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Canadian real estate kicked off 2020 with a bang, but there are conflicting opinions as to how we’ll finish out the year. Canada’s federal housing agency has warned that average house prices could fall by up to 18 per cent over the next 12 months – a dismal prediction that’s being challenged by RE/MAX based on market activity from coast to coast.

Basic economics has taught us that supply and demand dictates housing prices, and according to what RE/MAX brokers are reporting at ground level, housing inventory is down in many markets, demand is still high, and multiple offers are a common scenario. Assuming that demand continues its current course, Canadian real estate prices will likely remain relatively stable or experience a single-digit price correction at worst – which is a far cry from CMHC’s dire decline of up to -18 per cent.

Is Canadian Real Estate In Trouble?
Late last year, RE/MAX expected Canadian real estate prices to rise by 3.7 per cent in 2020. A few short months later, COVID-19 threw everyone for a loop. This week, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. (CMHC) has predicted that average home prices could decline anywhere between nine and 18 per cent in the coming year, due to the economic impacts of COVID-19. In addition, CMHC warns that mortgage deferrals could rise from 12 to 20 per cent by September, with up to one-fifth of all mortgages ending up in arrears, if the Canadian economy does not recover sufficiently.

“The resulting combination of higher mortgage debt, declining house prices and increased unemployment is cause for concern for Canada’s longer-term financial stability,” CMHC CEO Evan Siddall told the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance earlier this week.

However, the Big Banks, economists and many Realtors aren’t aligned with CMHC’s expectation.

What the Big Banks are Saying About Canadian Real Estate
According to this recent article published by The Globe And Mail, CIBC said Canadian real estate prices could fall between five and 10 per cent this year compared to 2019. Similarly, RBC forecasts a decline of seven per cent, while BMO expects a five-per-cent decline.

“[Mr. Siddall] said that all these things will happen if the economy ‘does not recover sufficiently.’ That’s a very broad statement,” CIBC deputy chief economist Benjamin Tal told The Globe And Mail. “Without looking at the assumption behind that statement regarding GDP growth, unemployment rate and so on, it is very difficult to assess the likelihood of such a prediction. Is it a worst-case scenario, or the base case? I think he was highlighting a worst-case scenario,” he said.

A single-digit decrease in house prices can be classified as a correction, and is a far cry from CMHC’s trough of -18 per cent.

RE/MAX Brokers Report Low Housing Inventory, Multiple Offer Scenarios
RE/MAX brokers in some of the biggest Canadian real estate markets say a dramatic price drop is unlikely under current conditions, barring any major unforeseen circumstances – and as we’ve all come to learn recently, anything is possible. But assuming current market conditions remain stable, the current inventory of homes for sale continues to fall short of demand – even amidst this pandemic, social distancing measures and the economic fallout.

Here’s what RE/MAX brokers are reporting on Canadian real estate in some of our biggest cities and key housing markets.

ATLANTIC CANADA

Newfoundland real estate has been a consistent “down market” since 2014, thanks to weakening oil prices and a shaky local economy. COVID-19 dealt another blow, but even so, the economy was already slow in the region. Interestingly, RE/MAX reports a spike in multiple offers in the region recently.

Multiple offers have been virtually non-existent in Newfoundland since the peak in market activity in 2014. Since the pandemic, there have been a dozen. There has even a home for sale that received four offers, when previously even one offer may have been uncommon.

Housing prices in Newfoundland remain consistent right now, and the market is better positioned than originally anticipated. The pulse is good, and this is unlikely to change in the near future.

Halifax real estate was riding high before the pandemic, with a lot of good foundational activity happening across the region. Simply put, the Halifax real estate market was hot, with low housing inventory common across the marketplace. Specific to the Halifax housing market, multiple-offer scenarios continue to be common, with brokers and agents reporting sequential multiple offer scenarios on their last three, four, five deals. That’s certainly the making of stable house prices, or even increasing slightly.

About one-third of Halifax listings in recent weeks have sold over asking price, which bodes well for house prices in the near future. Showings are up, and new listings that are coming online are up slightly as well. There’s consumer confidence, but buying activity is heavily dependent on how people have been affected financially. If current trends continue, an 18-per-cent drop in home prices is highly unlikely.

ONTARIO

Ottawa real estate has experienced an increase in home prices and a decrease in days on market – both good indicators that the housing market is stable, at least for the time being. The current seller’s market is characterized by low housing supply and high demand, which continues to drive up prices. In fact, within the last two weeks, Ottawa’s list-to-sales-price ratio has a median of 100 per cent. Most properties are still holding offers, with multiple-offer scenarios a common occurrence and homes selling for over asking price.

Within the last two weeks, compared to the previous two weeks, RE/MAX has experienced an influx of inquiries regarding properties for sale, with questions about the process of buying/selling homes. Consumers in the region want to be informed again about the housing market.

Toronto real estate is experiencing a proportionate decline in new listings and buyers, leading RE/MAX to conclude that prices should remain stable. Toronto homes are currently selling for asking price, or slightly above or below that price point, but the region has not experienced any decline in price and if current conditions continue, there’s nothing to indicate that prices will fall between nine and 18 per cent, as CMHC has predicted.

Toronto continues to experience multiple-offer scenarios, with RE/MAX reporting a consistent two or three offers on every listing. These conditions were prevalent prior to the lockdown on March 13, and continue to be the case, even with social distancing measures in place and the economic fallout. Toronto’s housing supply shortage continues, and demand remains high, as evidenced by the many multiple offers RE/MAX is seeing across the board.

The pandemic has negatively impacted listings, because many homeowners who were planning to sell are now opting to hold on to their listings, unwilling to host traditional open houses at this time. When government financial aid runs out and the six-month mortgage deferral period expires, people may then start listing their homes if they can’t afford to keep them. However, right now this is not the case. If a flood of listings does occur in Toronto this fall, it will be a short cycle.

London real estate experienced a large downturn in the number of sales in April and May compared to April/May 2019, but the region has also seen a large decrease in the number of listings compared to last year, which is causing multiple-offer scenarios.

The London housing market is holding strong, homes for sale are being scooped up and prices remain relatively stable. Within the past 14 days, RE/MAX reports 180 firm sales, 83 of which went for over asking, and 20 sold at full price. In April 2020 the average sale price in London was up slightly by a couple of thousand dollars compared to April 2019, however May’s month-to-date average price in London is about $29,000 higher compared to all of May 2019.

