Waterloo Region Real Estate Market Update – April Edition
As you know, social distancing and mandated closure of brick and mortar businesses is having an impact on all industries within the Canadian economy. The Real Estate industry and housing markets are being uniquely affected.
Many of these changes are fluid and it is constantly changing.
I’m here to provide you with an update to what the market has in-store.
While it’s true the market is being affected by fluid circumstances and constantly changing developments, we have to consider that the unprecedented amount of Government stimulus programs will have an effect on the eventual rebound of the Canadian economy.
- The start to Spring was roaring with house-hunting, clearly the government mandated business shutdowns and social distancing efforts affected this.
- Canada could easily see resale activity plunge 30% to a 20-year low and the first nationwide drop in prices since 2009.
- As of today prices have not dropped but activity has dropped, the market has slowed.
- Koehler notes last month 51 listings were suspended on KWAR’s MLS® System, which means the listing is temporarily “off-market.” – Sellers are going to wait things out and re-list once we get back to normal.
Although it’s true that the market has slowed, I’m anticipating improved activity as we move from the summer into the fall season.
It’s also been suspected that the market will improve once buyers and sellers are able to communicate and many of them are eager to continue their buying and selling journey.
This is good news for the market.
The Market is Still Strong
Let’s break down some of the statistics to show that the market is still strong. The evidence of this is at the core of the Canadian housing market.
- The real estate market, along with the residential building and construction has accounted for almost 15% of Canada’s output last year.
- The value of real estate assets owned by households has risen by $2.5 trillion over the past decade, an increase of 80%
- The Government has allowed for real estate offices to remain open to assist clients with their needs at this time. Housing is still an essential part of the economy.
A 2021 Rebound?
Once we’re all able to get back to business, the market is expected to bounce back. It’s expected to be a 40% increase to 491,000 units in 2021.
This could result in a continuing of low-interest rates and a strengthening job market.
Given the circumstances, it was simply a matter of time before the real estate market would be affected. Mandated business closures and social distancing efforts are causing many people to delay, but not cancel, their plans to buy or sell.
I can see a positive outlook in the near future and once we are all able to get back to business, there should be a flurry of activity in the real estate market.
Financial Relief Resources
During this time, many businesses, students, and workers have been affected by the quarantine, causing financial stresses. We’ve summarized some of the programs available to individuals and businesses:
Support For Businesses
Interest and penalty relief: Businesses will get five months of interest and penalty relief to file and make payments for taxes.
Between April 1st, 2020, and August 31st, 2020, Ontario will not apply any penalty or interest on any late-filed returns or incomplete/late tax payments under select provincially administered taxes.
- WSIB payment deferrals: Employers can defer Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) payments for up to six months. Employers covered by the WSIB’s workplace insurance are automatically eligible for the financial relief package.
- Employer Health Tax relief: The Employers Health Tax (EHT) exemption is being increased for 2020 from $490,000 to 1$ million. For employers, this means relief up to $9,945.
- For employees forced to leave work, a new act was introduced, the Employment Standards Amendment Act (Infectious Disease Emergencies), 2020.
Support For Students And Parents
OSAP payment and interest pause: No payments will need to be made and no interest will increase on your Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) loan between March 30th, 2020, and September 30th, 2020.
- Emergency child care: While parents are at work, they can send their children to emergency child care. To see if you are eligible for this, check here.
- Extra support for families: Parents that are eligible can get a one-time payment of $200 per child up to 12 years of age, and $250 for children or youth up to 21 with special needs. This helps offset the costs of buying materials to support their children’s education.
General Economic Support
- Shelters, food banks, charities, and nonprofits: Funding is being given to Consolidated Municipal Service Managers, District Social Services Administration Boards, and Indigenous Program Administrators to support their local needs.
- Utilities Assistance: From March 24 to May 8, 2020, residential, farm, and small business time-of-use customers will pay the lowest possible rate, 24 hours a day. This means the pay will be 10.1 ¢/kWh no matter when it’s used. Through the Low-income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP), people with low-income can get direct support to pay their bills to ensure everything stays connected during the outbreak.
To learn more about the financial support that Ontario is offering, visit here. And for the government of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, you can find all the details.
- Government of Ontario | COVID-19 Support for Individuals
- Government of Ontario | COVID-19 Support for Students and Parents
- Government of Ontario | COVID-19 Support for Businesses
- CRA | COVID-19 Income Tax Filing and Payment Dates
- Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan | Support for Individuals
- Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan | Support for Businesses
- Canada Self-Assessment Tool and App
- The app will let you receive the latest updates, trusted resources, and self-assess your symptoms.
As the team here at easy Home Realty continues to practice social distancing, we’re 100% fully operational and ready to help you through any of your real estate questions and needs.
What Does Being Digital First Mean?
We’ve been a Digital First Real Estate Brokerage from day one. This means that while we are putting the health and safety of everyone first, we have the tools and experience to serve you using the latest technologies:
- All of our listings include a full online 360 degree virtual tour, so you may continue enjoying browsing properties from the comfort of your home.
- Electronic signature support for all documents.
- Our online move-in support platform.
- A private property web portal for Buyers.
- Online and video conferencing tools to enable Virtual Meetings.
We’re committed to working with you to develop a plan of action that will keep all parties involved safe and healthy.
I hope you enjoyed this market round-up. It’s important for home buyers and sellers to get the information needed to make well-informed decisions during these unprecedented times.