If you have a closing date scheduled for September 30th, you’re going to have to make some adjustments (if you haven’t already figured that out).
The addition of a new national holiday, the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, on September 30th means that real estate transactions can’t close on that date.
Announced in June, the new federal statuary holiday offers an opportunity to commemorate the horrific history of residential schools in Canada. It applies to all federally regulated public and private workplaces (including banks; hence, the real estate deals). In theory, transactions can still close; the Teraview land registration system will remain open as it is a provincial institution.
But, with banks closed, financial transactions (the wiring of dollars or the processing of cheques) are out of the question on September 30th. Technically, if a buyer’s funds are wired in advance of closing, deals could be made on the holiday, but banks don't often release mortgage funds a day early (and who doesn't have a mortgage these days?).
So, those with existing September 30th closing dates will have to move it to September 29th. October 1st is likely out of the question for existing deals, as strict rules make it difficult to extend previously agreed-upon deals.
Otherwise, those looking to close will have to choose the day before or the day after the holiday. It's that simple.
“I think this holiday is a big fat nothingburger as far as real estate transactions go. Just like any other holidays, it means deals will happen before it or after it (and even on it, as I've shown houses, put in offers, and done deals on stat holidays before),” says Toronto realtor Scott Ingram. “And people will select closing dates before it or after it. The same number of deals will get done, so no net effect, just timing by a day or two.”
Though he says the impacts of the holiday on the real estate front are minimal, he says we may see a slight impact on September real estate stats (“maybe, if you’re really looking for something,” that is, he adds).
“September stats will have slightly less sales going forward if you assume half of that day's transactions will fall to October 1 (but maybe it's less than half if closing before the end of the month is important),” says Ingram.
“The CREA statistics folks are definitely thinking about it as far as seasonal adjustments related to working days in a month. If I look at the average transactions in a single day in September for 2018 and 2019, we're talking 237. So maybe 100 or 120 of those will fall into October now? That would mean total September volumes will go down going forward somewhere in the range of one-and-a-half percent,” added Ingram.
All this to say, if you were planning on closing on September 30th, just be sure to make the proper adjustments to ensure that you're now ready to close either the day before or after the holiday.