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Can I sell property in Canada fast in 2020?
Yes, you can, but isn’t going to be easy.
Let’s understand why.
The Canadian property market has been affected badly by the Coronavirus pandemic. Toronto and Vancouver, two of Canada’s biggest cities, have been hit badly owing to their high population densities.
The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. (CMHC) said in a report that they don’t expect property prices to return to their pre-Covid19 levels until late 2022 or early 2023 at least.
Bob Dugan, an analyst who works for the CMHC reiterates the finding of the report, "But for Canada and for Ontario, I think, the best case we're looking at ... house prices getting back to their pre-recession levels, at the earliest, by the end of 2022."
That really does paint a grim picture. Evan Siddall of CMHC says, “We did, back in January, look at a pandemic scenario that was not as severe as this. And I'm sure that you'd understand that the realm of plausibility has expanded significantly as a result of all the experience we've had."
"Tens of thousands of Canadians are having trouble meeting their mortgage commitments," he adds. Putting this number to about 10% of homeowners in the country.
What about Toronto?
The property market in the Greater Toronto area has been particularly affected. Here home prices had fallen by as much as 67 percent by the end of April.
John DiMichele of the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board says, “Past recessions and recoveries do not necessarily provide the best guide as to how the housing market will recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
“A key factor for the housing market recovery will be a broader reopening of the economy, which will result in an improving employment picture and a resurgence in consumer confidence,” he adds.
The province of Ontario has so far witnessed over 1,300 deaths because of the pandemic, the worst in Canada. Local officials have been blamed for this by the Canadian media, but the federal administration is regarded by many to be equally culpable for not enforcing social distancing norms strictly.
Michael Collins, president, TRREB says, “The necessary social distancing and economic impacts associated with COVID-19 clearly impacted home sales and listings throughout April 2020.”
Things are really, really bad in the property market. Even in Toronto, perhaps the busiest overseas property market in the world, the real estate listings have dried up. Buyers have generally put off their decision to invest, at least until the pandemic is well behind that. Everyone seems to be in the cash conservation mode.
“This is freezing the market. The best-case scenario is we see an improvement in activity in the fall. I don’t think anyone’s really expecting anything before that,” explains John Pasalis, who heads a local real estate agency.
The Royal Bank of Canada reports residential resales have dropped by more than 30 percent, a 20-year low. In fact this is the first time property prices in Canada have dropped since 2009, when the subprime mortgage crisis was at its peak.
What about Vancouver?
It’s the same in Vancouver. The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver says sales are down by 46%. This is regardless of the fact that sellers are desperate to sell.
Ian Watt, a Vancouver based real estate developer says, “We’re still seeing a dozen listings a day in the downtown core, it’s ridiculous. Why would anyone do it? No buyers are out, period.”
Simeon Papailias of REC Canada is deeply worried. He explains why: “The longer this goes, the more it’s eating away at savings, down payments, employment status and income for the year. So, it’ll affect qualifications.”
These are bad times, indeed. So, can you still sell property in Canada fast in 2020?
Yes, but there is no way you can do it on your own, even if you have a local real estate agency working on your behalf. It would make better sense to hire the services of an overseas property expert, who would know wealthy cash rich buyers from Europe, Asia and the Middle East. You can benefit from their international network of estate agents spread across the world. Contact us to know more.