WESTERN CANADA

Edmonton real estate continues to experience a significant hit to its local economy due to oil prices, and the biggest factor going forward will be employment, or lack thereof. The impacts of COVID-19 may result in a double-digit unemployment rate, which is expected to impact housing demand.

When it comes to selling prices, RE/MAX reported some lowball offers at $40,000, $60,000 and $80,000 below asking, however none of those deals went through. Since then, those properties have gone pending close to the asking price.

Moving forward, RE/MAX expects an average five-per-cent price decrease in Edmonton throughout the rest of the year. Edmonton saw prices fall two to three per cent in 2019, based on buyer demand. Edmonton has more millennials than baby boomers, which makes it a unique marketplace. Buyers wants new homes, which means many dated homes in older neighbourhoods aren’t moving, while infill and new construction in those neighbourhoods are in high demand. Furthermore, RE/MAX is reporting an influx in downsizers who are using COVID-19 as the catalyst to sell the big house and move into a condo or smaller home.

Multiple offers are common in Edmonton’s housing market, with houses selling for $20,000 to $30,000 over asking price. This is due to buyers shifting and adjusting needs. This could present a good opportunity for investors and house flippers to tackle some of those older, larger homes.

Lenders tightening up their lending policies is a concern for the Canadian real estate economy, and how they assess and react to buyers’ employment status will affect the buyer pool. This will dictate the market in the next year post COVID-19.

Calgary real estate is experiencing a double-edged sword, due to COVID-19 and the oil industry, and the greater concern is oil. It is still too early to accurately predict where prices will trend in the coming year. Housing supply has come down, which has kept prices relatively steady. RE/MAX reports some multiple offers on properties that are priced appropriately in the right neighbourhoods. Meanwhile, some properties have seen large price drops, but it’s unclear if that is related directly to the pandemic or if it is related to the overall economy.

Some regions in Calgary are experiencing drops, but others are doing well. A five-per-cent price correction is a more likely scenario. Some price adjustments are happening already, but an 18-per-cent price drop across the board isn’t realistic. But if by chance it did happen, prices would bounce back again. Higher-priced properties will be most affected, while properties at lower price points are expected to remain fairly stable.

Vancouver real estate is fluctuating from week to week, not just on seller side but also on agent side as well. People are re-emerging, with RE/MAX reporting lots of new inventory and many multiple offers, not just on $500,000 condos but those priced in the $2-3 million range as well. and. Perception is that now with easing of restrictions, people are more confident that things are moving in the right direction.

It’s possible to have high unemployment, yet a very strong real estate market. Unemployment appears to be having a greater impact on lower earners, and with the region’s high real estate prices, homebuyers are typically those in the higher income bracket.

Vancouver Realtors who were initially fearful are back in business, and an 18-per-cent decline in Vancouver housing values – or anything close to that – is highly unlikely. A five-per-cent price correction is more likely.

A revised application submitted to the City brings changes to a proposed residential tower at 7 Labatt Avenue near Queen and River streets on the east side of Downtown Toronto. Developers TAS and Tricon resubmitted plans for the project in late 2019 with a new design by HOK, which has evolved in the months since.

The most recent update is a mid-May, 2020 application seeking Site Plan Plan Approval following a Minor Variance Application prepared in December to address certain items flagged in the last submission’s zoning review. The proposal generally remains in accordance with site-specific by-laws adopted by City Council at the end of 2016, and the current revisions make minor changes to the exterior design, unit count, and other elements. At ground level, a focal point of the revisions is the improvement of the building’s relationship with pedestrian and cycling infrastructure.

In response to comments from Planning staff, the exterior design has been refined in the updated submission. The number of balconies has been reduced and balcony depths have been minimized. The resulting re-positioned balcony placement and revised balcony cladding helps to create more variety on the exterior, revealing more of the primary building envelope. City staff’s request for a material sample board following the previous submission has been addressed, showing a mix of cladding that includes brick-faced precast panels with blends of red and beige brick, white precast concrete, bronze anodized aluminum, and double-pane low-E glazing for punched windows.

The minor variance is being sought in exception to a zoning by-law, reflecting a few elements of the project that don’t fully conform with the site-specific by-laws. Among these, the current plan’s tower width above the 28th floor slightly exceeds the accepted conditions. Another variance request is to permit only 209 parking spaces, in exception to by-laws requiring 270 spaces for a project of this size.

The previous plan called for 252 rental units and 295 condominium units, since revised to 257 rentals and 301 condo units. The overall unit mix has been revised to comply with a requirement that at least 20% of all units on the site must have two or more bedrooms, and a further 10% to have three or more bedrooms. The current unit mix is now proposed as 26 studios, 314 one-bedrooms, 152 two-bedrooms, and 66 three-bedroom units.

Other revisions include changes to the residential common and amenity spaces, most notably the separation of condo and rental amenities and the allocation of independent lobby spaces for the two tenure types. Specific amenities have been relocated to allow more natural light, while the types of amenities has been refined. An element of the building’s proposed Salvation Army space has also been revised, with a previously-proposed outdoor terrace now planned as an enclosed sunroom space for maintenance and noise-mitigation purposes.

You can learn more from our Database file for the project, linked below. If you’d like to, you can join in on the conversation in the associated Project Forum thread, or leave a comment in the space provided on this page.

You’ve checked listings, scouted your favorite neighborhoods, compared market prices and even picked the perfect shade of blue for your future kitchen. It’s safe to say you’re ready to become a homeowner.

While purchasing your first home is one of the most exciting experiences you’ll ever have, it can also be extremely daunting, especially if you’re not sure where to begin. To make things easier, we’ve put together a list of steps to help you get started in the right direction.

Step 1: Take a Look at Your Finances
Before scheduling any house tours, you’ll want to do a thorough assessment of your finances, so you know exactly how (and if) you can pay for that dream home. “Buying a house is a major commitment, which means the person should feel that their job is secure, they must have sufficient financial resources for the down payment, and a few extra months of reserve funds, just in case there could be some disruption in their life,” says Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist and Senior Vice President of Research at the National Association of Realtor (NAR).

Most people can’t buy a house out of pocket, so you’ll likely end up getting a mortgage to finance your purchase. You’ll need some savings to cover the down payment, the closing costs, and third-party fees associated with this type of loan. Your down payment could be as low as 3% of the total loan amount or as high as 20%. Closing costs and third-party fees, such as home inspection, flooding certificate, appraisal, title search, courier and attorney fees, could amount to up to 5% of the total loan amount.

