Coronavirus Hits Housing Market

For sale by owner sign in front of house

Toronto's High Prices

Anwesha Dhar

Anwesha Dhar is a new immigrant to Canada. She lives in a basement apartment with her husband and they are now expecting a child. They had been looking to move into a bigger space,  but they can’t afford to buy a house in Toronto's expensive real estate market.

Canadian Banks Help Residents with Mortgages

The COVID-19 pandemic is making it harder for people to buy and maintain their homes. Although the provincial government recently decreased electricity costs, many are still worried about other expenses including mortgage payments 

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Less House Sales

Written by: Brittney Balment, Nadia Ghafari, Emua Adodo and Catia Conniott

An increasing number of  Canadians have been laid off, lost their jobs completely or had their incomes reduce due to COVID-19.  The sharp downturn in the economy has also affected the real estate market. According to the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board, (TREB) home sales were down by almost 16 per cent for the last two weeks of March, compared to the time last year. That's a sharp reversal of what had been shaping up to be a booming market.

Image found at trreb.ca.

Sales were up by more 12 per cent in the first half of March over 2019.   TREB also says that monthly listings had increased by 3 per cent.  But they dropped more than 18 per cent in the second half as the impact of the coronavirus took hold.

Ecko Jay real estate agent Judith Fairn has seen the market shift since the COVID-19 outbreak.

"When the overall economy is suffering, people are not buying homes". according to Fairn.

In addition TREB put a halt to in person Open Houses, allowing only virtual tours.

Harvey Kalles real state agent Amin Morshedi says people are scared of buying homes as they choose to stay in quarantine during this pandemic.

"It has caused the market to slow down and on the good note, it has brought the interest rates to all time low."

Above is a graph that displays a drop in housing sales from February 2020 to March 2020.

Less Affordability

According to TD Economics house prices were expected to increase this year. Sales were said to have been increasing fast along with housing prices.

As these prices increase, the less affordable homes are for many Canadian residents. However now that COVID-19 has led to many non-essential services shutting down, real estate sales have dropped by over 30 per cent. On top of this, many banks have lowered their interest rates to help people manage payments for their mortgages.

Toronto Realtors Cancel Open Houses, Turn To Technology

Sean Morrison, President of the Ontario Real State Association urged all realtors to stop holding open houses, and encouraged them to turn to virtual tours and online communication instead. This change has not been easy for some realtors.

“We’re so used to being hands on and with people, face to face, so it has been quite a challenge trying to adapt to a totally different way of doing things.” Says Judith Fairn, Toronto based real state agent. 

However, not all physical showings are cancelled. For a limited number of showings where people are in an urgent need of finding a home, strict safety protocols are being followed such as screening symptoms and the use of masks and sanitizers. 

Covid-19 and The Real Estate Market

Toronto is considered the most populated city in Canada and the most multicultural city in the world. At some point, there were rumors about houses in the city not being enough to accommodate the masses.

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How Covid-19 Impacted the Housing Market in Toronto

By: Nadia Ghafari

The housing market in Toronto has been severely impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic in so many ways. In this podcast we talk to Toronto based real state agents to see how they are adapting.

Toronto's housing Affordability

Journalism student Zachary Mcdonald

Zachary McDonald is a 28-year-old student firsst semester Journalism student at Seneca College.  McDonald ​left a full-time job in Hamilton ​to move to Toronto to study at Seneca. He got a part-time job ​at a Starbucks. Everything seemed fine until the ​coronavirus hit. Now he's thinking about moving back home and he's not sure about his dream to become a journalist.

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