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Pattie Lovett-Reid: Three real estate trends emerging from the coronavirus pandemic – CTV News

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TORONTO —
There is little doubt COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on more than one wedding this season. And while I’m truly disappointed for couples who had big plans for their special day, the average cost of a wedding is not insignificant. Using a rough estimate, let’s call it approximately $30,000. This is a big expense for one day, plus a honeymoon. Saving this sort of money takes discipline and hard work. Marriage is a huge milestone and can be celebrated in many ways.

1. In a unexpected twist, couples planning to tie the knot — while disappointed their wedding plans have been cancelled due to COVID-19 — are not letting that money sit idly. COVID-19 is not stopping them from building their life together emotionally and financially.

According to Rakhee Dhringra, CEO of Mortgage Savvy, “We recently had the pleasure of assisting a few first-time homebuyers who were scheduled to get married this summer. Unfortunately, due to the current environment they had to postpone their wedding. Based on the money they received back from their deposit cheques, they were able to allocate those funds towards buying their first home — one where their family can build long-lasting memories and grow into long-term.”

2. Another emerging trend is the backyard and home renovation. It is safe to say many are hesitant to travel this year until at least a vaccine is found and the result — a staycation option. Rakhee herself has been putting off her backyard reno in favour of travel but has decided this year the travel budget is being shifted toward home investment.

She went on to say, “during COVID-19, we’ve been able to support many clients on the refinancing front. By leveraging existing equity in their homes, many clients have been able to do some much needed home renovations. Doing so, not only gives them the opportunity to invest back into their home and appreciate the overall value of their property, but also design their home to reflect more of their current needs.”

Weeks of isolation has given us a very clear idea of where we spend our time in our home and highlights what has worked and what has been working as well. Our son Kev and his wife Ellen are literally expecting their second child in days. Currently living in a two-bedroom home is ideal for their current situation but are concerned as the family grows and did I mention their two dogs, their home isn’t going to be as ideal as it once was. Thoughts of moving were explored and then tempered by the sheer logistics of it during a pandemic and the costs. Their solution is to build on the existing structure with great savings from the land transfer tax costs combined with real estate fees being redirected towards their home renovation.

For families that are growing, backyards that have overgrown, and with more Canadians working from home, a renovation can be both financially savvy and emotionally satisfying.

3. Cottage life isn’t for everyone and travel to the cottage due to the pandemic has been restricted in some communities for now. However, that hasn’t stopped people from exploring in a low-interest rate environment a second or even investment property. Land, water, fresh air and no air travel can be very appealing. It is still early days however, based on the number of requests I’ve had — 3 to date from people thinking about buying in cottage country, you know waterfront supply and demand will soon kick in and prices will continue trend higher.

Real estate for most is our largest asset and our greatest liability. But our home is so much more, it is also a place of pride and comfort. During periods of difficulty hunkering down in your home can have a calming influence in a time when you feel you have little control over much else.

These may be just a few of the early and unintentional trends in real estate that have evolved out of a pandemic but that doesn’t mean that it is a bad thing.

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Despite the challenges, Edmonton area real estate values 'have held up extraordinarily well' – Edmonton Journal

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I have to say the Edmonton area real estate market has surprised me.

When you consider the onslaught we have had in the past five years — oil price crash, more than 100,000 job losses, fires, floods, domestic and international trade disputes and then COVID-19, I would say the Edmonton and area real estate values have held up extraordinarily well.

Since 2014, we’ve only seen modest declines in prices, with single family homes declining the least. Edmonton remains Canada’s most affordable major city with one of the highest average incomes.

Other Canadian cities have seen significant price gains in the same time period creating a bigger difference in real estate values between regions. We have had clients who can work anywhere and chose Edmonton as they can afford much nicer living quarters here for the same money.

Given the lower prices and interest rates combined with rising rental demand, it is easier for investors to get positive cash flows. We are seeing investors looking at condos for their positive cash flow. This fact will help to support our real estate values.

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Toronto and Vancouver Real Estate Inventory May Get A Boost From AirBNB Slowdown – Better Dwelling

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Canadian real estate markets may be getting another inventory headwind soon. National Bank of Canada (NBC) research estimates AirBNB hosts may contribute to oversupply later this year. As the slowdown impacts hosts, many may be incentivized to sell. By their estimates, just a quarter of hosts selling would cause inventory in cities like Toronto and Vancouver to swell.

AirBNB and Housing Inventory

AirBNB helps homeowners take existing housing stock and convert it to short-term rentals. Rather than staying in hotels, travelers can now stay in existing non-hotel stock. At first, it wasn’t a big issue when just a few people were doing it. As the platform expanded, people began buying additional housing just to operate short-term rentals. By repurposing housing that would otherwise be long-term units, cities now need additional housing. Basically, short-term rentals lead to an inventory squeeze, pushing rents and prices higher. Temporarily at least, for as long as the squeeze persists. That squeeze could end as quickly as travel did.

The Travel Industry Expects A Big Slowdown

The travel industry doesn’t expect travel to recover quickly from the pandemic. The US has approved some routes cutting plane traffic up to 90% until September. The IATA, the trade association for international airlines, also doesn’t see traffic returning to 2019 levels until at least 2023 – at the earliest. What does this mean? Fewer users of short-term rentals, and more competition from hotels for those travelers. All of this can have a big impact on real estate inventory, according to NBC numbers.

Canada’s Biggest Real Estate Markets May See Inventory Spike

If just a quarter of AirBNB inventory is sold off, NBC sees a lot more real estate listings on the market. In Vancouver, the bank estimates real estate listings would rise 12%. Montreal would see an increase of 27% in resale listings. Toronto is another story though, with inventory forecasted to rise a whopping 34%. That’s with just 25% of AirBNB exiting as hosts.

AirBNB Boost To Canadian Real Estate Inventory

The potential increase in real estate listings if 25% of AirBNB properties were listed for sale.

Source: National Bank of Canada, Better Dwelling.

The boost is another headwind for inventory rising later in the year. Inventory was already expected to rise in the coming few months. NBC economists believe this would be “exacerbating oversupply in the coming months.”

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How Is The Real Estate Market In Muskoka Post COVID19 – Hunters Bay Radio

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In a brand new video podcast series, Gerry Lantaigne with Sutton Group – Muskoka Realty discuses the world of real estate in Muskoka during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Join Gerry every month as he updates you on The State of Real Estate

Watch the inaugural episode here:

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