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How COVID-19 is changing Hamilton, Burlington and Niagara Real Estate. A look at the Stats April 2020.

April 26, 2020
Niagara Real Estate show Rob Golfi working remotely

The Hamilton Real Estate show, April 25, 2020 with Rob & Phil Golfi and Rick Zamperin.

We are doing our part with social distancing and staying safe. Send your questions and topic ideas to questions@robgolfi.com for any real estate related questions and we will answer them on the next show.

Topics today include:
– How COVID-19 is changing Hamilton, Burlington and Niagara Real Estate. A look at the Stats April 2020.
– Mega millionaires versus simple millionaires
– Real estate stats for April 2020 for all Areas including Hamilton, Burlington and Toronto.
– COVID-19 was a shock at the beginning but for Phil Golfi, this new way of lifeis starting to feel a little bit normal. The day to day habits are becoming more and more normal. As a person and as a team, we are just trying to stay active day to day and these new habits are becoming a new normal for most people.
– Hamilton and Niagara Real Estate Statistics – Hamilton April 1st – 23…3 weeks, the number of units decreased by 64%..this year 211 sale units to 602 from last year.
However, there is an increase in sale price by 13% – $485,500 last year to $550,000 this year.
– In Burlington, April 1 to April 23, 2020 – there was a decrease of 92% in sales. This is a massive decrease. However, median sale price is up by 18% in Burlington.
– In Hamilton and Niagara, the numbers are holding strong but in Toronto, something different may be happening. Toronto real estate sales fell by 69% for the first 23 days of April 2020. Across the board for all home types, the average sale price fell to $819,000 for the first 17 days of April 2020. This is a decrease of 1.5% from last year. Detached homes across the board in Toronto fell to $990,000 during the first 17 days of April 2020, down from 4.6% from last year. Condo apartments across the board in Toronto fell to $578,000 during the first 17 days of April 2020, down from 1.8% from last year. This is the first negative dip for TREB (The Toronto Real Estate Board) since 2018. So its a much different story in Toronto than it is in Hamilton and Niagara. We are little over a month into this quarantine so the numbers are still changing for housing prices and unit sales. We will find out more as we get closer to the end of the quarantine.

——–

In Toronto, the city had shy of 1400 new listings for the first 17 days of April 2020. This is down 60% from last year at the same time. New listings for Detached homes were down 71%. New listings for Condo apartments were down 50%. Basically, Listings numbers in Toronto have been basically falling. The same is true in Hamilton, Burlington and Niagara says Rob Golfi. Very few listings are hitting the Real Estate board.

In Hamilton, Burlington and Niagara Real Estate, the median sale price is $550,000 from January to April, 2020 as compared to last year at $485,000….when were these higher prices realized? These stats are reflecting the fact that in 2020, we have had more good months than bad months. In the first 2 months of March 2020, numbers we up and they were very strong. Inventory is low, number of buyers is low but there is still a demand out there. COVID-19 is currently not reflected in the price of homes stats yet.

Now the investment vultures are coming out, just making offers on everything and seeing who is willing to bite on low offers. The markets are still decent and people are going to hold out and are not rushing to sell. These type of investors are leaving notes in mailboxes offering to buy your home cash with a very quick closing. These investors are hoping that you are in a bad financial situation and would be willing to sell your home very cheap. These investors are not going to give you market value for your home. Some people have lost their jobs and are worried about how they will pay the bills and may be attracted to this kind of sale even though they can put their home on the market and get market value for their home and still have a pretty quick closing. Their are options for these types of situations even though it may not seem like it if you are going through financial hardship due to COVID-19.

How do you find a real estate agent virtually?

What going in here with Mega Millionaires versus Simple Millionaires during this COVID-19 pandemic? The super wealthy millionaires are going to feel the affects of COVID-19 heavily especially if they own a lot of commercial and residential real estate….especially with their commercial holdings. With a lot of business not open, they can’t pay their rent. That trickles down the line to the landlord. There will be a lot of business that won’t be able to afford coming back after COVID, especially for those renting in Malls. Malls do charge heavy so these commercial landlords will lose a lot there. Wealthy people in Hamilton that own office buildings are also going to struggle as companies begin to realize that maybe they don’t need the overhead and office space they used to rent. Working from home or working virtually is becoming a new normal for many businesses. Now that they are doing it successfully, why would they do back to paying a high rent? the starter Millionaires are going to start buying more properties and picking up opportunities after COVID-19. In the next 18 months, there is a potential for starter millionaires to grow there wealth. Net worth of Mega Millionaires will drop as this pandemic will cost them dearly.

It will take a long time for Hotel owners in Niagara falls to get back on track. If they are cash rich, they will survive the pandemic but they won’t have the cash flow like they used to. Confidence is low with the general population that hotel rooms are free of the virus and clean. Hotel owners will have to drop their prices and offer dinner packages to encourage people to rent them. Restaurants will have to do the same. Restaurants, if they survive the pandemic, will have to offer great deals to encourage people to come back.

If you are a commercial real estate investor, Rob Golfi would recommend you wait a little bit before buying unless you are so cash rich that you were not affected by the pandemic. Also, it will be more difficult to buy commercial property if they are vacant because banks don’t lend money if there are a lot of vacant units in a commercial property or office building. The higher Vacancy rates will definetly affect the price of that property if it were to be sold. Rob Golfi predicts that there will be opportunities in commercial real estate by the end of this year or perhaps next year. Their will also be some opportunities with small multi-plex buildings – 6-plex or 10-plex buildings. There are definitely commercial opportunities after COVID. Most commercial investors are looking for at least a 6% cap rate. If you are looking to invest in real estate after COVID, Rob Golfi would suggest that investors focus more on residential real estate because every one needs a place to live. Tenants are easy to find.

Are there good opportunities in Hamilton, Burlington and Niagara for residential investors? Rob Golfi says that there are still a few good opportunities but we are only a few weeks into this quarantine where people are not working, etc. Rob Golfi thinks that the opportunities will come in the next 2-3 months maybe this fall. We need to look at the bigger picture. Housing prices double every 10 years. You can’t lose if you go into the housing market for the long term.

There is a disagreement between local realtors and the Canadian Realtor Association. The stats have caused some confusion with the local realtors on the real estate board for Hamilton, Burlington and Niagara. OREA has calculated the statistics differently and local realtors are saying that these stats are not a true representation of what is currently happening in current real estate market. All of these numbers can cause fear with the general public. the numbers show that prices are continuing to rise even though numbers of units sold has drastically. The perception in the public is that housing prices will fall and it may not be the reality. We need more time to see what the numbers actually are.

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