data from the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board (FVREB) 59 single-family homes changed hands in Langley last month, down 32.2 per cent from the same month in 2019.

There were 52 townhouses sold, down 38.8 per cent, and 50 condos sold, down 38.3 per cent from a year before.

The numbers were comparable to sales volumes seen in January, traditionally one of the slowest months for real estate in the year, when 49 houses, 47 townhouses, and 46 condos were sold in Langley.

But Corsie noted that both buyers and sellers are re-entering the market. His firm listed six homes for sale this week alone, much more than they normally would. It looks like a delayed spring, he said, with people trying to make up for time lost in March and April.

Despite the overall low sales numbers compared to last year, Langley was faring better on average than many of its neighbours.

Overall, the Fraser Valley region saw a 46.9 per cent decline across all home types in communities running from North Delta through to Abbotsford. There were 805 home sales, down from 1,517 the year before.

Local sales also represent a significant improvement from April, when sales in Langley were down by 50 per cent.

READ MORE: Coronavirus hammers Langley housing market

Prices remained stable, with the price of a single-detached house in Langley still hovering near $1 million, where it had been for some time. The Canada Mortgage Housing Corporation has predicted that Canadian house prices will decline this year and the next, anywhere between nine and 18 per cent.

The benchmark prices for townhouses and condos were also up slightly in May compared to a year ago in Langley.

Corsie said a big part of the increase has been the creation of a “new normal” that allows people to see houses again. People are wearing gloves and masks to visit homes before signing contracts.

The pandemic and the physical distancing restrictions have made things more difficult for younger realtors, Corsie said.

Experienced realtors can rely on referrals from previous clients and a deep list of contacts. Younger realtors starting out have to build up those contacts through promotional materials, open houses, and face-to-face contacts.

“Meeting people face-to-face is a huge part of the business,” he said.

With open houses and door knocking essentially impossible, the last two months have seen a lot of young realtors without work. He’s hopeful that will change as the market picks up.

“Realtors and consumers deserve to be congratulated,” said FVREB president Chris Shields. “It’s not easy to adapt quickly to physical distancing, virtual tools and strict personal safety protocols and yet we’re seeing more and more transactions happening daily as we all get more comfortable and confident with the new normal.”

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Commercial real estate won’t be a distressed asset: Marcus & Millichap CEO – Yahoo Canada Finance

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<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="The novel coronavirus pandemic forced offices and retailers to shift operations online over the past three months — leading some to speculate that demand for commercial real estate will drop, sending prices plummeting.” data-reactid=”16″>The novel coronavirus pandemic forced offices and retailers to shift operations online over the past three months — leading some to speculate that demand for commercial real estate will drop, sending prices plummeting.

But most commercial properties will not be selling for massive discounts, according to Hessam Nadji, CEO of Marcus & Millichap, a California-based national commercial real estate brokerage.

“There’s a broad brush sentiment that commercial real estate is going to get distressed pricing across the board and that is just not the case,” Nadji told Yahoo Finance. Apartments and warehouses, in particular, are performing “very well.” 

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="As Americans shelter in place, demand for apartments and condos have remained stable. Some 41.4% of investors reported multifamily acquisitions in their market in May compared to 33.6% in April, according to a monthly survey of almost 500 members in the NAIOP (National Association of Industrial and Office Properties) Commercial Real Estate Development Association conducted May 18-20.&nbsp;” data-reactid=”19″>As Americans shelter in place, demand for apartments and condos have remained stable. Some 41.4% of investors reported multifamily acquisitions in their market in May compared to 33.6% in April, according to a monthly survey of almost 500 members in the NAIOP (National Association of Industrial and Office Properties) Commercial Real Estate Development Association conducted May 18-20. 

And a surge in online shopping during the pandemic has upped warehouse demand for last-mile delivery. Warehouse acquisitions increased to 58.7% in May from 54% in April, according to the NAIOP.

Commercial real estate has a history of resilience, said Nadji. The commercial market suffered for 18-24 months after September 11, 2001, as employers feared bringing employees into central business locations. But within a few years, office leasing behavior returned to normal, said Nadji, who expects the same resilience within two to three years, depending on the degree of economic growth.

