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



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.”


Note to readers: We know the speed and volume of coronavirus-related news is overwhelming and a little frightening. To help with that, our daily live blog synthesizes the most important coronavirus-related news, especially as it relates to life in Montreal and Quebec. Follow the updates from May 15 here.

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Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2020

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Bridgemarq Real Estate Services Announces Annual Meeting of Shareholders – Canada NewsWire



TORONTO, June 1, 2020 /CNW/ – Bridgemarq Real Estate Services Inc. (“Bridgemarq” or the “Company”) (TSX: BRE), a leading provider of residential real estate services to brokers and their REALTORS®1, today announced that the Company will hold its annual meeting of shareholders on August 7, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. eastern time

The Company’s shareholders’ meeting will be a virtual only, live audio webcast. Shareholders of record as at June 26, 2020 and their proxyholders will be permitted to vote and ask questions during the online event.

Additional information about the meeting, including how to access and participate in the meeting, will be made available in the Company’s Notice of Meeting and Management Information Circular, which is expected to be filed on or about June 26, 2020.


This news release contains forward-looking information and other “forward-looking statements”. Words such as “will”, “expected”, and other expressions that are predictions of or could indicate future events and trends and that do not relate to historical matters, identify forward-looking statements. Reliance should not be placed on forward-looking statements because they involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the Company to differ materially from anticipated future results, performance or achievement expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated in the forward-looking statements include: the duration and effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, including the impact of COVID-19 on the economy, the Company’s business and its ability to conduct the meeting of shareholders on the planned date, the impact of government or other regulatory initiatives to address the impact of the spread of COVID-19 on the Canadian economy, changes in government policy, laws or regulations which could reasonably affect the housing markets in Canada, consumer response to any changes in the housing markets in Canada or any changes in government policy, laws or regulations, changes in general economic conditions (including interest rates, consumer confidence and other general economic factors or indicators), technology matters which could affect a shareholder’s ability to access the virtual meeting or vote at the meeting, and other risks detailed in the Company’s annual information form, which is filed with securities commissions and posted on SEDAR at Forward-looking information is based on various material factors or assumptions, which are based on information currently available to management. Material factors or assumptions that were applied in drawing conclusions or making estimates set out in the forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to: anticipated impact of government policies, the successful execution of the Company’s business strategies and recent regulatory developments, including as the foregoing relate to COVID-19. The factors underlying current expectations are dynamic and subject to change. Although the forward-looking statements contained in this release are based upon what management believes are reasonable assumptions, the Company cannot assure readers that actual results will be consistent with these forward-looking statements. The Company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.

About Bridgemarq Real Estate Services

Bridgemarq is a leading provider of services to residential real estate brokers and a network of over 19,000 REALTORS®1. We operate in Canada under the Royal LePage, Via Capitale and Johnston & Daniel brands. For more information, go to

Bridgemarq is an affiliate of Brookfield Business Partners, a business services and industrials company focused on owning and operating high-quality businesses that benefit from barriers to entry and/or low production costs. Brookfield Business Partners is listed on the New York and Toronto stock exchanges. Further information is available at


1 The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS® and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify real estate professionals who are members of CREA.

SOURCE Bridgemarq Real Estate Services Inc.

For further information: Sarah Louise Gardiner, Director of Investor Relations, Bridgemarq Real Estate Services, [email protected], Tel: 416-510-5783

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This Week’s Top Stories: Canadian Real Estate Prices Expected To Fall, and Banks Set Aside Billions For Losses – Better Dwelling



Time for your cheat sheet on this week’s most important stories.

