Hamilton's home sales saw a peak before coronavirus pandemic hit

News Apr 03, 2020 by Kevin Werner Stoney Creek News

As the coronavirus pandemic forces governments to close businesses, which has nearly caused the Ontario economy to screech to a halt, the real estate sector is enjoying some initial success.

Hamilton was the only major community within the Realtors Association of Hamilton-Burlington market area that saw a jump in sales and average price so far this year.

Realtors Association of Hamilton-Burlington President Kathy Della-Nebbia said Hamilton saw a jump in residential sales by 2.5 per cent for single-family homes. But townhouse and apartment sales declined 5.6 per cent and 6.3 per cent respectively.

She said the real estate market was active in January and February, but slowed down considerably in mid-March when the pandemic arrived.

“This affected the market and slowed activity at that time,” she said.

Hamilton had 1,086 new listings in March 2020, a 6.1 per cent drop from a year ago, while there were 723 sales, a one per cent hike from March 2019. The average price of a sale was $605,140, a 16.1 per cent increase from a year ago.

Della-Nebbia said the full impact on the real estate market in the area won’t be truly known until the April figures are released in May.

Home resales are expected to fall as the economy contracts, with the composite benchmark price projected to drop 2.9 per cent in the second half of the year. And there is an expectation home resale could dive by 30 per cent to a 20-year low, according to a Royal Bank of Canada report.

Don Robertson, broker and owner of Com/Choice Realty in Dundas, said one of the possible reasons for the higher listings and surge in real estate sales could be that people wanted to complete their sales and get their listings on the market before the pandemic hit and possibly avoid competition.

“You won’t get a good read until we see the April numbers,” he said. “During March there was a flurry of transactions happening. (The latest numbers) are not a true indicator.”

The provincial government identified real estate as an essential business because, Robertson said, there is a need for people to have a place to live. Real estate agents also had to make sure the proper documentation was completed for in any transaction that occurred before and during the pandemic.

The Ontario Real Estate Association sent out an information document March 25 urging real estate agents to suspend all open houses, agent and public office hours and in-person showings.

“In these unique situations, where a property listed for sale is occupied by tenants, the health and safety of those tenants, the realtors and their clients are of utmost priority,” said San Morrison, president OREA in a news release.

Robertson said real estate agents are using more technology in their work such a video conference calls, digital signing and virtual tours. If a person wants to buy a house, the prospective buyer can make a quick tour of the property to confirm any intentions whether to buy or not.

“It’s harder to service your customers,” Robertson acknowledged.

But he says real estate agents can quickly adapt. Prospective buyers, he said, in the past have examined a property in such a place as Florida, for instance, using virtual technology. Potential buyers are then given a deadline to physically see the homes or building and, if they like it, they make an offer. The same process can proceed under the current limitations, said Robertson.

Robertson’s portfolio is concentrated on commercial and agriculture properties, which are easier to conduct a transaction. He can have a face-to-face discussion during meetings while maintaining the six-foot physical separation and most, if not all, of the properties on the market are empty so it's not a problem examining the structures or land.

“It’s pretty easy to do, if you observe the physical distancing,” he said.

Robertson said with historic low interest rates — the Bank of Canada slashed its benchmark interest to 0.25 per cent — he can see people who want to upsize to a better house or older people inclined to downsize. The idea is a strengthening job market next year and an expected immigration surge could push sales to more than 40 per cent in 2021 with prices moving to favour sellers.

“With the interest rates now, money is basically free,” he said.

Hamilton's real estate sales jumped in March, but analysts predict slumping market rest of year

Coronavirus crisis will likely bring home prices down #financialwellbeing

News Apr 03, 2020 by Kevin Werner Stoney Creek News

As the coronavirus pandemic forces governments to close businesses, which has nearly caused the Ontario economy to screech to a halt, the real estate sector is enjoying some initial success.

Hamilton was the only major community within the Realtors Association of Hamilton-Burlington market area that saw a jump in sales and average price so far this year.

Realtors Association of Hamilton-Burlington President Kathy Della-Nebbia said Hamilton saw a jump in residential sales by 2.5 per cent for single-family homes. But townhouse and apartment sales declined 5.6 per cent and 6.3 per cent respectively.

She said the real estate market was active in January and February, but slowed down considerably in mid-March when the pandemic arrived.

Related Content

“This affected the market and slowed activity at that time,” she said.

Hamilton had 1,086 new listings in March 2020, a 6.1 per cent drop from a year ago, while there were 723 sales, a one per cent hike from March 2019. The average price of a sale was $605,140, a 16.1 per cent increase from a year ago.

Della-Nebbia said the full impact on the real estate market in the area won’t be truly known until the April figures are released in May.

Home resales are expected to fall as the economy contracts, with the composite benchmark price projected to drop 2.9 per cent in the second half of the year. And there is an expectation home resale could dive by 30 per cent to a 20-year low, according to a Royal Bank of Canada report.

Don Robertson, broker and owner of Com/Choice Realty in Dundas, said one of the possible reasons for the higher listings and surge in real estate sales could be that people wanted to complete their sales and get their listings on the market before the pandemic hit and possibly avoid competition.

“You won’t get a good read until we see the April numbers,” he said. “During March there was a flurry of transactions happening. (The latest numbers) are not a true indicator.”

