Over the past couple of weeks and months, COVID-19 has forced people to make changes to their day-to-day lives. Governments all over the world have called for people to stay home as much as possible and for non-essential businesses and services to close in an attempt to flatten the curve and slow the rapid spread of the virus within communities. While the Ontario Real Estate Board (OREA) has also called for sales offices to close, developers and real estate agents are still working as hard as ever, taking their businesses online as the need for housing is still high despite the effects that the virus has had on the global economy. Although many people may feel as though their lives and plans have been put on hold because of COVID-19, the need for housing has not and will not disappear. Housing remains an essential service, and as everyone is practicing proper social distancing measures, many real estate companies including our own have moved everything online through virtual meetings, video calling, phone calls, and emails. Many buyers and investors are continuing to go ahead with their property searches and purchases, and developers are continuing to offer pre-construction homes in Ontario.
This global pandemic could actually be a great time to buy. The interest rates in Canada have been the lowest we’ve seen so far, having been cut by a full percentage point last month. Those who are looking to get a mortgage can borrow at a decreased rate, and fixed-term mortgage rates are also on the decline. This means that potential home buyers can now borrow more and aim for a higher home price, or alternatively get a better mortgage rate and have more affordable mortgage payments. Under normal circumstances, lowered interest rates usually mean the housing market is flooded with buyers all trying to get in at the same time, but because of the effects COVID-19 has had on the global economy, buyers have been more reluctant to jump in. In other words, the market is not as competitive as it normally would have been.
Even though it is currently still too early to be able to report on the changes to the Canadian housing market during this global pandemic, the market is still active. A window of opportunity has opened up for those who are financially able to buy with reduced interest rates and less competition – now is a good time to take advantage of it.
If you are interested in buying a home in Ontario we are happy to inform you that we have some options for you.