Canadian Real Estate

CMHC’s Canadian Real Estate Price Forecast Shows Big Drops In Ontario And BCCanada’s national housing agency gave a detailed breakdown of its real estate price forecast. Prices are expected to fall later this year, and continue into 2021. The forecast ends 2022 not quite recovered across the country. Different markets are expected to be impacted differently, with Ontario and BC projected to take big hits. Less overvalued markets like Quebec are expected to see much smaller price declines.
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Canada’s Big Six Banks Set Aside Over $10 Billion For Bad Loans, Up Over 300%
Canada’s Big Six banks are expecting billions of loans to go bad soon. Provisions for credit losses (PCLs) hit $10.92 billion at the Big Six, up 346.42% from the year before. PCLs are cash set aside for loans the bank believes have become unrecoverable. The sudden spike of increase implies banks see delinquencies to rise sharply soon.
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TransUnion Warns A “Severe” Scenario Likely In Canada, Mortgage Defaults To Jump
TransUnion, one of North America’s “Big Three” credit rating agencies, expects the mortgage market to deteriorate. Analysts from the firm look at over 40 metrics, including forbearance and credit. At this point of the pandemic, the firm sees a “severe” scenario playing out, with mortgage originations dropping, balances swelling, and delinquencies doubling. That’s the trifecta of bad news when it comes to mortgages.
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CIBC: Challenges To Canadian Real Estate Will Be “Coming In 12-18 Months”
One of Canada’s biggest banks sees the real estate market getting hit, but doesn’t expect issues for 12 to 18 months. The bank notes unemployment from 5.5% pre-crisis, to 13% currently. They expect unemployment to fall back to 8% next year, but that’s still at recessionary levels. This should lead to reduced real estate activity, with anticipated declines of 5 to 10 percent. The bank’s analysts further added, “high cost units in the high-rise segment of the market seeing the most notable price declines.”
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Most Of Canada’s Insured Mortgages On Deferrals Projected To Be Underwater Soon
Using the CMHC’s forecast, most of Canada’s recently insured mortgages are projected to be underwater. The CMHC estimates 12% of insured mortgages are now on payment deferral, and they expect this to rise to 20% by the end of the summer. The CMHC is forecasting price declines between 9 and 18% over the next 12 months. This would leave a considerable portion of insured mortgages with less than 1% equity in the next few months.
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Toronto Real Estate

Only 5% Of Greater Toronto’s New Homes Sold Last Month
The pandemic finally put the breaks on Toronto’s new home sales, which seemed previously untouched. There were just 771 units in April, down 80% from last year. This is a whopping 78% below the 10 year average. While the slowdown is expected, the decline in sales is much faster than the decline in inventory. This will lead to downward pressure on prices if it persists.
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Birds that come by looking for real-estate (8 photos) – BradfordToday



As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago in a story here, I am fortunate to live on a farm property a little north of Alliston, where there is a mix of open land, a stand of mature conifers, smaller trees and bushes. It is a wonderful bird habitat. 

In the past couple of months some of those birds have been searching for suitable living quarters. I was fortunate to be able to purchase an Eastern Bluebird Nesting Box from friends of mine who made boxes and donated the proceeds from sales to a local food bank. 

I was pleased to have this personal connection to the builders of the potential home, and pleased at the prospect of having a nesting pair of these birds of happiness as neighbours. I have had them in the ‘hood other years and thus was hopeful they may chose to move into a home built with them in mind. 

I was very excited one day in April when I spied a pair in nearby trees. And, as you may well imagine, even more so when I saw them checking out the house. The male sat on it and went in, no virtual tour was available online. He seemed to like what he saw and called his mate to check it out. They came back a couple of days in a row. To me, it seemed like an easy sale. Alas, I was mistaken. 

The bluebirds moved out of the picture and a pair of Tree Swallows followed pretty much the same procedure. By this time, I was hoping to double my chances with a second nesting box. The Tree Swallow couple went from box to box for about a week. It seemed to me they were testing out flight patterns from the two locations. They were very tolerant of my presence and stayed in place even when I was near. I thought – hey, they like me. 

They are splendid aerialist and fun to watch. They also eat such things as mosquitoes on the fly – an impressive and appreciated skill. 

After the week, however, they moved down the fence-line to a more established neighbourhood and took up residence there. There is more open field thus more comfortable room for free flying. 

I was feeling a little dejected. As is the norm in my way of thinking, it was all because I did something wrong. 

After wallowing in self-pity for a couple of days, I was amazed to see a male bluebird back at the box. I was cautious of being hopeful. When he was back the next day with his mate and they checked out both boxes, the stirring of excitement was hard to suppress. 

I can now announce with great satisfaction and happiness, the pair chose one of these homes, moved furniture in, and have been very joyful neighbours for nearly two weeks. 

It’s so great to look out my office window to see the male sitting on the nearby fence, or in the tree. He is more visible than the more muted coloured female. He is also very protective of the nest. 

They are such charming little neighbours. I am delighted by their presence, and it is a privilege to have them so close. 

As the weeks go by, I will share some of my experiences of bird visitors with readers. In the meantime, keep your eye to the sky and look for birds that may come by. 

A note: Ed and Bryan Osborne sold 120 nesting boxes, and raised $4110.00 for the Tottenham Foodbank. They have another 20 or so to sell.


Rosaleen Egan is a freelance journalist, a storyteller, and a playwright. She blogs on her website

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