Toronto real estate fatigue and COVID-19 anxiety set in: real estate agents


Estate agents say now is the time to strike a deal as prices may finally drop due to the surge in COVID-19 cases and the season

The Toronto real estate market could finally cool down after month after month of unusually frantic behavior.

The average house price in Toronto broke records in June and continued to climb despite the COVID-19 pandemic, reaching $ 1,025,925 in October.

But daily cases of COVID-19 in Ontario have also reached record levels. On Saturday, the provincial government announced 1,581 new cases and the pandemic is expected to worsen.

“We continue to urge our members across Ontario to stop holding open houses,” said Tim Hudak, CEO of the Ontario Real Estate Association. “Limit face-to-face interactions as much as possible and use virtual tools first and to the greatest extent possible. ”

If trends continue, Ontario’s red zones could potentially face a March-like lockdown that crippled the booming real estate market.

But Toronto area realtors Meray Mansour and Odeen Eccleston, of Re / Max Hallmark Realty and WE Realty, respectively, don’t think real estate sales will come to a screeching halt. On the contrary, buying and selling will only take a break.

“In the spring, because it was so new to us, we hadn’t yet built that tolerance,” Mansour says.

“There was so much uncertainty, people were just paralyzed with fear,” Eccleston adds.

The two realtors believe that most people will continue to operate as usual in Wave 2, but perhaps a little more carefully. After talking on the phone, Mansour goes to visit properties to offer his client, who will be staying at home, a live tour using Zoom.

“Now we’re used to it,” Mansour says. “Like ‘OK here we go.’ “

A volatile real estate market in Toronto

Mansour and Eccleston also believe that now is the time to start looking for real estate deals. Prices in Toronto continued to rise in October despite the pandemic, which is an indication of demand. But after months and months of scrambling between realtors, buyers and sellers, they say burnout is setting in.

“People are feeling what I would call real estate fatigue in Toronto a little bit,” Eccleston says, explaining that now is a good time for buyers to get a deal with sellers who want to get rid of the remaining listings. .

“People kind of start falling asleep around this time of year. I say don’t give up now, because the competition will be a little less fierce in November and December. ”

It helps that November and December are usually a time when people turn away from real estate and find out about the holidays. Mansour adds that despite the high prices, the market is volatile, leaving room for details.

“There were weeks when the supply was really high, and then it was gone,” Mansour says. She adds that the market has recently been in a state where it no longer just follows sustained trends, but almost reacts emotionally.

For example, Mansour observed that Toronto’s real estate activity received a boost after Joe Biden was announced the expected winner of the US presidential election.

“Literally the next day after announcing the winner everything resumed. My projections have resumed. My offers have resumed. I sold everything.

Mansour believes the election results made people feel a little more secure in their actions and finances, which are tied to the US economy.

Eccleston adds that the weather was also good, which is generally correlated with high real estate activity. But both agree that moods and emotions have a big impact on real estate business.

People’s emotions – and the real estate market – have been on a roller coaster in 2020.

Real estate agents are the new therapists

“It’s harder to make deals because of collective angst,” says Mansour, who says he’s working 10 times harder because pandemic fatigue is wreaking havoc on transactions.

The pandemic has not only added new health and safety measures and hurdles, but new stresses for customers who in some cases are making life-changing decisions in response to the pandemic and the financial crisis.

Are they going to have a job? Do they want to leave town and look for more space? Or will this pandemic be over after a vaccine arrives, meaning they should steer clear of it? Do they buy first or sell first?

These are all questions customers usually know the answer to in advance, Mansour says. But not in a COVID-19 world.

“There are announcements every week from the government telling us the numbers are up, the numbers are down, we are blocking, we are opening,” Mansour says, adding that the emotional toll COVID-19 is taking on people affects real estate decisions. .

Nowadays, real estate agents feel more like therapists.

“The anxiety levels are high. People drink a lot more. We don’t have the normal things we do every day, like going to the gym or being with friends and family. There is a lot more isolation. All of this affects us psychologically. And most people are not even aware of it. It’s kind of like this underlying factor.

“Sometimes when people are anxious they make bad decisions,” she adds. “I really had to put on my therapist hat and go, ‘OK, is this something you really have to do or is this something you do because of your anxiety?’ ”



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