A word that comes to mind when thinking about the real estate industry's response to the impact of COVID-19 is 'resilient'.
Even when stay-at-home orders forced countless businesses to close, the real estate industry continued to operate as an essential service, with agents utilizing digital tools to help potential homebuyers find the home of the dreams, including virtual tours and e-signatures to complete transactions safely.
And now that most of the province has entered into Stage 2 of reopening the economy as daily COVD case numbers continue to decline, more and more sellers are stepping away from the sidelines and listing their homes. So much so, the first two weeks of June have already seen more properties exchange hands in Toronto than in all of April (which did have record-lows).
This is also the case in the Region of Peel – which includes Brampton, Mississauga and the Town of Caledon – where 927 homes were sold in May, a 78% increase month-over-month, according to the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB). However, this is still down 57% on a year-over-year basis, but this can be attributed to factors related to the coronavirus pandemic and public health and safety measures that have been in place.
For those thinking about entering into the housing market, RE/MAX suggests considering the Mississauga market, because as one of Ontario’s key markets – and the sixth-largest in the country – Mississauga remains an attractive option for many. Particularly because of its livability and proximity to downtown Toronto, access to public transit, highways, Lake Ontario, and the airport.
Prior to the coronavirus, house prices in Mississauga were expected to increase by 5% in 2020, according to the 2020 Housing Market Outlook Report. And keep in mind that Mississauga is an expensive market – and one of Canada’s least affordable cities, behind Toronto and Vancouver. However, within the Mississauga housing market, there are a range of options that result in varied pricing.
Those considering exploring their options in the region can find more affordable options in the Malton area, the older parts of Meadowvale or in Lisgar. On the other hand, those with a larger budget might find homes more suitable to their needs in Mineola, Port Credit, and Lorne Park.
The type of home will also cause a huge variation in price and in May, the average sale price of a detached home in Mississauga was $1,118,835; semi-detached homes averaged at $795,856; $756,251 for townhouses, and $498,640 for condos.
Another important thing to note about this market is that RE/MAX says sellers haven't had to lower sale prices yet, and homebuyers in the area purchase homes for 98% of the listed sale price, pointing to price stability in this market.
But as RE/MAX points out, upfront affordability in this region can be challenging, though since the Bank of Canada recently lowered its benchmark interest rate to 0.25%, homebuyers may feel more comfortable purchasing knowing that they will be paying less in interest over their mortgage term.
As the economy reopens, pent-up demand in the Greater Toronto Area, including in Mississauga, is expected to ramp up near the end of summer and in early fall.
RE/MAX says potential homebuyers shouldn't underestimate the Mississauga market, as home sales in the area were previously high with year-over-year growth. The market is expected to begin its recovery as more businesses continue to reopen and employment rates start to climb, along with consumer confidence.
What's more, a recent consumer sentiment survey from TRREB found that many in the GTA still plan on making a home purchase within the next 12 months and RE/MAX believes activity in this market will pick up again to normal levels as social distancing measures are lifted.