How will COVID-19 impact the real estate market?

To say the events of the past few months have had an unprecedented impact on how our society functions would be an understatement. As the threat of the COVID-19 global pandemic grows across Canada and all levels of government enact policies to stop community spread via social isolation, millions of Canadians in the non-essential workforce are now working from home and abstaining from visiting businesses and other public places.

These efforts to “flatten the curve” are paramount to keeping high-risk citizens safe and preventing our health care system from being overwhelmed. But they’re also having a profound impact on industries that rely on in-person interactions, like restaurants and hair salons. They’ve also led to fears of a global recession and limited purchasing power for consumers when the risk of the coronavirus subsides.

The real estate industry, in particular, is a prime example of one that will need to drastically adapt if it’s to be “business as usual.” While brokerages and real estate agents have been deemed “essential services” by the Ontario government, there have been some key changes to the way agents must operate—and it remains unclear how the market will perform as the pandemic evolves.

What can buyers and sellers expect from the market during these uncertain times? Let’s take a look at what could occur in the short- and long-term.

Continue reading How will COVID-19 impact the real estate market?

‘Reason to be concerned’: Toronto home prices rise as supply sinks

Canada’s largest housing market continued to be plagued by shrinking inventory in the first month of 2020, spurring another double-digit jump in prices.


Active listings across the Greater Toronto Area sank 35 per cent year-over-year in January, while sales climbed a little more than 15 per cent as 4,581 properties traded hands, according to data released by the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB).

Continue reading ‘Reason to be concerned’: Toronto home prices rise as supply sinks

Housing slowdown? New condo sales are booming in Toronto

Toronto’s resale housing market has cooled off considerably since Ontario’s move to rein in frenzied activity. Meanwhile, demand is only increasing for new condo units.

Sales of new condos in the census metropolitan area totalled 12,138 in the second quarter, up 62 per cent from a year earlier, according to data provided by BMO Nesbitt Burns. Inventory levels have more than halved over the same span.

Continue reading Housing slowdown? New condo sales are booming in Toronto

Toronto-Dominion Bank raising rates, variable rate mortgage customers to face increased costs

One of the country’s largest banks has moved a key prime rate up 15 basis points for variable-rate mortgage customers, a change that will affect some Canadians with floating rate products.

Toronto-Dominion Bank began quietly telling the lending industry on Monday that its prime lending rate was going to jump from 2.7 per cent to 2.85 per cent on November 1 for one segment of its business — a move that coincides with new federal mortgages rules that many have said will cost the banks money and ultimately be passed on to consumers.

“This will impact customers who hold a variable interest rate mortgage,” said a TD spokesperson in an email. “There is no impact for our customers who hold fixed-rate mortgages. At TD, we have two prime rates: TD Mortgage Prime is the base rate for variable interest rate mortgages and TD Prime is the base rate for other products with a variable interest rate, like FlexLine and lines of credit.”

Continue reading Toronto-Dominion Bank raising rates, variable rate mortgage customers to face increased costs

More mortgage changes: you’re not paying more…but you’re going to be able to buy less house

Canada’s first-time home buyers may have to shelve their dream house fantasies due to lending changes announced last week by the federal government, mortgage brokers say.

Ottawa moved last week to tighten mortgage lending rules that will limit the amount many Canadians can borrow to help ensure that when interest rates rise, they’ll still be able to make their payments.

Mortgage broker Frank Napolitano says that means the size of mortgage many buyers will be able to qualify for will be less once the rules take effect on Oct. 17.

“First-time homebuyers will probably have to probably scale down the type of home that they may have planned to buy,” said Napolitano, managing partner at Mortgage Brokers Ottawa.

Continue reading More mortgage changes: you’re not paying more…but you’re going to be able to buy less house