Additionally, as of 2018, the average yearly cost of owning a home in the US was between $12,000 and $18,000. Although these numbers may seem insignificant compared to your yearly rent, they only take into account basic expenses, like utilities, property taxes, and insurance.

So make sure you factor in all of these things, in addition to other miscellaneous expenses, like repairs, maintenance and — depending on the neighborhood you live in — homeowners association fees, to determine whether you’re financially ready to take this step.

Step 2: Check Your Credit
You’ll need a minimum credit score of at least 620 to get approved for most mortgages, unless you’re applying for a government-backed loan, or for some special program provided by the lender. Your credit score will also play a big role in determining your interest rate: the lower it is, the higher your interest rate will be.

Besides that, most lenders require you to have a debt-to-income ratio (DTI) of no more than 43%, although 36% or less is preferred. The DTI is what measures how much of your monthly gross income is compromised after taking into account your current financial obligations, like credit card and student loan payments.

Pulling up your credit report will allow you to get a clearer picture of your outstanding debts, payment and account history. This should help you determine whether it’s the right time to apply for a loan or if you should pay off some debt first.

It’s also worth noting that your credit report won’t include your credit score, only information about your financial history. Your credit score is calculated by your lender, since each creditor uses its own credit scoring model — but there’s common ground on how they choose which score to use.

“Each borrower has three scores: one from Experian, Equifax and TransUnion,” says Matt Jolivette, a Certified Mortgage Consultant and Owner of Associated Mortgage Brokers. “The lenders usually take the middle score, so if someone has a 700, a 720 and a 740, the lender is going to use the 720 one.”

If you’re planning on taking out a mortgage with a spouse or a partner, the lender then compares both middle scores and chooses the lowest one, so it’s something you should be aware of if you’re thinking about buying jointly.

Step 3: Learn the Lingo
Getting to know the house-buying lingo can be quite tedious — after all, most of us would rather jump straight to the fun stuff, like actually looking at places, than sit and debate about interest rates, DTIs, and credit scores.

Still, knowing a few keywords can help you choose the right financing option for you, so here are some of the most important ones you’ll encounter throughout the home purchase process:

  • Term: this is the length of the mortgage, or for how long you’ll be paying it. It usually ranges from 10 to 30 years, depending on the lender.
  • Annual percentage rate (APR): some people confuse it with the interest rate, but this number — which is expressed as a percentage — actually combines the interest rate, points, and lender fees. When shopping for mortgages, this is the number you need to pay attention to, as it reflects the actual cost of the loan.
  • Fixed-rate mortgage: with this type of loan, the interest rate remains the same from start to finish.
  • Adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM): also known as a “variable-rate mortgage.” With this loan, the interest rate is fixed for a number of years, then turns into a floating rate for the remainder of the loan.
  • Conventional loan: this type of mortgage isn’t guaranteed by any government agency and usually has a fixed term and interest rate.
  • Government-backed loan: these are insured by the government and offer benefits, like lower down payments or full financing, and have a different set of requirements. Government-backed loans include VA, USDA and FHA loans.
  • Jumbo loan: these are mortgages that exceed the limits established by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA). They can be for as much as $1M depending on the lender, and require higher credit scores, income and down payments than conventional loans.

Step 4: Check for Federal, State and Local Programs
One of the best things about buying your first home is that you may be eligible for different programs that can facilitate your transition into homeownership and offer everything from flexible requirements to assistance with down payments and access to affordable housing.

Here are some of the federal programs that you may qualify for:

  • Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans
  • Homeownership Vouchers
  • HomePath Ready Buyer
  • Good Neighbor Next Door
  • The Indian Home Loan Guarantee

Programs like the FHA loans and HomePath Ready Buyer allow you to qualify with credit scores lower than 620, and you could purchase a home with a down payment as low as 3%. The Homeownership Vouchers provide subsidies for low income individuals looking to purchase property.

The Good Neighbor Next Door program offers up to 50% off on qualified home listings for those working in careers that can revitalize communities, like teachers, first responders, and police officers. The Indian Home Loan Guarantee offers down payments as low as 2.25%, plus flexible underwriting to American Indians, Alaska Natives, and other federally recognized tribes.

Also: If you have an IRA, you can withdraw up to $10,000 without incurring any penalties for the purchase of your first home, in addition to applying for other state and local programs.

Step 5: Get Pre-Approved
Fact: not getting pre-approved before checking out houses is a rookie mistake. “We always recommend you get pre-approved. This allows us to look at your income, assets, and pull up your credit, to make sure you’re all buttoned up,” Jolivette says.

Getting pre-approved not only saves you time, but can also narrow down your choices and spare you the disappointment of falling in love with a piece of real estate that’s out of your price range.

In order to get the best term and interest rate for your situation, do research by comparing quotes from multiple lenders. Getting pre-approved won’t hurt your credit, as lenders only do a soft credit pull for this process.

To get you pre-approved, you’ll need to provide the following:

  • A form of ID
  • Social security number
  • Up to two months worth of pay stubs
  • Copies of your two most recent W-2s and tax returns
  • Statements of assets (certificates of deposits, savings, or any other investments).

Filling out the pre-approval form will only take a few minutes and, depending on the lender, you may be able to submit all the paperwork via email, instead of regular mail.

It can take lenders a couple of days to a week to get back to you. If you’re pre-approved, the lender will send you a letter stating the amount you’re qualified for. Having this letter at hand allows you to close faster and could also speed things up come time to persuade sellers to accept your offer.

If you’re unsure of where to start, MONEY has put together a list of the Best Mortgage Lenders of 2020, to help you choose wisely.

Step 6: Hire a Good Real Estate Agent
Once you’re pre-approved, the next step is to get in touch with a real estate agent. “Realtors can protect your interest and your investment,” says Diane Schall, a seasoned realtor at Ferrari-Lund Real Estate in Reno, Nevada.

Although you may check for listings online, these usually contain general information about the property, and could be outdated. “I get so many texts and phone calls from people looking at listings online, and sometimes the home isn’t even on the market, or it was already sold,” says Schall. “They just don’t give the consumer accurate information.”

The obvious benefit of hiring a real estate agent is that they’re knowledgeable about the market. They have updated information on listings that are within your price range, which can help you narrow your options. Additionally, they can give you in-depth details about the property, including things that would be hard to find on your own, like homeowners association fees and history of insurance claims. This can be a serious advantage for you, as it can help you negotiate a better price.