The provincial government identified real estate as an essential business because, Robertson said, there is a need for people to have a place to live. Real estate agents also had to make sure the proper documentation was completed for in any transaction that occurred before and during the pandemic.

The Ontario Real Estate Association sent out an information document March 25 urging real estate agents to suspend all open houses, agent and public office hours and in-person showings.

“In these unique situations, where a property listed for sale is occupied by tenants, the health and safety of those tenants, the realtors and their clients are of utmost priority,” said San Morrison, president OREA in a news release.

Robertson said real estate agents are using more technology in their work such a video conference calls, digital signing and virtual tours. If a person wants to buy a house, the prospective buyer can make a quick tour of the property to confirm any intentions whether to buy or not.

“It’s harder to service your customers,” Robertson acknowledged.

But he says real estate agents can quickly adapt. Prospective buyers, he said, in the past have examined a property in such a place as Florida, for instance, using virtual technology. Potential buyers are then given a deadline to physically see the homes or building and, if they like it, they make an offer. The same process can proceed under the current limitations, said Robertson.

Robertson’s portfolio is concentrated on commercial and agriculture properties, which are easier to conduct a transaction. He can have a face-to-face discussion during meetings while maintaining the six-foot physical separation and most, if not all, of the properties on the market are empty so it's not a problem examining the structures or land.

“It’s pretty easy to do, if you observe the physical distancing,” he said.

Robertson said with historic low interest rates — the Bank of Canada slashed its benchmark interest to 0.25 per cent — he can see people who want to upsize to a better house or older people inclined to downsize. The idea is a strengthening job market next year and an expected immigration surge could push sales to more than 40 per cent in 2021 with prices moving to favour sellers.

“With the interest rates now, money is basically free,” he said.

Hamilton's real estate sales jumped in March, but analysts predict slumping market rest of year

Coronavirus crisis will likely bring home prices down #financialwellbeing

News Apr 03, 2020 by Kevin Werner Stoney Creek News

As the coronavirus pandemic forces governments to close businesses, which has nearly caused the Ontario economy to screech to a halt, the real estate sector is enjoying some initial success.

Hamilton was the only major community within the Realtors Association of Hamilton-Burlington market area that saw a jump in sales and average price so far this year.

Realtors Association of Hamilton-Burlington President Kathy Della-Nebbia said Hamilton saw a jump in residential sales by 2.5 per cent for single-family homes. But townhouse and apartment sales declined 5.6 per cent and 6.3 per cent respectively.

She said the real estate market was active in January and February, but slowed down considerably in mid-March when the pandemic arrived.

Related Content

“This affected the market and slowed activity at that time,” she said.

Hamilton had 1,086 new listings in March 2020, a 6.1 per cent drop from a year ago, while there were 723 sales, a one per cent hike from March 2019. The average price of a sale was $605,140, a 16.1 per cent increase from a year ago.

Della-Nebbia said the full impact on the real estate market in the area won’t be truly known until the April figures are released in May.

Home resales are expected to fall as the economy contracts, with the composite benchmark price projected to drop 2.9 per cent in the second half of the year. And there is an expectation home resale could dive by 30 per cent to a 20-year low, according to a Royal Bank of Canada report.

Don Robertson, broker and owner of Com/Choice Realty in Dundas, said one of the possible reasons for the higher listings and surge in real estate sales could be that people wanted to complete their sales and get their listings on the market before the pandemic hit and possibly avoid competition.

“You won’t get a good read until we see the April numbers,” he said. “During March there was a flurry of transactions happening. (The latest numbers) are not a true indicator.”

The provincial government identified real estate as an essential business because, Robertson said, there is a need for people to have a place to live. Real estate agents also had to make sure the proper documentation was completed for in any transaction that occurred before and during the pandemic.

The Ontario Real Estate Association sent out an information document March 25 urging real estate agents to suspend all open houses, agent and public office hours and in-person showings.

“In these unique situations, where a property listed for sale is occupied by tenants, the health and safety of those tenants, the realtors and their clients are of utmost priority,” said San Morrison, president OREA in a news release.

Robertson said real estate agents are using more technology in their work such a video conference calls, digital signing and virtual tours. If a person wants to buy a house, the prospective buyer can make a quick tour of the property to confirm any intentions whether to buy or not.

“It’s harder to service your customers,” Robertson acknowledged.

But he says real estate agents can quickly adapt. Prospective buyers, he said, in the past have examined a property in such a place as Florida, for instance, using virtual technology. Potential buyers are then given a deadline to physically see the homes or building and, if they like it, they make an offer. The same process can proceed under the current limitations, said Robertson.

Robertson’s portfolio is concentrated on commercial and agriculture properties, which are easier to conduct a transaction. He can have a face-to-face discussion during meetings while maintaining the six-foot physical separation and most, if not all, of the properties on the market are empty so it's not a problem examining the structures or land.

“It’s pretty easy to do, if you observe the physical distancing,” he said.

Robertson said with historic low interest rates — the Bank of Canada slashed its benchmark interest to 0.25 per cent — he can see people who want to upsize to a better house or older people inclined to downsize. The idea is a strengthening job market next year and an expected immigration surge could push sales to more than 40 per cent in 2021 with prices moving to favour sellers.

“With the interest rates now, money is basically free,” he said.