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Vancouver Island real estate sales tumble amid pandemic – My Comox Valley Now

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The pandemic is hitting Vancouver Island’s real estate market hard.

Sales of single-family homes island-wide cratered in April, dropping 54 per cent year over year. 

Last month, 189 single-family homes sold on the Multiple Listing Service System, compared to 333 in March and 412 in April 2019. 

Apartment and townhouse sales decreased by 82 and 69 per cent, respectively. 

Meanwhile, prices managed to hold fairly steady and in some regions even inched higher, despite the pandemic.

The benchmark price of a single-family home board-wide was $523,700 in April, a drop of three per cent and marginally higher than in March (benchmark pricing tracks the value of a typical home in the reported area) 

In the apartment category, the year-over-year benchmark price rose by five per cent, hitting $313,300, which is slightly lower than the previous month. 

The benchmark price of a townhouse in April rose by two per cent year over year and was somewhat higher than in March, climbing to $421,400. 

Regionally, the benchmark price of a single-family home in the Campbell River area last month was $438,500, an increase of four per cent over last year. 

In the Comox Valley, the benchmark price reached $521,300, up by two per cent from one year ago. Duncan reported a benchmark price of $482,800, slightly higher than in April 2019. 

In its most recent Market Intelligence Report, the British Columbia Real Estate Association predicts that the 2020 coronavirus-driven recession will be profound, although the duration may be shorter than past downturns. 

Home sales throughout B.C. are posting sharp declines as households and the real-estate sector adhere to social distancing. 

As measures implemented to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 are gradually lifted, the BCREA expects that low interest rates and pent-up demand will translate to a “significant recovery in home sales and prices.” 

While the provincial government has designated real estate as an essential service, it is not business as usual. 

The VIREB says it’s embracing technology solutions, such as virtual open houses, to continue assisting their clients. 

“Being declared an essential service recognizes that many British Columbians are currently involved in real estate transactions that began before the pandemic was declared, or may need to be involved in one in the coming weeks and months,” board president Kevin Reid said. 

Reid said that realtors’ first priority is public health adding that sales “can continue as long as everyone involved is protected.” 

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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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