Real estate agents can also tell you things to watch out for, so you get the full picture of what you’re getting into. “I always point out everything that I possibly can, so they are aware. Like, ‘Look there’s a gap in the flooring, or there’s a water leak in the ceiling,’” says Schall. “I treat people like they’re my friends and family. I’m not gonna just sell a home just for the money, it’s about building lasting relationships,” she adds.

On average, real estate agents charge a commission fee that’s between 5% and 6% of the home’s final sale price, but they can also charge a flat fee. This fee is negotiable, and agents don’t get a single penny until the purchase is finalized. However, it should be noted that this fee is paid by the seller.

Step 7: Consider the Location
When looking at houses, a lot of people consider things like commute, whether the property is in a good school district, hospital proximity, and if there are plenty of restaurants and entertainment options nearby.

While these are all valid things to consider when searching for the ideal home, you should also take into account if that cute little house by the trees is a prime location for wildfires, floods, and other natural disasters.

According to the Insurance Information Institute’s latest data, the average American pays over $1,200 a year on homeowners insurance premiums. However, the price of premiums varies greatly from one location to the next. For example, the average annual premium paid by homeowners in Louisiana was $1,968 versus $829 in Arizona. This is due to the fact that Louisiana’s properties are more exposed to hurricanes and other natural disasters than those in Arizona.

If you purchase a home in a high-risk area, you may have a harder time getting insurance, and if you do, chances are it’ll be much more expensive, so it’s something to consider before you buy.

Additionally, if the house is close to a highway or any busy main roads, it’s possible that it’s resale value may be affected, since potential buyers can cite noise, pollution and lack of privacy as valid reasons to offer you a lower amount than your asking price.

Step 8: Make an Offer
So, you’ve finally found that special place that’s going to put an end to your renting days. Guess what? Three other buyers seem to share your good taste. This is when a good offer letter comes in handy.

Your real estate agent will most likely help you with this step, but here are some of the things that are usually included:

  • Purchase price – this is how much you’re willing to pay for the property.
  • Earnest money amount – also known as an “initial deposit,” this is separate from the down payment, and shows sellers you are serious about purchasing the property and it’s usually 1% to 2% of the property’s value.
  • Copy of the pre-approval letter from the bank or financial institution – to show the sellers you’re approved for funding and are ready to close.
  • Closing details – this includes information about the costs you’ll be responsible for, as well as those you expect the seller to cover.
  • A list of contingencies – these are deal breakers that would make the offer void, or a list of things that need to be in place for the offer to be valid. A home inspection can shed light on some of these, like for example, if there’s exposed wiring, you can ask the seller to fix this before you move in, as a condition for the purchase.
  • Expiration date – at the end of the letter, you must include a deadline for the seller to respond to your offer, as this helps to get things moving. Some states, like California, give sellers up to three days to respond to it, but this can be flexible. In most cases, sellers respond within 24-48 hours after receiving the offer.
    Yun also recommends including an emotional appeal within your letter stating the reasons behind your intent to purchase. “They should express whether they are a family raising a kid, and are looking for a good school district, or if they just have a certain connection with that particular house,” says Yun, noting that your chances could certainly increase by taking this route. “They want the next buyer to be somebody they can relate to, and that takes care of the home,” he adds.

If the seller accepts your offer, the next step is to send the purchase contract to the lender, so they can schedule a closing date and get everything in place for funding.

Step 9: Get an Inspection
The home inspection takes place once your offer is accepted, to ensure the house you’re purchasing is safe. Some of the things inspectors look for are faulty or exposed wiring, poor ventilation, roofing problems, mold, presence of rodents or other pests, and plumbing issues. The inspection process takes 3 to 4 hours to complete, depending on the size of the property, and it usually takes the inspector a few days to a week to complete the report.

The seller is required to inspect the property prior to listing it on the market, but it’s always recommended you also hire your own inspector, that way you know if the property is being sold at a fair price and if you’re getting your money’s worth.

Although inspections are commonly held after the offer is accepted, most buyers ignore that they can request a “pre-offer inspection.” However, they must be careful when doing so. The reason behind this is that requesting a pre-offer inspection could be seen as a sign of distrust from the seller’s point of view, which could lead them to reject your offer.

In Jolivette’s opinion, it is best to schedule inspections after making an offer. “We always recommend folks do get a home inspection once their offer has been accepted,” says Jolivette. If something seems off during the inspection process, you can always get the seller to make the adjustments prior to closing, or ask them to lower their price.

Step 10: Get Ready to Close
Closing is the final step in purchasing a home, and is when you sign all of the remaining paperwork to become the legal owner of the property. This happens between 30 to 45 days after your offer is accepted and your lender receives the purchase contract.

A day before closing, your real estate agent will schedule a final walkthrough to see that everything in the property is the way it should be for final approval. Some of the people you can expect to see at the closing are your real estate agent, a closing attorney, escrow officer, home inspector, a title insurance agent and the loan officer, in addition to the seller.

At closing, you’ll be asked to bring the following:

  • A photo ID to verify your identity
  • The copy of the purchase agreement
  • A cashier’s check or a certified check to pay for the down payment and remaining closing costs and fees
  • Proof of insurance

The actual process can take a while, since you’ll have to sign a lot of documents, including the deed of trust or mortgage, promissory note, and a closing disclosure. Yun advises to review these documents carefully, to avoid any unpleasant surprises.

“Closing is just the validation of all the expectations, so there should be no surprises. Everything should be as negotiated,” says Yun.

After everything is signed and validated, the title is transferred under your name, and you officially become the legal owner of the house. Next step: get your keys, and start packing!

Owning approximately 3,500 acres of land at prime intersections in all provinces across the country, SmartCentres REIT is pursuing an aggressive expansion of its SmartLiving residential sub-brand, diversifying and optimizing its portfolio through redevelopment of its vast roster of properties. A $12.1 billion development program announced in 2019 is now underway, and will see 94 of the 165 SmartCentres’ properties undergo intensification. One of 256 individual development projects, SmartCentres Pickering will transform a 48-acre site at the intersection of Brock Road and Pickering Parkway, located just five minutes from Pickering GO Station.

