Coronavirus and the Toronto Housing Market
Monday Mar 16th, 2020Share
It was still a distance story for many Canadian when Coronavirus broke out in China a few months ago. It seems that nobody here cared too much about this virus. But to many Chinese Canadian, they have already seen so much bad news about this fearful disease circulating in social media each day. From the disruption of daily life and business to the extent of life and death of a person and family, the virus spreads like wide fire.
It was a shocking turn when the news broadcasted about the reports of increasing viral infection cases in Europe and the USA. The stock market crashes, and the central bank makes an emergency rate cut. The government starts Travel Ban to limit the inflow of foreigners. Some Canadians start to panic and rush into supermarkets to stock up on daily supplies. People realize this virus can be fatal and highly contagious. So how big of an impact can this virus cause to the Toronto Real Estate market? As a front-line real estate agent, I have made several observations for the current market.
First, we will see fewer listings in the coming months. Many sellers will decide to postpone their listings on the market. They do not want any risk that could bring the virus into their family. Property showing means that people will come into their houses. It will be safer for the homeowner to wait until the vaccine comes out because there is no way to guarantee that the buyers are free from the virus.
Secondly, there will be fewer rushing buyers. In the first two months of 2020, we saw a frantic market. Almost any property can receive multiple bidding offers given minimal supplies of the housing market. The situation just changed a few days ago as buyers increasingly started to worry about the economic outlook. Nobody will be spared financially if the pandemic persists. Some investors will inevitably move to the sidelines to watch the direction of the market.
Thirdly, there are still active buyers who need a house to live in. If the home is right, active buyers will enter the market. In York regions of GTA, after the price declined with foreign buyer tax coming out in 2017, the housing market is relatively healthy now. We will see less impact on the market of Vaughan, Markham and Richmond Hill if the virus can be contained in a few months.
In summary, the Coronavirus has a significant impact on many of us. The year 2020 means changing lifestyles and less income for many people. But I am cautiously optimistic that this virus crisis is temporary and will pass with the government’s efforts and supports. If you find the right property at the right price in Toronto, it is a good time to enter the market.