But then it woke back up again. And woke back up, it did.
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This has been, by all accounts, the busiest summer on record. The average price of a home in Toronto is now closer than it’s ever been to $1,000,000.
And that is in the middle of a global pandemic with credible fears of a second wave to come.
And a suburban and rural exodus from Toronto driving outer markets to record levels.
Maybe it’s the pent-up demand from the spring market that never came, or possibly the fact that most people aren’t travelling this year, or maybe even the five months of social distancing that likely changed our perspectives on our living situations.
And it’s not that people are oblivious to the potential economic fallout of COVID-19 — it’s more that buyers appear confident that Toronto is a sound investment. Whatever comes next, in the mid-to-long-term, even a 2008-style crash will really just be a blip.
So, what’s important to know?
Mortgage rates are now sub-2% in some cases. Money is essentially free.
Even with record unemployment, those who worked through the shutdown are either back in the office at least partially, or have pivoted to a work-from-home model, so people feel mostly secure.
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Many are expecting to work and school from home in some capacity for the foreseeable future and need their living space to adapt with them.
The condo market is recalibrating with the most significant price adjustment to the smaller units in the downtown core. The rental market has softened, and between investors dumping units and many buyers needing more space, there’s more supply and just not the same demand.
With football gone – hopefully returning as scheduled in 2021 – Mateas and the rest of the CFLers feel like a part of their life has been taken away.
“I’ve never missed football the way I do now,” he said. “I feel like there’s a piece missing right now. Hopefully I can manifest that sense of competition through commercial real estate. But I’ve never wanted to put on the pads and hit somebody more than I do right now.”
With football on the back burner for now, Mateas will keep working out and doing off-season football activities, but he’s also sharply focused on the new business side of his life. He’s also thinking about his friends, his family and his fiancee Chelsea.
“There isn’t a better motivating factor that helps me wake up in the morning with fire,” he said. “It keeps me awake at night and wakes me up early in the morning.”
Then, there are his teammates – in business and in the locker room.
“The bond you create with your (football) teammates through the wins, through the adversity and through the physical contact, you can’t find a parallel to that anywhere,” he said. “You put your body on the line for the benefit of your teammates and it creates a brotherhood you can’t recreate anywhere.”
As for his role as part of the team at Cushman and Wakefield Ottawa, Mateas said: “I’ve been working toward this for three years. I’m absolutely loving it. I’ve got great teammates – in football and in business.”
The first overall pick in the 2015 CFL Draft (out of the University of Connecticut), Mateas is home grown. He grew up around the fields at old Lansdowne Park (with his dad Traian a well-known local soccer coach), going to Merivale High School and playing football for the Myers Riders, Cumberland Panthers and Ottawa Sooners.
Members of Royal LePage Community Realty stand outside their Southview Drive office with a $1,000 check for Medicine Hat Family Services on Friday, the first of a dozen donations in the organization’s 12 Months of Giving campaign.–NEWS PHOTO RYAN MCCRACKEN
Forget the 12 days of Christmas, Royal LePage Community Realty is stepping up with 12 Months of Giving.
The local real estate team recently announced it will be taking $1,000 from its Institutional Advertising fund and giving it to a local not-for-profit group every month for the next year.
“We wanted to repurpose those funds and do something we could feel good about,” said Royal LePage Community Realty owner/broker Brooklyn Kalista, adding the Institutional Advertising fund is built through monthly contributions from agents.
“We support the community and the community supports us. Without community support it’s pretty hard to have success in our industry. It’s just wanting to be there for the community on a collective level. A lot of us do it personally and collectively throughout the year, but just seeing what was happening this year, specifically with COVID and everything else, we just thought this would be a really good time and a great way to repurpose funds and inject something back where we could.”
First up will be Medicine Hat Family Services, followed by the Medicine Hat Women’s Shelter Society, the Santa Claus Fund, the food bank’s Brown Bag Lunch Program, the Kinsmen Club of Medicine Hat and Medicine Hat Soccer Association.
The second half of the campaign will feature donations to McMan Youth, Family and Community Services Association, the local Mustard Seed, SPCA Medicine Hat, Big Brothers Big Sisters, the Hat Ronald McDonald House and Habitat for Humanity Southern Alberta.
Kalista says many of the team’s 46 members already volunteer their time at a number of these organizations throughout the year. When approaching the 12 Months of Giving campaign, Kalista says team members were asked to express which organizations mattered most to them.
“We kind of just picked things that really hit home, literally,” she said. “We went with things like bringing food to the table, things that deal with mental health – because obviously that’s been a really big thing for our community this last bit – and just family. Anything to do with those sorts of services that relate to everyday living, we wanted to make sure we were hitting.”
After figuring out the 12 recipients, Kalista says the team reached out to each one to co-ordinate a schedule that will help each organization at a time when it’s needed most.
“We put some thought into our timeline over the next 12 months, as to when it works best for those organizations. We connected with the organizations too, to see if there were times that were more opportune for them as well,” said Kalista. “We kept our one that goes directly to the Santa Claus Fund right around the time that we know we’re usually donating to them anyways. And we will collectively donate toys and games on top of what we’re doing. We did try to match up with the food bank for the brown bag lunch that they have going on right now.”
The real estate market balance is strongly leaning towards the seller currently.
That is what Ron David, President of the Rideau-St. Lawrence Real Estate Board says.
“There’s still a shortage of inventory. The buyers are out there and they are active and they either want to purchase or need to purchase, so what we are experiencing are multiple offers on most of the sales and listings. Which, of course, also relates to a shorter time on the market.”
David says in Leeds and Grenville they’re finding they’re having an influx of people coming to the area from communities like Ottawa, Toronto, Brampton, Kitchener and Oshawa. He says the cause of the influx is price saying this area is still a great bargain. David adds people being able to work from home is another reason when they get an exceptional deal here to work from home.
David says the Ontario Real Estate Association will be bringing a plan to Premier Ford’s government to outline how housing can help drive Ontario’s post-COVID economic recovery. He says presentations to MPPs will be done next week for the plan.
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