The property is bounded by Brock Road to the west, Pickering Parkway to the south, a mature single-family neighbourhood to the east, and a service road to the north. Featuring easy access to Highway 401 and the Durham Live entertainment district, the existing Pickering SmartCentre contains a number of high-profile tenants, including Walmart Supercentre, Lowe’s, Winners, LCBO and PetSmart.

The lands were identified in the South Pickering and Kingston Road Corridor Intensification Studies for high-density mixed-use development, aligning with the principles and long-term growth strategy established by SmartCentres. Recognizing the changing landscape of retail, the REIT is taking a leadership role in extracting value and maximizing the potential of its assets, while contributing towards the urbanization of several GTA municipalities, including Pickering.

The first phase of the comprehensive multi-phase masterplan will see the northeast corner of Brock Road and Pickering Parkway—currently occupied by two standalone retail buildings separated by a surface parking lot—redeveloped into a two-tower residential project.

Official Plan and Zoning Bylaw Amendment applications have been recently submitted with the City of Pickering, seeking permissions to build 33 and 34-storey condominiums on the first six-acre lot, with heights of 106 and 109 metres.

Designed by Turner Fleischer Architects, the two towers will stand atop a multi-storey podium stretching the full length of the property. A total of 377 and 360 one-to-three-bedroom residences are proposed between the two buildings, with 14,500 ft² of retail space to be provided in the podium.

A total of 703 parking spaces have been proposed. An expansive amenities program will include a fitness centre, party room, guest suite, and an outdoor roof deck.

The remaining blocks within the 48-acre property will be developed in phases, allowing the bulk of the retail to continue operating as construction progresses. The lands to the immediate east, occupied by additional surface parking and three individual single-storey commercial buildings, comprise the remainder of Block 1.

You can learn more from our Database file for the project, linked below. If you’d like to, you can join in on the conversation in the associated Project Forum thread, or leave a comment in the space provided on this page.

Historical data from the late 1990s show a financial crisis is often followed with a steep increase in housing prices. If real estate grows in a similar manner as the 2000s, safe haven assets like gold and potentially Bitcoin may follow.

The housing market is projected to see a steep sell-off in the second half of 2020. The U.S., Japan, South Korea, Singapore, and other hot markets are struggling with declining demand.

Highly-populated markets like Makati, Philippines, which saw housing prices spike to record high levels in recent years, are also expected to see a 15% to 20% drop in value by the year’s end.

The medium-term trend of the housing market remains gloomy. But, a study shows that the next correction will mark the start of a strong housing market recovery.

A research paper published by the University of Granada and Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago read:

“During the late 1990s and up to 2007 several countries experienced sharp increases in house prices. These episodes are usually mentioned among the causes of the recent world’s economic and financial turmoil. The dramatic growth in bank lending during this period has been broadly held responsible for these market dynamics.”

The housing market tends to see an extended surge after a financial crash for two main reasons.

One, interest rates remain low for a relatively long period of time. It alleviates pressure from potential buyers in a cheap market.

Second, various forms of stimulus and government support are rolled out to lead economic recovery. Such efforts typically lead to increased appetite for real estate purchases over time.

Over the next six months, the Federal Reserve does not intend to hold back in stimulating the economy.

Fed chair Jerome Powell predicts the unemployment rate in the U.S. to reach 25%, a level unseen since the Great Depression in the 1930s.

Amidst highly pessimistic economic projections, economists are putting on the pressure on the U.S. government.

Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz said earlier this week in an interview with Bloomberg that the lacking government support can become worrisome.

Stiglitz said:

“What worries me is that there won’t be enough government support, people will say we spent so much money to save the airlines, we don’t have enough money to shape the economy that we should have going forward.”

The pressure that is being imposed by both economists and the general population for more stimulus will push the Fed to provide the economy with enough liquidity.

Following arguably the biggest financial crisis in over a decade, the Fed’s aggressive stance will likely result in high levels of bank lending. That will stimulate the housing market entering 2021, setting it up for a strong decade ahead.

The well-documented correlation between gold and housing market, and the growing perception of Bitcoin as a store of value among institutional investors may indicate that housing, gold, and Bitcoin will perform strongly altogether over the long-term.

The site of Toronto’s famous Honest Ed’s department store is once again buzzing with activity. The beloved retailer closed its doors in 2017 to make way for Mirvish Village, a brand new purpose-built rental community by Westbank. Demolition of the building, including many of its iconic signs and marquee lights, took place through 2017 and 2018, followed by framing and forming work on the development’s four-storey parking garage.

Today, the 4.5-acre site at Bloor and Bathurst Street is packed with heavy machinery, scaffolding and five tower cranes as construction on the mixed-use community progresses past grade level.

On the western edge, Markham Street is closed to traffic and pedestrians as many of the homes on the street will be preserved, renovated and incorporated into the new complex. The rear portions of these homes have been demolished and the interior connections have been temporarily sealed off with wood panels.

The facades of several other heritage buildings scattered around the development will also be preserved including the Wrigley Building at 585 Bloor Street West. The three-storey brick frontage, which dates back to 1906, is currently being held up by a bright yellow exoskeleton of steel supports. Similar steel frames are visible at the corner of Bathurst and Lennox Street, where a row of heritage facades will become the southeast gateway into the community.

When construction wraps up in 2022, Mirvish Village will consist of a vibrant mix of rental residences, affordable housing, public spaces and retail amenities. Modern towers designed by Henriquez Partners Architects will be joined by low- and mid-rise buildings as well as a series of micro-towers, which are narrower and have a smaller floorplate than typical buildings in Toronto. Markham Street is also planned to re-open as a pedestrian-friendly street lined with restaurants, boutiques and a new public park.

Toronto’s rental market saw average prices drop eight percent for two-bedrooms and four percent for one-bedrooms in April over March, according to data released earlier this month by Rentals.ca.

While a single month doesn’t make a trend, market dynamics are not moving in a direction that favours property investors accustomed to strong monthly rent increases.

Viewed as notoriously tight only months ago, the rental market in Canada’s largest city has been far from immune to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, with activity freezing up in response to physical distancing and business shutdown measures.

A recent brief published by Capital Economics dives into the multitude of reasons that explain the growing threats to property investors in Toronto’s rental market. A top concern identified by the firm is the staggering decline in immigration to Canada already underway as a result of the pandemic.

Stephen Brown, an economist with Capital Economics whose work focuses on Canada, wrote that net immigration to the country has fallen from 30,000 monthly arrivals to close to zero. Alongside Vancouver, Toronto is the destination for the highest number of immigrants to the country, most of whom rent upon their arrival.

