CHALLENGING TIMES: Pandemic Era Real Estate

We the world … are over two months into a global pandemic fighting a virus which knows no borders, knows no distinction between young and old, rich or poor, black or white. We’ve been self-isolating, home schooling, socially distancing, masking up and zooming like never before. We’ve discovered creative ways to connect and have done our best to spread joy and positivity to those around us whether virtually or safely in person. 

My most important tools through all of this have been to try to live life one day at a time, to practice gratitude, to eat well, sleep well, exercise and connect virtually to my friends, clients and colleagues as much as possible. Easier said than done right?

I’ve spent a lot of time zooming with colleagues from here and around the world talking about the market, reviewing stats and trends and learning new ways to transact as we serve our clients.  It’s been exciting in so many ways but is definitely a huge growth curve in terms of learning so many new technologies to assist my clients. 

While no one truly knows the depth and full impact on the Toronto real estate market caused by the virus we do know that things are changing and will continue to change as the economy starts opening up. 

Going Forward –  Key Points You Need To Know

Early Part of 2020  –  we were on track to have an extremely busy and active year, possibly one of the best years ever.  

Pandemic Announcement  –  since mid March buyers and sellers have stepped to the sidelines as evidenced by the drastic reduction in the number of sales and new listings.

Strict Covid protocols  –  “live” in person open houses have been banned by the provincial government and strict Covid protocols are in place to screen buyers and 3rd party operators such as home inspectors, photographers, and appraisers.

Perusing real estate  –  has remained a highly desirable activity as online viewings have soared on and on Sotheby’s International Realty websites both in Canada and the US.

Technology  –  3D property videos, Facebook/Instagram “live” open houses, virtual staging and renovation, zoom meetings with clients, agents, and lawyers have become the new normal and agents who employ these advanced technologies will deliver success to home sellers and buyers. Creativity rules! 

Details, details and more details  –  a much higher level of expertise will be required in order to navigate this new normal as buyers will demand more information prior to visiting a home. Sellers will demand more from their listing broker in terms of cutting edge technologies, virtual open houses, social media campaigns etc. The ante has been upped. 

The housing market will be a driver of the economy  -as it was in 2008/2009 and even after the Great Depression. Rumour has it that the Ontario Real Estate Association is pushing the provincial government to offer an incentive to buyers in terms of a reduction or temporary elimination of the Land Transfer Tax.

The basic economic principal of supply and demand  -will prevail as interest rates remain at rock bottom lows. 

End user buyers will benefit  – as long as they have secure employment, buy with the intent to stay in their homes and build equity.  Investors and speculators will not benefit. The days of flipping are over for now.

The market will return –  to a new “normalized” state as people adjust and on the short term there will be a lot of pent up demand to purchase. Qualified buyers are out there and we’re already seeing a growing increase in the number of sales week over week. Sales have increased exponentially as states such as Texas and Colorado have opened up their economies. 

The market will change week by week –  there will be mini-markets and some multiple offer scenarios within the city i.e. specific areas, types of properties, price point etc.

There will be more rental properties  – available as AirBnB unit owners seek to find long term tenants.  Rental prices may decrease. 

Toronto and area will be remain highly desirable  – as evidenced by the number of expats who have returned to Canada prior to the borders being closed. Many Canadians living in Hong Kong are looking to repatriate. There is a large number of immigration applications in process from around the world.  Our conservative handling of the Covid crisis has been noted, our dollar is low and our health care system is stable.  

2020 will be a zig zag, up and down year –  in terms of activity as a second wave of infections is highly likely  

On the short term –  home values will remain stable and even though we’ve seen a drop in sales, it doesn’t mean there will be a severe drop in prices. It’s always about the relationship between sales to listings which right now are in balance.  

 The true economic impact – will be seen in 2021. The real estate market won’t fall apart but there might be a softening of prices (likely 5-10%) 

There is an end game – vaccines against this ravaging virus are being developed and tested throughout the world. It’s just a matter of time. 

I’m doing many zoom meetings online with sellers and buyers to help them make decisions and move them forward to the future. But if you’re experiencing zoom burnout (see below!) or can’t bare to look at your grown out hair (I’m with you!) don’t hesitate to text, call or even email me for some sound advice or just to say hi. I’d love to catch up!

Most of all please stay healthy both physically and emotionally. It’s been a challenging year for all of us but remember you’re not alone.  We’re in this together and we will get through it.  

Kimmé Myles

Matching her knowledge of Toronto’s eclectic mix of central core neighbourhoods and impassioned by her diverse mix of buyers and sellers, Kimmé is naturally motivated to create a positive and professional experience. Kimmé does her homework and knows her inventory. She is genuine, honest and a straight shooter. Nor is she afraid to think “outside the box” as she employs creative strategies to make dreams become reality.

Born and raised in Toronto and coming from a successful fashion background in design and management, Kimmé could not have met a better match for her entrepreneurial skills than by working in Real Estate. Inspired by her father, well known Toronto clothier to the stars, “Lou Myles”, she learned from a very young age to work hard and strive for excellence.

Licensed since 2005 as a full time Sales Representative and a Broker since 2016, she continues to be proud to be affiliated with the Toronto office of Sotheby’s International Realty Canada and to be part of the highly respected world renowned global luxury brokerage, Sotheby’s International Realty.

Kimmé has received numerous sales awards throughout her career including the prestigious Gairdner, Diamond and President’s Awards. She has completed extensive negotiation training and is among a select group of realtors in Canada to hold the Master Certified Negotiation Expert (MCNE) Designation and the Certified Negotiation Expert (CNE) Designation. In addition, she is a member of the prestigious U.S. based Institute of Luxury Home Marketing and also carries the Luxe – Luxury Listing Specialist Designation. She holds the SRS Designation – Seller Representation Specialist and the SRES Designation –Senior Real Estate Specialist – both accredited programs through NAR – The National Association of Realtors, USA.

Entrusted with the life choices of her clients, Kimmé is truly honoured to have the opportunity to serve and assist others and does so with integrity, commitment and enthusiasm.

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