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New pandemic protocols will change Quebec's real estate business – The Guardian

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Quebec real estate brokers got some good news Monday when COVID-19 restrictions were lifted.

For the husband and wife real estate duo of Daniel Arsenault and Jennifer Smith of Royal Lepage Village in Pointe-Claire, it means they’ll be able to once again visit a potential client at their home, albeit two metres apart.

But it’s not completely business as usual as new pandemic protocols must be observed in the buying and selling of properties.

The traditional practice of holding open houses, in which properties for sale are showcased to the general public, will undergo tweaks.

“For example, if a family of five visits a home, only one person at a time is allowed inside,” Arsenault noted. “Given proper social distancing and limited numbers of people in a house at any time, proper sanitation, we’re pretty well back to business.”

In the new normal, virtual tours, or online visual tours of properties, will likely grow in popularity among both buyers and sellers looking to reduce person-to-person contact.

“We were doing it already, but more people will probably do it (now) is drone photography and 3-D virtual tours and floor plans,” Arsenault said. “That will become more of the norm because we want to make sure the people are qualified before visiting.

“In real estate, as in any sales business, you should qualify to lead. Now it’s much more so the case. We need to qualify that the buyers are financially prepared, that they’ve worked for a bit to decide what locations they want to go to.”

The onus on prospective buyers will be to filter info such as location, proximity to transportation lines and schools.

“So it’s a much more detailed analysis or qualification prior to committing to a visit,” Arsenault said.

Montreal’s red-hot real estate market has chilled like the rest of the economy since the city went into COVID-19 lockdown in mid-March. After 61 consecutive months of increases, the Montreal Census Metropolitan Area reported a 68 per cent decrease in residential sales transactions in April 2020 compared with the year earlier period.

“(The pandemic) is going to affect economy in ways we can’t even imagine,” Arsenault said. “Where there were 10 buyers before, now there might be five, so supply and demand might force prices down a bit.”

Arsenault said homes under $500,000 will likely remain attractive in a sagging economy.

“The low end of the market, in good locations, is insulated from (a downturn) … because if you’re in a bigger house and you need to downsize you’re going to go to the lower end. It’s more frugal.

“On the other hand, houses in a fringe location or are outliers in terms of size … is going to be a challenge. In other words, the house that was harder to sell before will be harder to sell now.”

Arsenault speculates that other factors, such as the type of housing and proximity to others, could affect the real estate market going forward.

“If you’re an elder person and planning to go into a retirement home, you’re holding off for now,” he said. “We have clients who are doing exactly that.”

Arsenault said the Montreal condominium market could also take a hit if buyers start looking for single-family homes with backyards and more space between neighbours.

“If people were on the fence, this will be a catalyst,” he said.

But other factors, such as proximity to medical services, must also be weighed if people move farther away from the city.

“We’re going to see fear of proximity,” Arsenault said. “No matter what the government is telling them, there is going to be a vast portion of the population that is going to be afraid to be around other people.

“Historically, after every major economic crisis, one of the trends was more people moving into smaller properties closer to major cities. So reduce your financial footprint.

“And now we have both happening at the same time. We have the financial crisis but we also have fear of proximity.”

jmeagher@postmedia.com

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Ontario Real Estate Association hands down new guidelines as folks begin looking back into housing market – Barrie 360 – Barrie 360

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While officials are expecting the Canadian housing market to take a real hit because of the COVID pandemic, Ontario realtors are still taking steps to protect those who want to buy or sell a home.

The Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) has issued a series of guidelines to protect the health and safety of not just those in the market to buy or sell, but the realtors doing the deals too.

The OREA says virtual home showings should continue for now

Most home showings have been done virtually since the emergency was declared in Ontario, and the OREA says that should become standard practice for now. Documents, forms, and acknowledgments should be processed electronically according to these guidelines. The OREA asks that physical home showings should be preceded by thoroughly disinfecting surfaces, and a physical distance should be maintained while interacting with clients directly. The OREA asks that personal protective equipment be used when distancing isn’t possible. A complete list of the OREA’s recommendations can be found on its website.