Brown wrote that the impact of this drop in immigration and the corresponding rise in rental supply could be “very significant,” not just to the rental market but also to resale home prices and the broader real estate market’s overall stability.

But it’s not just immigration that is poised to radically change the rental landscape in Toronto. Brown also pointed to a potential influx of former Airbnb vacation rentals added to the long-term rental pool.

Faced with an unprecedented decline in tourism and business travel and short term rentals temporarily banned in Ontario, many investor-owners are shifting their units to the long-term rental market. Brown estimated that this could add 7,900 vacant units to the Toronto rental market, more than the total number of vacant units in the city at the beginning of 2020.

While the economist admitted that his work only made crude estimates based on the data currently available, Brown suggested that even a less extreme scenario could see Toronto rents likely falling 5 to 10 percent by mid-summer as a result of a higher citywide vacancy rate, with rental supply rising as demand declines.

Toronto’s vacancy rate has been painfully low for years and renters have long been hoping for relief in the form of lower prices and more options in the market. Purpose-built rentals and new condo units were poised to hit multi-decade and multi-year highs, respectively, in 2020. Some of these units may face construction delays as a result of the pandemic, but with all housing construction resumed in Ontario earlier in May, a large-scale disruption is unlikely to materialize.

Taken together, this increase in supply sounds like a win for the city’s renters. However, this group has also been more severely affected by layoffs since mid-March, as BMO Senior Economist Robert Kavcic noted earlier this month. Clearly, it remains to be seen if this crisis will produce a winner for any group in the market.

Canada’s real estate market slowed down considerably since COVID-19 measures were introduced across the country in March. With public health and safety top of mind, a number of real estate associations (like the Ontario Real Estate Association and BC Real Estate Association), put forth guidelines for realtors to prioritize virtual communications over any in-person meetings. Such physical distancing measures in tandem with broader economic uncertainty pushed many buyers and sellers to the sidelines, as they await more stability.

In addition to record declines in sales activity across the country, the latest data from the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) for April – which is the first full month after COVID-19 measures were implemented across the country – reveals that the average home price in Canada is now $488,203. This price is 10 per cent lower than the average home price of $539,724 in February, which was well before any COVID-19 measures were introduced at the federal or provincial level.

To get a snapshot of how the market activity shifted in the short run since COVID-19 measures were introduced across Canada, Zoocasa used data from CREA to compare average home prices and sales between February and April 2020 for 20 real estate markets across the country. Average home prices were used as this is the price metric used and most widely available across regions in official monthly reports from CREA. As always, our analysis serves to provide a high-level overview of market dynamics and a broad perspective on market activity. Prospective home buyers will benefit from a more detailed analysis of price and sales trends for specific home types of interest or at the city, town, or neighbourhood level.

Canada Moves Into Balanced Market Territory, From Sellers’ Market

In terms of buyer competition, at the high level, the Canadian housing market shifted from sellers’ territory toward more balanced market conditions, as indicated by the monthly sales-to-new-listings ratio (SNLR). In April, Canada’s SNLR was 58 per cent, down from 62 per cent in February 2020. For reference, a range between 40 – 60 per cent indicates balanced conditions, while below and above that threshold indicate local housing market conditions favouring buyers and sellers, respectively.

Overall home sales in Canada were down 46 per cent, dropping to 20,630 in April from 38,161 in February. Similarly, new listings dropped 42 per cent in April, down to 35,795 from 61,816 in February.

Greater Toronto, Hamilton-Burlington, Niagara Region and Kitchener-WaterlooMove Into Balanced Market Territory

At the regional level, four housing markets shifted from sellers’ to balanced territory – notably, all these markets are in Ontario. While each of these areas experienced a drop in sales of at least 50 per cent in April from February, the corresponding decrease in new listings only ranged from 29 per cent to 42 per cent, thus resulting in theoretically more buyer-friendly market conditions

The Greater Toronto market moved from an SNLR of 68 per cent in February to an SNLR of 48 per cent in April, putting it firmly in balanced market territory. Home sales were down 59 per cent in April from February, while new listings only dropped 42 per cent. Kitchener-Waterloo (K-W) followed a similar trend – moving from an SNLR of 75 per cent in February to 54 per cent in April, meaning buyers faced less competition for new listings in April than they did in February. Home sales in K-W fell 51 per cent but new listings only dropped 32 per cent.

The Hamilton-Burlington area experienced a 52 per cent decline in sales in April from February, but only a 32 per cent drop in new listings; pushing the SNLR to the edge of a balanced market at 58 per cent from being a sellers’ market at 73 per cent in February. Niagara Region’s market conditions changed from being firmly in a sellers’ market with an SNLR of 70 per cent in February to 44 per cent in April after a 55 per cent decline in sales.

Ontario Cities See Largest Decline in Average Home Price Dollar Value

Our analysis further revealed that Ontario regional markets led the country when it came to average price declines – claiming the top five spots when ranked by dollar declines.

The Greater Toronto average home price dropped a staggering $88,898 between February and April, marking a 10 per decline to $821,392 in April as reported by CREA. This was followed by Ottawa, where home prices declined by $34,652 from $510,139 in February to $475,487 in April 2020. Rounding out the top three was Hamilton-Burlington, where a $32,255 decline marked a 5 per cent decrease in the average home price to $614,412 in April.

Niagara Region and Windsor-Essex saw average home prices decline $31,467 and $30,661 respectively since COVID-19 measures were introduced in March. The average home price in Niagara in April was $457,026 and in Windsor-Essex, was $345,771.

Out of the five markets with the largest average price drops, Ottawa and Windsor-Essex experienced the lowest decline in sales at 21 and 30 per cent respectively. In comparison, Greater Toronto, Hamilton-Burlinton and Niagara Region home sales halved from February with drops of 59 per cent, 52 per cent and 55 per cent, respectively.

BC Housing Markets See Consistent Sales Declines; Varying Impact on Average Prices

In all three BC markets studied, roughly half the number of homes sold in April, compared to February. In Victoria and in Fraser Valley, home sales declined 48 per cent, whereas in Greater Vancouver there were just 1,119 sales in April; 49 per cent lower than the number of sales in February.

