Summer 2020

National home prices to show remarkable resilience in 2020

According to the Royal LePage House Price Survey and Market Survey Forecast released today, the aggregate1 price of a home in Canada is expected to remain remarkably stable through the COVID-19 pandemic.

If the strict, stay-at-home restrictions characterizing the fight against COVID-19 are eased during the second quarter, prices are expected to end 2020 relatively flat, with the aggregate value of a Canadian home up a modest 1.0 per cent year-over-year, to $653,800. If the current tight restrictions on personal movement are sustained through the summer, the negative economic impact is expected to drive home prices down by 3.0 per cent ($627,900) year-over-year. In December 2019, Royal LePage forecast the national aggregate price to increase 3.2 per cent by the end of 2020. Due to COVID-19, expected price growth has been revised down almost 70 per cent compared to Royal LePage's base scenario.

"The impact of COVID-19 on the Canadian economy has been swift and violent, with layoffs driving high levels of unemployment across the country. While it is sad that these people skewed strongly to young and to part-time workers, for the housing industry, the impact of these presumably temporary job losses will be limited as these groups are much less likely to buy and sell real estate," said Phil Soper, president and CEO, Royal LePage. "From our experience with past recessions and real estate downturns, we are not expecting significant year-over-year price changes in 2020. Home price declines occur when the market experiences sustained low sales volume while inventory builds. Currently, the inventory of homes for sale in this country is very low, matching low sales volumes as people respect government mandates to stay at home.

"It is easy to mistakenly equate a handful of transactions at lower prices to a reset in the value of the nation's housing stock. Distressed sales that occur during an economic crisis are a poor proxy for real estate value," said Soper.

The aggregate price of a home in Canada increased 4.4 per cent to $655,276 in the first quarter. When broken out by housing type, the median price of a two-storey home rose 5.1 per cent year-over-year to $770,005 while the median price of a bungalow and condominium rose 2.1 per cent and 4.4 per cent to $541,040 and $493,917, respectively. Price data, which includes both resale and new build, is provided by Royal LePage's sister company RPS Real Property Solutions, a leading Canadian valuation company.

Access the Royal LePage House Price Survey Chart (Canada's largest 64 housing markets): rlp.ca/houseprices.

Access the Royal LePage Market Survey Forecast Chart: rlp.ca/2020-forecast.

1 Royal LePage's aggregate home price is based on a weighted model using median prices and includes all housing types.

COVID-19: What you should know

The real estate industry is no stranger to change. When it comes to navigating unpredictable market shifts and technological disruptions, the market always finds a way to evolve and adapt. This became more clear when real estate was named an "essential service" during the COVID-19 pandemic in several provinces across Canada. Despite all the uncertainty, one fact remains: buying

and selling homes is a necessity for many Canadians coast to coast.

Still, this isn't "business as usual," and there's no way we will come out of this unchanged. Here are three ways COVID-19 is impacting the real estate market:

Greater emphasis on virtual tours. People were already buying and selling homes online before the pandemic, but delivering a memorable first impression digitally is becoming more valuable than ever. The convenience and safety offered by virtual tours make them a high priority for both buyers and sellers.

Ongoing enhancements to real estate services has resulted in a user experience that couldn't be imagined five years ago. From cool tools on royallepage.ca to completing transactional documents online, it's never been easier to buy or sell a property from the comfort of your own home.

Health and safety is a priority. The rules of social distancing have shown us how resourceful we can be from afar. Digital signatures on offers and video calls with clients continue to become the norm.

3 Summer projects to increase your home's resale value

The pandemic may have put a pause on your plans to buy or sell, but it still pays to plan ahead. Investing in the right projects will not only guarantee pay back when it comes time to sell your home, but it will also provide a helpful distraction. Here are three outdoor projects you won't regret investing in:

  1. Build a deck or patio. A deck or patio not only

    adds visual interest and enjoyment, it also adds to the resale value of your home. Choose a design that fits with the style of your home (and your budget). Be sure to check your municipal building requirements, as a building permit may be required.

  1. Install a sprinkler system. Automatic lawn sprinkler systems are designed to allow proper irrigation through timing and even water distribution. Although there's an initial cost of installation, buyers appreciate the chance to save money on hydro bills and potential water damage.

  2. Landscape your property. Planting a garden or building a pond is a great way to add visual interest to an outdoor living space, resulting in a significant return on your investment. If possible, consult a trained professional before tackling a landscaping project to ensure that your project will result in a sustainable, professional-grade end product.

If you are looking to sell your home, or to concentrate efforts on improvements that will enhance your investment, additional resources can be found at rlp.ca/homeowner-tips.

Reflecting on your real estate goals: Should you sell your home?

While the COVID-19 pandemic presents many challenges, it also brings an opportunity to slow down and reflect. You've likely never spent as much time at home as you have in recent months, which begs the question: is your physical space aligned with your current (and future) goals and priorities?

Few decisions will have a bigger impact on your life than

selling your home. These three questions will help you gain clarity on the topic:

What do you value about your current property and what's missing? Make a list of pros and cons regarding the key features of your home and how it fits with your current lifestyle. If change is needed, is renovating a viable option?

How is your current location serving you? Consider the motivation behind moving into your neighbourhood in the first place – are those reasons still valid?

What does your financial picture look like? Are you looking to reduce expenses by downsizing to a smaller, less expensive home? Or has your financial picture improved since you first purchased, presenting an opportunity to capitalize on your investment?

Answering these questions will sharpen your perspective when it comes to deciding whether to stay or sell your home. For more information, visit rlp.ca/how-we-help.

Restoring hope and rebuilding lives

Royal LePage is the only national real estate company in Canada with its own charity. For more than 20 years, the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation has been dedicated exclusively to supporting women's shelters and violence prevention programs. Many Royal LePage agents donate a portion of their commissions to the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation when they help clients buy or sell a home.

Royal LePage offices also host special events to raise funds and awareness for their local women's shelter. All of the foundation's administrative costs are covered by Royal LePage Canada, so 100% of donations raised go towards the cause.


Did you know?

COVID-19 has created increased costs for emergency women's shelters and a high demand for the services they offer, such as crisis counselling by phone for women in the community experiencing domestic violence.

51% of Canadian women over age 16 have experienced at least one incident of physical or sexual violence.

Every 6 days in Canada, on average, a woman is killed by her current or former partner.

6,000 women and children are living in an emergency shelter to escape domestic violence on any given day in Canada.

50,000 women and children are helped by the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation each year.

$33 million has been raised by the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation in support of local women's shelters and domestic violence prevention and education.

Royal LePage Shelter Foundation is a national partner of sheltersafe.ca, the only online resource that provides contact info for all women's shelters in Canada.

To learn more or to make a donation, visit rlp.ca/shelter.

* Data on violence against women provided by Canadian Women's Foundation and Statistics Canada.

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All offices are independently owned and operated, except those marked as indicated at rlp.ca/disclaimer. Not intended to solicit currently listed properties or buyers under contract. The above information is from sources believed reliable, however, no responsibility is assumed for the accuracy of this information.

© 2020 Bridgemarq Real Estate Services Manager Limited. All rights reserved.

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