THOUGH BUYERS REMAIN CAUTIOUS – AND DISCERNING
by WAYNE KARL
Prospective homebuyers in and around the GTA may be somewhat cautious with their purchasing intentions as 2021 approaches, given all that continues to unfold with COVID-19.
Still, it’s clear that the “pent-up demand” many observers cite is out there, according to the NextHome Real Estate Survey. And buyers seem to be using this time of uncertainty to figure out what they want, where they want it, and what they’re willing to pay for it.
And let’s just say they appear to be becoming a little more discerning.
RESULTS OF THE SURVEY HIGHLIGHT A NUMBER OF INTERESTING POINTS:
• Aside from COVID, affordability is the greatest concern among prospective homebuyers, as 33.9 per cent cite it as the top reason they may not buy a home in 2021
• Single-detached homes are the ideal home type, with 54.83 per cent saying that’s what they’re planning to buy; followed by condominiums at 21.38 per cent
• Areas outside the 416 and 905 area codes are of growing interest, as 53.29 per cent indicate that’s their target market
• COVID is giving some buyers pause, but still, 39.74 per cent of respondents, the largest group, say they plan to move forward with their plans, but are making doubly sure their finances and employment are secure; the next largest group, 24.04 per cent, say the pandemic is not affecting their plans at all
• Look, touch and feel of a potential new home are still important, as only 6.7 per cent of respondents say they are comfortable buying completely virtually
• Fully 46.3 per cent of respondents say they are planning to buy a new home or condo in 2021
• Proximity to greenspace and other natural amenities is top of mind for 51.61 per cent of buyers – the second most important determining factor after price
It’s difficult to compare the results of this latest survey with polls conducted earlier by NextHome and Condo Life, given the state of flux of the COVID restrictions and their impact on the economy and housing. But one thing is clear: When the pandemic is over, homebuyers still hope to achieve their new-home dreams – though their demands may be changing.
WHAT THE EXPERTS ARE SAYING
For additional context, we went to some industry experts, though not specifically on survey results
The latest lockdown should be similar to what happened in the spring, when sales took a pause and then restarted once things began reopening. Though this time, we are seeing end-users actively go through the decisionmaking process right now.
We have made our information, such as current pricelist, floorplans and brochures, much more readily available and can easily be downloaded from our website. There’s also a search function that may help buyers narrow what you’re looking for.
Our advice to prospective homebuyers is to really take a close look at layouts, as they need to suit your lifestyle today and what you had a year ago to maintain the flexibility you ultimately want in your purchase.
Vice-President, Sales and Marketing
During this second lockdown and approaching the end of the year, it reminds us once again of the severity of the COVID situation. Despite this, there is great optimism as we get ready to head into 2021. A vaccine is coming and we expect life to return to more normal by the middle of next year.
What does this mean for people looking for condos to buy today? Now is the time to buy!
It’s business as usual for us – with strict COVID-19 protocols in place. We are in the middle of two brand new launches and have exceeded our projected sales numbers. Both Dylan Condos by Chestnut Hill Developments (located on the Glencairn subway stop), and The Villages of Highland Creek semis and townhomes by Your Home Developments are set up to accommodate selling virtually. We have been conducting approximately 50 per cent of the sales online and the balance in person by private appointment.
Both builders were prepared for the pandemic market with what we call “PPM” – pandemic proof measures – to help facilitate sales.
In2ition has launched more than a dozen communities during the pandemic, with exceptionally strong sales for both highrise and lowrise product.
This is a rare opportunity for homebuyers to jump into a market with great offerings of historical low interest rates as low as 1.65 per cent, and some excellent incentives being offered by developers. You want to buy your new home or investment property today – prior to the 450,000 projected immigrants entering the country, which will create even more pressure on supply and pricing.
CEO & Founder
We recognize that it’s not business as usual. Purchasers are more selective and sensitive to the market than ever before. With this latest lockdown, we’ve put an emphasis on finding meaningful ways to connect with our buyers and the realtor community by adapting technologies and putting greater focus on being creative, approachable and relatable.
For our prospective clients, we remind them that while it’s challenging right now, we will overcome this. Toronto is one of the greatest cities in North America, we believe in the future of the city and the real estate market. We expect prospective homebuyers to enter 2021 with a fresh, new perspective and more confidence in the real estate market.
Vice-President, Sales and Marketing
Early this year, Cortel Group was getting ready to launch Tower 1 of our Abeja District project. We expected to have thousands of people walk through our brand-new presentation centre located at Jane and Rutherford in Vaughan. With the unprecedented rise of COVID, it felt like everything changed overnight. We knew we would have to pivot in a big way if we wanted to launch the project
We have been using a residential real estate sales software, SaleFish, for our highrise projects since 2010. We saw an opportunity to move ahead with the Abeja launch in a different way. We were able to create an environment where we could efficiently make a sale while keeping our purchasers safe from any COVID risks. The platform allows us to make digital sales off- or on-site, maintaining physical distance. We proceeded with the launch of Tower 1, and it sold out immediately. The speed and efficiency of the system allowed us to successfully launch and sell out Tower 2 and we are now well into the sales program of Tower 3, making Abeja District one of the most successful project launches of 2020.