September 2020: Update on the Real Estate MarketBy sedoo
So, how’s the market? The question that I literally have been asked every day of my professional life. Having practiced real estate law for almost 20 years now, I have seen during my time many ups and downs. People trying to find the “perfect” time to buy/sell a property in the GTA and surrounding areas. But no matter how hot or cold they perceive the market to be—they like to ask their lawyer that same key question. It can be on a direct call/email, at a party (remember those), the supermarket etc. No matter the prior topic of discussion, time of day—they always want to know the same thing. How’s the market?
In the fall 2020 season, times are very different than prior years. During COVID times, circumstances and markets have been hard to predict. We can’t go based on prior years, as the COVID factor certainly changes the equation. But even as we all have evolved over the past several months and society continues to re-open, opinions are certainly all over the map on the market. You can watch tv, listen to the radio and ask as many experts as you like. So many statistics can be pulled and analyzed. But is there a truth? What is the market like currently?
A good starting point is to pick a property you find for sale. Watch what happens. Is it priced “right”? Does it sell quickly or did it last for some time on the market? Were there multiple offers? Price reductions? Depending on the nature of the property and the location—you might be surprised what you find. One key real estate segment is downtown Toronto condominiums. Over the last week—I have heard from various professionals that the market is slowing down, there is more inventory than ever, the market is heating up, the market is on fire….and so forth. So many opinions. Keeping that in mind, what do I currently see? The best I can say is that as of September 2020, I am receiving requests for more status certificates review on a daily basis now than I have ever seen even compared to prior hot, hot markets. So, if you look at it from that vantage point, one can say that the market is on fire. It all depends on what angle you are looking at and what you see.
So to the first time buyers out there. The ones that are thinking of taking the plunge. Or for those looking to upsize or downsize their residence. And wanting certainty as to what to do—the reality is—there is no certainty. The only things that are definite in life are death and taxes. You are doing the right thing by talking to many sources and trying to ascertain opinions of professionals you trust. But at the bottom line—remember. They are only opinions. If those professionals knew 100% what was to come in the future, they would all be billionaires sitting right now in Tahiti sipping on margaritas.
Keep these things in mind the next time you ask how the market is—and the next time you get asked that question, maybe your response will be: as good as you want/feel it is.
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Jonathan A. Hacohen is a Partner at Kormans LLP. His practice areas include Real Estate & Corporate Law, as well as Wills/Estates law. You can reach Jonathan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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