Despite the consistent rate of decline in sales for each of these markets, there was a diverging impact on average home prices. In Greater Vancouver, home prices grew two per cent between February and April from $1,006,708 to $1,031,321 (a $24,613 increase). On the other hand, the average home price stayed flat at $769,666 in Fraser Valley and also remained unchanged in Victoria at $701,632.

Canada’s Biggest Regions Experience the Worst Sales Declines

Across Canada, home sales were slashed nearly in half between February and April. More specifically, 20,630 homes changed hands in April compared to 38,161 in February, marking a 46 per cent decrease in sales.

Regionally, some of Canada’s largest markets experienced a rate of sales decline that outpaced the national average. Canada’s largest housing market – Greater Toronto – noted substantial declines in both average home price and sales. Sales in particular dropped 59 per cent, with 2,975 versus 7,256 in April. Similarly, Hamilton-Burlington and Niagara also noted sales declines of 52 and 55 per cent each.

Montreal, one of the regions most affected by the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, was also most impacted when it came to a decline in sales. Sales dropped a whopping 65 per cent between February and April from 5,338 to 1,890. Average home price declined at a much slower rate, dropping $5,125 to $434,720 in April. Elsewhere in Quebec, sales followed a similar trajectory. In Quebec CMA, sales declined 64 per cent, but the average home price rose one per cent to 277,075. In Gatineau, although the average home price rose by four per cent to $295,175, sales dropped a dramatic 59 per cent.

Calgary, a market already experiencing a slowdown in recent years, saw a 49 per cent drop in sales from 1,521 in February to 776 in April. The average price fell by -$27,960, or 6 per cent, to $409,318, hitting the lowest average price in the past five years.

Here’s a snapshot of how average home prices and sales changed in 20 regional markets across Canada between February and April 2020. Further below, you’ll find roundups of the markets with the largest dollar increases and decreases in average home price and those with the most and least significant decreases in sales volumes during this period.

 

Markets With The Largest Dollar Drop in Average Price

  • 1. Greater Toronto

April 2020 price: $821,392
Change in price from Feb 2020: -$88,898 (-10%)
April 2020 sales: 2,975
Change in sales from Feb 2020: -4,281 (-59%)

  • 2. Ottawa

April 2020 price: $475,487
Change in price from Feb 2020: -$34,652 (-7%)
April 2020 sales: 920
Change in sales from Feb 2020: -244 (-21%)

  • 3. Hamilton-Burlington

April 2020 price: $614,412
Change in price from Feb 2020: -$32,255 (-5%)
April 2020 sales: 482
Change in sales from Feb 2020: -516 (-52%)

Markets With The Largest Dollar Increase in Average Price

  • 1. Saskatoon

April 2020 price: $327,539
Change in price from Feb 2020: +$29,815 (+10%)
April 2020 sales: 283
Change in sales from Feb 2020: -31 (-10%)

  • 2. Greater Vancouver

April 2020 price: $1,031,321
Change in price from Feb 2020: +$24,613 (+2%)
April 2020 sales: 1,119
Change in sales from Feb 2020: -1,066 (-49%)

  • 3. Winnipeg

April 2020 price: $313,022
Change in price from Feb 2020: +$20,952 (+7%)
April 2020 sales: 739
Change in sales from Feb 2020: -26 (-3%)

Canadian Markets With The Largest Percentage Drop in Sales

  • 1. Montreal CMA

April 2020 price: $434,720
Change in price from Feb 2020: -$5,125 (-1%)
April 2020 sales: 1,890
Change in sales from Feb 2020: -3,448 (-65%)

  • 2. Quebec City CMA

April 2020 price: $277,075
Change in price from Feb 2020: +$2,953 (+1%)
April 2020 sales: 403
Change in sales from Feb 2020: -705 (-64%)

  • 4. Greater Toronto (tied)

April 2020 price: $821,392
Change in price from Feb 2020: -$88,898 (-10%)
April 2020 sales: 2,975
Change in sales from Feb 2020: -4,281 (-59%)

3. Gatineau CMA (tied)

April 2020 price: $295,175
Change in price from Feb 2020: +$10,095 (+4%)
April 2020 sales: 193
Change in sales from Feb 2020: -279 (-59%)

Markets With The Smallest Percentage Drop in Sales

  • 1. Winnipeg

April 2020 price: $313,022
Change in price from Feb 2020: +$20,952 (+7%)
April 2020 sales: 739
Change in sales from Feb 2020: -26 (-3%)

  • 2. Regina

April 2020 price: $299,896
Change in price from Feb 2020: -$2,756 (-1%)
April 2020 sales: 171
Change in sales from Feb 2020: -10 (-6%)

  • 3. Saskatoon

April 2020 price: $327,539

Change in price from Feb 2020: +$29,815 (+10%)
April 2020 sales: 283
Change in sales from Feb 2020: -31 (-10%)

Methodology

Home prices and sales were sourced from the official Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) monthly reports for April and February 2020.

As the coronavirus pandemic continues and social distancing measures remain in place, recent sales data shows Toronto’s typically steadfast housing market continues to see a decline in activity, while home prices remain steady.

The most recent data from the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) shows home sales declined by 69% in early April compared with the same period last year. At the same time, new listings also declined, falling 63.7% compared with the same period in 2019.

But you know what didn’t substantially fall? Home prices.

Those hoping that housing prices would go down – especially here in Toronto where prices are some of the most expensive in the country – have seen a small, but barely significant change given the current economic climate, with the average selling price for all home types reaching $885,371, a -3.7% decline compared to the same period last year in Toronto proper. The GTA as a whole also saw little, if any, damage; its average prices remained flat, increasing 0.1% to $821,392 during the same time.

This raises the question: if sales and listings are both down, why aren’t prices also dropping?

The price of homes, like stocks, for example, depend heavily on the law of supply and demand. With both demand and supply down in Toronto, you might assume prices would show some flexibility, but it appears that isn’t the case specifically because both supply and demand are down.

According to Walter Melanson, co-founder of PropertyGuys.com, normally, the market is plagued by a lot of non-serious buyers and noise, but all the “tire-kickers” have left, he says. Simply just being in the market at all right now is a statement. “If you’re in the market right now, we’re considering you as a very serious buyer.”

“There are still lots of reasons to buy right now, including people who need to move because of work, people who have moved to the country or region recently, and people who have the money to enter the market at a time when others don’t,” Melanson adds.

Gone from the current market are any distractions; only serious buyers and sellers remain.

