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Prices continue to soar in Toronto real estate market — despite COVID-19 crisis – Toronto Star



After 27 years, Mike and Andrée Sullivan expect to list their four-bedroom century home in Weston on Thursday — just as they had planned before a pandemic rolled right into the real estate’s sector’s busy spring season.

It’s a bold move, but not a crazy one. To many people’s surprise, Toronto’s real estate market is showing few signs of slowing down, despite the mounting crisis.

In fact, house prices are continuing to trend up — 14.5 per cent year over year so far this month, according to John Pasalis, the statistic-tracking president of the Realosophy brokerage in Leslieville.

The number of sales also rose last week — 18 per cent year over year — although that’s down from the 55 per cent of the previous week.

New listings also continued to grow after last week’s COVID-19 shutdown, albeit by only 3 per cent year over year compared to 50 per cent the week before.

The numbers are only a snapshot — a picture of where we are, not necessarily where the market is heading, warned Pasalis.

March break was in the third week of March this year, rather than the second week of the month as it was last year. That could account for some of the lower sales and listing numbers last week. Usually the weeks before and after the spring break are busier than the week itself.

People are definitely trying to list their homes as soon as possible, said Pasalis. Nobody who plans to sell wants to delay.

But he doesn’t think the spike in sales and listings the second week of March was related to the pandemic and although some people may have expedited their listings prior to March break, Pasalis says it likely wasn’t the majority.

Right At Home Realty president John Lusink is as surprised as anyone to see that listings in his company were up 2 per cent last week compared to the previous pre-shutdown week. Listings are down 6 per cent year over year in March, however, in Right At Home’s Toronto, Barrie and Ottawa territories.

Sales that have yet to close were also up 9 per cent last week over the previous week.

Still, despite the market’s resilience, many in the real estate industry do expect activity to slow going forward.

“Given what’s happened this past week with both (real estate) associations and companies now prohibiting open houses, you’re going to see a further impact. Most people are making do. At some point if you can’t actually get in, that will certainly put a damper on sales figures,” Lusink said.

“Anecdotally, agents have been sharing with us that they are advising clients to hold of putting their properties on the market unless they absolutely have to,” he added.

Donal McCarthy of Keller Williams Referred Urban Realty says he has been watching Toronto Regional Real Estate Board statistics inside the City of Toronto’s borders.

Although there has been a drop in sales since March 13, “it’s not as reduced as some folks are thinking,” he said.

“The number of listings had been increasing. We’ll see next week where that’s at,” said McCarthy. “The market is still churning.”

For home seller Mike Sullivan, 67, listing his house was a bit like ripping off a bandage. He wants to get on with the tough decision of leaving the community where the former MP has deep roots.

The stairs are painful for his arthritic knee and the growing gentrification of his beloved neighbourhood is increasingly tough to watch, he said.

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Sullivan admits the couple is nervous about selling during the COVID-19 outbreak. They are isolating as much as possible.

“When COVID arrived, I started to get anxious but we couldn’t get ready in time,” he said.

Their realtor, Luisa Bada of Spectrum Realty Services, says sellers are hesitant to list because of the risk of COVID-19 exposure during showings, and few will want to buy a house without seeing it first. But with 360-degree virtual tours and videos, it is still possible to buy and sell. She can also arrange video conferencing so that buyers can take a virtual walk-through of a property.

A big change to the way Bada operates, she said, is that she is now insisting on calls with buyers’ agents if someone wants to see a house in person.

“I want to know more about the seriousness of their buyer and whether or not this is within their reach. If they are just going to a home to see it, forget it,” she said.

Buyers who come to the house will be given gloves and hand sanitizer before Bada escorts them through.

“We’ll try to do the no-touch thing as best we can — leave closet doors open, leave lights on so people don’t have to touch so much when they’re in the house,” she said.

Bada predicts the market will slow. She is already seeing fewer active buyers.

“Whether (properties) hold or they drop in price … a lot of that will be determined by a recession if it happens and how profound that might be,” she said.

Sullivan says he and Andrée are anxious to move closer to family in either Paris, Ont., or Qualicum Beach, B.C., hopefully in the summer.

They are carrying on with listing their four-bedroom, two bathroom home for $1.09 million, reasoning that another family will want to move before school starts next fall.

But, said Sullivan, “We are not going to sell for less than it’s worth. There is no panic.”

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Northwest Healthcare Properties Real Estate Investment Trust Announces August 2020 Distribution – Canada NewsWire



TORONTO, Aug. 14, 2020 /CNW/ – NorthWest Healthcare Properties Real Estate Investment Trust (TSX: NWH.UN) (the “REIT”) announced today that the Trustees of the REIT have declared a distribution of $0.06667 per unit for the month of August 2020, representing $0.80 per unit on an annualized basis. The distribution will be payable on September 15, 2020, to unitholders of record as at August 31, 2020.

About NorthWest Healthcare Properties Real Estate Investment Trust

NorthWest Healthcare Properties Real Estate Investment Trust (TSX: NWH.UN) is an unincorporated, open-ended real estate investment trust established under the laws of the Province of Ontario.  The REIT provides investors with access to a portfolio of high quality international healthcare real estate infrastructure comprised of interests in a diversified portfolio of 183 income-producing properties and 15.2 million square feet of gross leasable area located throughout major markets in Canada, Brazil, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. The REIT’s portfolio of medical office buildings, clinics, and hospitals is characterized by long term indexed leases and stable occupancies. With a fully integrated and aligned senior management team, the REIT leverages over 230 professionals across nine offices in seven countries to serve as a long-term real estate partner to leading healthcare operators.

