During the challenging times ushered in by COVID-19, there continues to be much uncertainty echoing throughout the real estate market in the GTA and nation-wide. Despite real estate being deemed an essential service, there have been strict measures put in place related to viewing properties, and some difficulties moving into the properties as well. As the situation evolves and develops, Bosley Agents will continue to provide you with insights and updates on the new outlook. Here are several of the latest developments.
The Price Factor
By far the biggest question on everyone's minds at the moment is how the conditions created by COVID-19 will impact GTA housing prices for the foreseeable future. If prices come down significantly due to market inactivity - as has happened in the past - will that cause an already high level of demand to skyrocket? Would that increased demand just end up sending prices peaking once again?
"It's possible," explains Vice President Christan Bosley, "but we won't know the full implications until the true unemployment figures are released. Demand ultimately hinges on those who are currently unemployed as a result of the pandemic getting back to work quickly."
Bosley believes that market conditions brought on by this pandemic are different than those that would result from a general recession - with greater potential for a faster rebound once people are allowed to return to work and resume previous levels of economic activity.
"We are seeing a decrease in home prices as a result of the current measures in place - but it does depend on the neighbourhood," she says, "More expensive neighbourhoods are decreasing in price faster, but that's directly relative to how much those prices have gone up over previous years."
To keep on top of the rapidly evolving market - as well as navigate the challenging environment in which to currently buy and sell a home - Bosley Agents are quickly adapting by making use of tools, resources, and procedures to keep real estate deals moving forward with safety at the forefront of the process.
For starters, everything from listing and buyer presentations to collecting signatures for documents have gone digital to a much higher degree than before. Many clients are also making use of pre-recorded showings for properties they're interested in viewing - as well as participating in live-feed open houses where an agent goes into a home alone to record live tours followed by a public Q&A. If the home is occupied, some agents are pre-recording and showing the open house at a later date on Zoom (the preferred location for client meetings right now).
"Bosley Agents are trained to take videos of properties from the eyes of a buyer," Bosley says, "and these videos always feature a balance of the positive and negative elements of the property. The fact that our agents are so committed to not only showing their clients all aspects of a property but doing so in a way that contributes to flattening the curve is important and much appreciated."
For those buyers who were already far along in the real estate process before COVID-19, home inspections and live showings are still available for the serious, but with greatly increased safety and health precautions.
Showing the property is ultimately being treated as a last-case scenario before everything is negotiated digitally. Alternatively, we are seeing Agreement of Purchase of Sale documents being negotiated in advance of a showing with a condition upon physically viewing the property. As far as negotiating real estate deals go, this is business usual for the time being.
"This ordeal will result in greater transparency in all aspects of how the real estate process is carried out moving forward," Christan says, "It's going to be necessary. We get calls from people now who talk about not being able to afford their homes because of what's happening and it's concerning. People will have to be more supportive and accommodating of one another and more upfront about their circumstances as we work to get society back on track."
In light of a new normal for the time being, Bosley Agents remain committed to providing support for Toronto's many communities to help stay connected during times of crisis. While we lend our skills, resources, and expertise to aid our neighbourhoods in whatever ways needed, our professional team will always be here to serve insights and updates concerning what the real estate market is going to look like for the foreseeable future.
By harnessing a unique set of tools and resources, Bosley can offer up to date news on the quickly-changing market conditions resulting from the pandemic. Through understanding historical trends and how similar market conditions have affected home prices in the past, we can also guide you if urgent circumstances require you to sell your home. By working together to support each other during hard times (and all times) our neighbourhoods and communities will emerge from this setback stronger than ever before. At Bosley, ensuring this will always be the top priority.