Housing starts, sales, and prices are expected to be impacted by the pandemic through 2022

Now that the Ontario Government has announced a phased reopening, the OREA feels many consumers are looking to get back into the market in person. “The health and safety of our Realtors and their clients is OREA’s top priority during this pandemic,” says Sean Morrison, President of OREA. “As Ontario’s economy reopens, many Ontarians are looking to get back into the real estate market. Realtors are here to help make home buyers and sellers feel comfortable and safe while they work to find their dream home. OREA’s guidelines have been informed by up-to-date information from public health, best practices from the industry and experiences in jurisdictions across North America.”

RELATED: HOUSING MARKET TO BE HIT HARD BY COVID PANDEMIC THROUGH TO THE END OF 2022, ACCORDING TO CMHC HOUSING OUTLOOK

On Wednesday, the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation released a housing market outlook that shows the impacts of COVID-19 will be felt on the industry right through to the end of 2022. Housing starts, sales, and prices within Ontario will be more impacted than some, including B.C. and Quebec, but less than those of oil-dependent Alberta or Saskatchewan.

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Quebecers love the 'burbs, real estate poll suggests – Montreal Gazette

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A survey conducted by the RE/MAX Québec real estate firm suggests that 46 per cent of respondents — particularly those with young children — could see themselves buying a home in the suburbs.

The poll, carried out just as the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak were beginning to be felt across Quebec, found that 28 per cent would like to settle in the city while 21 per cent preferred the country.

Among potential sellers, the Léger poll found 58 per cent would put their homes on the block to move somewhere with more land, while 55 per cent would do so for a larger home.

A large proportion of respondents ages 55-64 would sell in order to move to a less expensive home.

RE/MAX Québec vice-president Sylvain Dansereau said the polling dates were not changed despite the health crisis, adding that a second phase of the survey will be carried out this autumn to measure the effects of the outbreak on the real estate buying and selling preferences of Quebecers.

Quebec’s real estate industry received government authorization to resume operations on May 11.

The poll was conducted March 17-29 with 1,400 respondents in six regions of Quebec and has a 2.6-per-cent margin of error 19 times out of 20.

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The State of Canada Real Estate

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Canada is a country that is known to consistently have a great housing market. Their prices are always on the incline, and they’ve not had any dilemmas regarding their housing economy. With the emergence of the pandemic, housing in Canada might change for the better, or for the worse.

Real Estate During the Pandemic

With the rise in the coronavirus pandemic, people have stopped looking for new homes in ThenCanada. Fewer and fewer homes and spaces are being sold day by day. Rather than risk moving into a new place, Canada’s residents are staying put until they can safely move. Business owners are no longer buying or renting work spaces either. With the stay at home order, there is no need to have a work space they can’t use. Nevertheless, though fewer people are buying houses in Canada, the prices of houses are still increasing. The cost of resales have surged all across the country.

 

The Cost of Canada Real Estate

On average, the cost of houses in Canada is about 500,000 canadian dollars. The cost of each home is based on region. Houses in big cities like Ottawa and Toronto are meant to be on the higher end of housing costs. Canada real estate prices are on the rise to make up for limited sales. Canada is lucky in that it does not suffer from the same housing crisis as the United States, and other parts of the world in 2008. They’ve stayed secure in their prices and economy, and though the pandemic has affected them, there will be few repercussions when the pandemic ends.

Canada’s Best Places for Real Estate

Investing in Canada real estate is easy and simple. There are plenty of great regions to buy homes to live in, rent out, or make a vacation home. The best places for Canada real estate are located in the province of Ontario. Places like Peterborough and Kawarthas have saw significant increase in the housing market over 2019. These houses will spawn a profit, and they are in locations that are affordable and central to Canada. Ontario is a great province because it hosts the country’s capital city, Ottawa, and it borders the great lakes and the United States.

 

The Housing Market

The Coronavirus has certainly shifted Canada’s housing market, but not in enough of a way to make a difference. Homeowners in Canada are beginning to worry that their equity and assets are going to depreciate, but as of yet, Canada’s economy is still intact. There is worry across the country that the housing prices will fall. Then again, there are others who hope the prices fall– they’ve been consistent for so long– so they can afford to buy a home in Canada. Either way, someone will benefit from the rise or decline of the housing market due to coronavirus.

Canada is a country full of kindness is beautiful houses. The time to buy a house is not now. The prices of homes are increasing, but they could soon drop. The pandemic has changed things all over the world. Canada real estate is no different.

 

Published By Harry Miller

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