May, 2020

Making Sense of Market Statistics

The Toronto Crash?
Will the real estate market of Toronto crash? Volume is down – way down. With the statistics from the first weeks of May it was showing a decrease off 70%. Then came a volume bump last week and activity began. There were more listings. Still listings are few.

Prices and volume
must be considered separately. Housing prices are more varied. Some areas still show an increase. There are even multiple offers on prime listings. Some homeowners hold rather than sell, even if an offer is solid. All the bad news makes them think the offer must be low. It isn’t always so.

The Condo Question
Air BnB shutdown has hit some condo towers hard. There are buildings with a glut of listings for both rentals and sales. Are prices down in these buildings? There are instances where owners need to sell and are accepting reduced prices, but most owners are hanging on. Owners still perceive value as strong. Will this continue? Will people still want to live in condos and travel in elevators? Many owners think so and are rejecting the offers of the bargain hunters.

So far, unemployment has stricken mostly the youngest working population. This group spend on retail and restaurants. They are not typically the home buyers. That’s why mortgage brokers are busy. The 30-plus population have been saving and want to buy. The brokers are reporting late nights of application processing. They are deluged with buyers who are watching for opportunity. They want to be ready to make an offer.

Economy in Eight Months?

Will industry and businesses hold on? Will there be a bigger economic impact eight months down the road when the real affect of a slower economy finally turns the ship of retail and industry on its belly? Will the lag in supply chains slow production? Will unemployment spread upward to the older employees?

How will the happenings in Hong Kong affect the Toronto condo market? Will all international borders open for travel, trade and students abroad? Where will they live? Will people come to Canada to enjoy the vast space and our available healthcare. How will the United States election affect Canada? Will Putin’s declining popularity create chaos and opportunity in Russia, or will it spark emigration? There is too much to dig into. I’m not an expert. But it underscores uncertainty.

Urban Flight
Will this virus create an exodus to rural areas where land is cheaper and the air is cleaner. Will Torontonians sell their cramped houses, move to the suburbs, a small town or even the country? Some will as they will be able to work from home. However, cities have formed for all sorts of economic reasons and also because people like to be together.


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