After our health, we can say that COVID-19 affected our finances the most. Toronto, Mississauga and the area was especially hit hard.
Paying your mortgage probably suddenly became a challenge or you decided to postpone your new home purchase, especially if you were first-time home buyers. Who would have thought just a year ago that we’d be dealing with a global pandemic in 2020? Financial preparedness has yet again proved itself to be invaluable.
In this blog post, I will show you how COVID-19 affected some of the main cities around Toronto.
Mortgages and real estate situation in Toronto
As one of the most populated areas in the East Coast, Toronto and the GTA was hit especially hard. Home sales dropped sharply by 69% year-over-year in April. What does this mean for housing prices going forward?
2020 started off quite high, almost hitting 2016 levels. With the COVID-19-induced unemployment and uncertainty, experts are predicting at least a 5% drop in nationwide house prices in the next few months.
What about mortgage holders? Nearly a half a million big-bank customers applied for mortgage deferrals in Canada. This means, that homeowners were allowed to postpone their mortgage payments for up to six months. A lot of Toronto residents applied in hopes of protecting their savings. Mortgage deferrals could be a temporary solution, however, these homeowners will have to eventually catch up on the postponed payments. They may also face higher interest costs over the life of the mortgage.
Mortgages in Ajax, Pickering, Whitby and the rest of the GTA
Ajax, Pickering, Whitby and other GTA residents were no exception from the hardship that COVID-19 brought. Laid off GTA residents were worried about paying for basic expenses like their mortgages, groceries or tuition.
The Town of Whitby alone laid off 200 of its part-time workers and they would likely not qualify for employment insurance, as they did not meet the minimum of 630 hours.
In response to COVID-19, the town of Ajax, Whitby, Pickering, and others had approved a number of measures to provide tax relief to residents and local businesses.
Mortgages in Milton
For Milton, Oakville, or Burlington, the year started off as a red-hot market and, just like in Toronto, it all came to a staggering halt.
With residents facing the same financial challenges as in other cities, Milton had also approved relief for its taxpayers through extensions of the 2020 final tax installments.
Mortgages by Steve Bryan during COVID-19
As you can imagine, our brokerage was also deeply affected by the virus. Despite real estate and mortgage professionals having been declared as essential workers; the Government of Canada still encouraged us to follow social distancing requirements and conduct any business virtually, if we can.
Foot traffic became non-existent for us in our Pickering office. Our staff has been staying at home ever since the start of the pandemic. We are now offering our consultations in a digital format: thanks to the modern age, we can complete your mortgage online from start to finish! Just pick a video conferencing software like Zoom or FaceTime and we are all set to go.
Re-opening after COVID-19: serving new locations in the GTA
We are actively monitoring the announcements made by the Government of Canada and Ontario regarding the re-opening procedure.
We are happy to share that in addition to our Toronto, Mississauga, Pickering, Ajax, Whitby, and other GTA cities; we’ll now also be helping Milton, Oakville, and Burlington residents with their mortgage needs!
And until then, we are still available to serve virtually anyone in Ontario!
Stay safe and healthy.
All the best,
The Steve Bryan Team