This press release contains forward-looking statements which reflect the REIT’s current expectations regarding future events. The forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties. Actual results could differ materially from those projected herein. The REIT disclaims any obligation to update these forward-looking statements.

SOURCE NorthWest Healthcare Properties Real Estate Investment Trust

For further information: Paul Dalla Lana, CEO at (416) 366-8300 x 1001.

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Record-smashing, historic July for local real estate –



Not only has the local real estate market come back from a COVID lull, last month brought more sales for the Southern Georgian Bay region than any month ever. 

According to the Southern Georgian Bay Association of Realtors (SGBAR), sales this July were 57.6 per cent above sales recorded in July 2019. 

“Sales activity increased dramatically across the Southern Georgian Bay region in July.” said Mike Scholte, president of SGBAR. “This past month had the highest number of home sales since June 2016, setting a new single-month record. New listings increased slightly year over year, posting the largest number added in the month of July in more than five years.”

Based on MLS data compiled by SGBAR, there were 594 homes sold in the region last month. 

Of those, 369 were sold in the western part of the region, which includes Wasaga Beach, Collingwood, Clearview, The Blue Mountains, Meaford, and Grey Highlands.

July 2020 sales for the west increased by 70 per cent over July 2019 sales. 

The boom last month has also brought year-to-date totals up to 1,219 units, or 6.9 per cent higher than this time in 2019. At the start of the pandemic, those year-to-date numbers started to fall behind. 

The eastern part of the region, including Midland, Penetanguishene, Tay, Tiny, Severn, and Georgian Bay also saw an increase with 225 units sold in July 2020, a near 40 per cent increase over July 2019. Year-to-date- sales are up 11 per cent in the east. 

So far this year there have been 2,094 units sold in the entire region, an increase of 8.6 per cent compared to the same period last year. 

Active residential listings remain below 2019 levels with 910 units listed at the end of last month, which is down by 37 per cent compared to July 2019. 

According to the stats compiled by SGBAR, home sales for July 2020 in the region totalled $384.6 million, which is double (101.3 per cent) the value of homes sold in July 2019. 

“This was a new record for the month of July and was also the largest dollar value of homes sold for any month in history,” stated a press release from SGBAR. 

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Canada Doubled Down On Real Estate In 2005. Now It’s The Biggest Bubble The G7 Has Ever Seen, and It’s Getting Bigger – Better Dwelling



Canadians know real estate prices have grown quickly, but most have no idea how it compares to the world. US Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas (US Fed) data shows how home prices evolved since the Financial Crisis. While most countries scrambled to balance home prices with local economic growth, Canada doubled down on housing. The result is Canadian real estate prices have grown at nearly triple the pace of any G7 country, since 2005.

Canadian Real Estate Prices Increased Over 3% Last Year

Canadian real estate prices have seen growth slow recently, but not much. Canadian prices at the national level have increased 3.39% in Q1 2020, in real terms when compared to a year ago. To contrast, the US follows with a lower 3.29% over the same period. Canada is currently right in the middle of the G7, with Germany (+4.9%) and France (+3.9%) being the two markets above. It doesn’t seem like a big deal, until you realize this is very high growth after the run Canadian prices have made.

G7 Real Estate Prices – 12 Month Change

The inflation adjuted 12 month change in G7 real estate prices for Q1 2020.

Source: US Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, Better Dwelling.

Canadian Real Estate Prices Grew At Nearly 3x The Rate of The Next G7 Country

Since the Global Financial Crisis (2007-2008), Canada leaned on the housing economy, and it shows. Canadian home prices increased a whopping 88.0% from 2005 to 2020. The next closest G7 country is Germany, with prices having increased 32.3% over the same period. Yes, that’s nearly just a third. For context, US real estate prices have only increased 3.0% over the same period.

G7 Real Estate Price Index

An inflation adjusted index of G7 real estate prices.

Source: US Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, Better Dwelling.

Canadian Real Estate Prices Increased Rapidly Before 2015

Most of the price growth narrative starts around 2015, but we can see the horse already left the barn at that point. Canadian real estate prices increased 50.5% from 2005 to 2015. The next closest G7 country was France, which saw price growth increase only 4.8% over the same period – less than one-tenth. To contrast, US real estate prices were down 15.1% at the time. Rather than accept a market inefficiency against labour, Canada doubled down on credit expansion.

G7 Real Estate Price Change From 2005 to 2015

The inflation adjusted percent change in real estate prices across G7 countries from 2005 to 2015.

Source: US Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, Better Dwelling.

Since the Global Financial Crisis, Canada has leaned on non-productive investment, and it shows. The rate of residential investment to GDP more than doubled from 2000 to 2020. Last year, real estate transactions were generating almost half of all GDP growth. This isn’t just a Toronto and Vancouver thing either. The national index outpaces growth for every other G7 country, and is more than double the next one. With the government currently dedicating an unusual amount of resources to driving home prices during this recession, they’re shooting to go all-in or for failure.

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