REAL ESTATE MARKET UPDATE

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Property Tax Deferral Schedule and Contact Information – here 

Housing (Resale)
  1. No dividend payments to Federal government from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation during crisis to support Canadian homeowners, multi-unit borrowers and housing providers
  2. National home sales fell 14.3% on a month-over-month (m-o-m) basis in March…April expected to worsen considerably
  3. Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity was up 7.8% year-over-year (y-o-y).
  4. Newly listed properties dropped 12.5% m-o-m.
  5. The MLS® Home Price Index advanced 0.8% m-o-m and 6.9% y-o-y.
  6. Home sales across the GTA fell 69% y-o-y during the first 17 days of April as just 1,654 homes traded hands, according to data released Wednesday morning by the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB)
  7. Values steady compared to the same period last year
  8. April will see an even steeper fall in sales activity to a small fraction of their normal levels – Capital Economics Senior Canada Economist Stephen Brown

Development

  • Condo

Acquisitions are on hold for most however, well capitalized generational developers will take advantage of the current situation by picking up land at a discount.

Sales Launches

A number of project launches have been delayed until the fall or more likely early 2021. Currently marketed projects have seen a complete drop in sales.

Developers are offering incentives to purchase units now for example:

  1. instead of a 10 day cooling off period is now 100 days
  2. job protection – if you lose your job then you can void the deal
  3. price protection – if the developer lowers their pricing in the coming months, you will get that same price.

Deposits

  1. Staged deposits are part of any condo purchase – we will continue to monitor developers to see if they are seeing purchasers default on their staged deposits
  2. Projects that sold in Q3 & Q4 2019 and Q1 2020 have shown minimal default on subsequent deposits

Closings and Registrations

  1. Some reports show buyers claiming inability to finance their closing due to job loss
  2. Developers will need to decide if they keep the deposits, renegotiate, or force a closing – long-term reputation risk will need to be taken into account
  3. Developers will have a tough time registering and closing condos due to the city shut down = strain on cash flow.

Purpose Built Rental (PBR)

  1. PBR developers do not rely on deposits and creditworthiness of unit purchasers
  2. PBR developers are largely institutionally backed which have a low cost of capital and can take advantage of their high creditworthiness to gain cheaper construction financing
  3. Will take advantage of current opportunities to acquire sites from condo developers at a discount
  4. Rent
  • Current wave of rental projects has commenced in the last 4 – 8 quarters
  • Completion 12 to 36 months out which puts most projects past the COVID threat
  • Rents will take some time to trend back to where they were but most have built conservative pro-forma and are poised for a healthy rebound.

Construction Costs

  1. Debate continues on future direction of construction costs – up or down
  2. We are leaning toward cost easing due to delayed projects in residential and commercial
  3. Economics 101 suggest reduced demand for both labour and raw materials as we expect new construction starts to decrease in the near future therefore making construction tendering more competitive

Legislative Updates

Construction

  1. Province of Ontario temporarily suspends limitation periods and procedural litigation time periods
  2. Allows release of holdback payments to contractors and subcontractors to support construction workers and businesses
  3. Regulation – https://files.ontario.ca/solgen-oic-limitation-periods.pdf

Development Charges (DC) & Educational Developmen­t Charges (EDC)

  1. DC or EDC by-laws that expired/expire on or after March 17, 2020 will not expire and remain in force until six months after the termination of the emergency – https://www.ola.org/en/legislative-business/bills/parliament-42/session-1/bill-189  Land Use Planning 
  2. Bill 189 – Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing to make regulations regarding timelines within the planning Act during the period of emergency
  3. Virtual/electronic public meetings and decision making on planning matters during crisis at municipality’s discretion https://www.ola.org/en/legislative-business/bills/parliament-42/session-1/bill-189
  4. Allows municipalities to suspend certain planning decision timelines.

 

We will keep you updated.