At the same time, the COVID-related measures currently in place have helped contribute to the drop in transactions, which TRREB president, Michael Collins, believes will only be temporary. Collins says the drop will most likely persist until there’s a “sustained decline” in the number of cases. Given the sharp drop-off in sales in recent weeks, it leads us to wonder where housing prices are headed. Collins believes that once recovery from the pandemic begins market activity should accelerate due to the pent-up demand that has been, and will continue to, build up over the course of the spring and into part of the summer.

But no one really knows.

A recent report from CIBC Capital Markets economists forecast a decline in average prices of five to 10% in Canada relative to 2019 levels. The weakness in the labour market is noted as one reason for the decline, “with high-cost units in the high-rise segment of the market seeing the most notable price declines.”

At the same time, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) predicts housing prices will not return to pre-COVID-19 levels until late 2022.

However, both of these forecasts come on the heels of TD Bank releasing a similar report, albeit one that takes a completely different outlook, suggesting that home prices will increase nationally in 2020. “Home price growth is projected to hit a national average of 6.1% in 2020, compared to a 2.3% increase last year. Here in Ontario, home prices are forecast to increase by 8.3% in 2020, while Toronto could see an increase of 7.8%, compared to 4.1% in 2019,” reads the report.

At this point, no one safely knows how long the COVID-19 crisis will last and where the consumer mindset will be once it ends. For now though, there remains enough demand in Toronto’s limited supply to ensure prices will not be offering much of a so-called ‘COVID-discount’ anytime soon.

The scale of sales may have shrunk, but don’t expect home prices will too.

A survey was conducted on April 6 by TransUnion on the current financial status of 1,035 Canadian adults in the wake of COVID-19. The results released showed that 68% are concerned over their ability to pay loans and bills, and that the average respondent will fall behind on monthly debts in 6.4 weeks. The survey also found that 63% of Canadians have been negatively impacted financially, with 25% due to job loss and 10% being small business owners who have had to slow down or completely close operations.

During this time of financial disruption people are looking for alternative solutions.

A popular option in the past has been to refinance homes to either take advantage of lower interest rates or to pull out equity as a source of extra funds. But in an unprecedented situation like the one we’re now dealing with, the refinancing landscape can look quite different for investors.

Does the option to refinance property work the same for me today?
The short answer: It depends. Everyone’s situation and circumstances are different, but qualifying is not as easy as it was before. In the wake of the COVID-19, refinances have been tougher for Canadians for a few reasons.

Due to declining employment, lenders are more wary when it comes qualifying income. With record job losses in March and the grim outlook of Canada’s future unemployment rate, lenders are digging deeper into current employment status and the stability of future income. Most lenders will want to see all income documents upfront and will take into consideration the “essential service” status of the employment. If an applicant does not work in one of the essential service sectors, lender’s may require further proof of their employer’s plan to continue paying their salary.

If a borrower is self-employed they may also need to provide a description of their business, its current status, and reasonable proof that it can withstand the effects that will come with COVID-19. In addition, lenders will not use any temporary government benefits towards qualifiable income, but they recently started considering Child Tax Benefit as qualifiable income, which can be very helpful.

Another reason refinancing has become more difficult is due to the current unstable property values. Residential sales volume is down drastically for obviously reasons, which provides less sale history data for appraisers to use as price comparisons. Appraisers are still providing reports despite the restrictions on inspecting properties by using alternative methods such as requesting picture and video content from the clients and driving by. But with no real evidence that change is coming to the market any time soon, appraisers are exercising more caution and providing more conservative values.

Lenders are also cutting back on their maximum loan-to-value ratios in order to decrease their lending risk in relation to uncertain property values in the future. We are seeing cuts from banks and B lenders from their max of 80% down to 75% and even lower outside of the GTA or in rural areas.

While private lenders are also being cautious by lowering LTV ratios or requiring interest pre-paid for all or part of the term, they are also providing much needed solutions to buyers and homeowners during this difficult time. I have recently experienced a few cases where job loss or change in property value has prevented a bank from proceeding on a new mortgage. Short-term private financing provided the best solution.

Although it is currently challenging to get new mortgages approved, banks are working to ensure that the majority of their existing purchase approvals are getting funded, with some lenders requiring all new loans to be insured. But refinances and mortgages with amortization periods over 25 years are uninsurable, making the risk greater for lenders.

Rates are low, should I be locking into a fixed rate?
The BoC lowered its target rate an unprecedented three times in March alone to provide support to the economy from the impact of the pandemic. Banks have followed suit, dropping prime to 2.45%. But fixed rates have gone up. Why is that?

Simply put, the banks have liquidity concerns due to mortgage payment deferrals and the overall fear of clients’ not being able to pay their loans. In response, banks have increased their spreads or offer less reduction in discounts, sometimes cancelling out the Bank of Canada’s rate cut altogether.

BoC has announced programs on the federal and provincial level that will inject liquidity back into the economy. Things will change and rates will adjust as we make our way through the effects and outcomes of this pandemic. Still, at this time, I would not suggest locking into a fixed rate when variable rates are historically at an all-time low. If you are looking to lower your monthly mortgage payment a better solution may be to contact your financial institution and request to extend the amortization period of your existing mortgage.

What other equity take-out options do I have?
HELOCs offer a lot of flexibility and come with few shortfalls, but banks are using the same qualification methods as with a first mortgage refinance, and those have become extremely stringent during the pandemic. Alternatively, private lenders also offer HELOCs of up to 75% LTV at higher rates and fees but with more flexible qualification standards.

For those looking to take out even more equity there are private short-term financing solutions, specifically second mortgages at a one-year term. Before COVID-19, private lenders offered second mortgages of up to 90% LTV; today the majority have dropped to about 75%, with some still lending up to 80-85%. Rates may be higher, but in most cases payments are interest only, which makes monthly payments lower. For those dealing with loss of income there is also the option to pre-pay monthly interest for part, or all, of the mortgage term from the loan advance. This depends on the amount of equity in your home, but essentially the new second mortgage amount could cover the lending fees and mortgage payments for the term while also putting some cash in hand. Make sure to discuss this option with an experienced mortgage broker to plan ahead for the next steps when this mortgage matures.

While the world is changing and adjusting on a daily basis, the best approach to your financial decisions is to continue to educate yourself. Stay on top of the economic changes and programs available to you. Contact your mortgage broker for the best advice on financing your real estate assets. Most importantly do not let your financial decisions be influenced by stress, anxiety or fear.