Workstations in empty office
Workstations in empty office

“We’ve seen from many companies, including IBM, that experimented heavily with telecommuting, that they eventually want to bring people back at least a few times a week to work in groups and be in person and have collaborative functions that bring people together in office locations,” said Nadji.

<h3 class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Hospitality and retail underperform” data-reactid=”34″>Hospitality and retail underperform

But properties that house hospitality or retail are a “whole different story,”  he said, and could offer some “opportunistic investment situations.” Led by a few of these underperforming asset classes, commercial real estate properties had a 2.29% delinquency rate on mortgage loans in April, up from 2.07% March — its largest jump in three years, according to New York-based Trepp Research’s CMBS Delinquency Rate, which measures mortgage ayments that are late for more than 30 days. 

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="With the country under lockdown, traveling virtually ceased during the pandemic. Hotel demand was down 42% in April compared to last year, prompting some 2.71% of hotels and motels to default on their loans in April, compared to only 1.53% in March. Commercial real estate suffered its highest jump in delinquencies in three years, but lodging had the highest uptick of all property types, according to Trepp Research.” data-reactid=”36″>With the country under lockdown, traveling virtually ceased during the pandemic. Hotel demand was down 42% in April compared to last year, prompting some 2.71% of hotels and motels to default on their loans in April, compared to only 1.53% in March. Commercial real estate suffered its highest jump in delinquencies in three years, but lodging had the highest uptick of all property types, according to Trepp Research.

The cities where commercial real estate will take the biggest hit are service-based hospitality economies, including Atlantic City, N.J., Myrtle Beach, S.C., Las Vegas, Nev., Fort Walton Beach, Fla. and Wilmington, N.C., according to MillionAcres, a real estate investing branch of the Motley Fool, an investing advice company based in Alexandria, Va. 

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="With less investor demand for retail space, opportunistic investors could also find deals on vacant storefronts. Some 13.4% of NAIOP members said they had witnessed retail deal activity in May, unchanged from activity in April but significantly down from before the pandemic, according to the NAIOP. Notably, retail spaces with grocery stores are proving resilient, according to CrowdStreet, a Portland, Ore.-based investing platform.&nbsp;” data-reactid=”38″>With less investor demand for retail space, opportunistic investors could also find deals on vacant storefronts. Some 13.4% of NAIOP members said they had witnessed retail deal activity in May, unchanged from activity in April but significantly down from before the pandemic, according to the NAIOP. Notably, retail spaces with grocery stores are proving resilient, according to CrowdStreet, a Portland, Ore.-based investing platform. 

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="While there will also be a short-term reduction in interest in city-based offices, suburban satellite offices may become more popular, said Nadji. Long-term, experts expect the office to remain an attractive investment.” data-reactid=”39″>While there will also be a short-term reduction in interest in city-based offices, suburban satellite offices may become more popular, said Nadji. Long-term, experts expect the office to remain an attractive investment.

“Those kinds of things [a shift toward decentralized locations], I think, will last, and will have a residual effect, but the demise of office space used as kind of a broad statement, I think, is over-exaggerated,” said Nadji.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Sarah Paynter is a reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter&nbsp;@sarahapaynter” data-reactid=”45″>Sarah Paynter is a reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @sarahapaynter

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Read the latest financial and business news from Yahoo Finance” data-reactid=”46″>Read the latest financial and business news from Yahoo Finance

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Follow Yahoo Finance on&nbsp;Twitter,&nbsp;Facebook,&nbsp;Instagram,&nbsp;Flipboard,&nbsp;SmartNews,&nbsp;LinkedIn,&nbsp;YouTube, and&nbsp;reddit.” data-reactid=”47″>Follow Yahoo Finance on TwitterFacebookInstagramFlipboardSmartNewsLinkedInYouTube, and reddit.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="More from Sarah:” data-reactid=”48″>More from Sarah:

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="The office apocalypse is not here, yet” data-reactid=”49″>The office apocalypse is not here, yet

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="People are still paying rent during the coronavirus pandemic” data-reactid=”50″>People are still paying rent during the coronavirus pandemic

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Bidding wars start to heat up in some states as coronavirus lockdown eases” data-reactid=”51″>Bidding wars start to heat up in some states as coronavirus lockdown eases

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