Do you still remember the wide-eyed dreams of living in cities with urban nightlife, after work drinks, artsy parks and fancy museums? These aspirations seem far-fetched now that the world has been forced to shelf this lifestyle ever since the emergence of COVID-19. People were pushed to make numerous lifestyle changes in their day-to-day activities.
It’s not a surprise how this pandemic and the following economic slowdown have prompted people to re-evaluate and adapt to the new normal, even if it means relocating to new neighbourhoods or returning to their old communities. Either way, the pandemic urged people to move.
The Stay Home Paradox
“Stay home.” This has been one of the greatest public health slogans we’ve heard this year that saved millions of lives. This also led to major shifts in lifestyles and practices in families, workplaces and communities.
Work-from-home measures used to be a perk in some workplaces but have now become imperative in offices as a result of the pandemic. Many have made it a permanent switch. According to a survey, nearly a quarter of Canadian businesses see 10 percent of their employees continuing to do remote work post-pandemic. Now that the work-from-home mechanism has removed commuting in one’s daily routines, the idea of buying a home and settling in suburban and rural areas became more appealing to many.
Today, people are faced with the paradox of being on the move to find a home in order to be able to “stay at home” more comfortably and productively.
People on the move
As situations remain dynamic and continuously changing, more and more people are re-evaluating where they live. Two-bedroom properties and small apartments in the city are now unimaginable to live in. According to a study, 15 percent of Canadians spent more time researching the real estate market during the first and second waves of the pandemic. Relocation and movement have been so active, that even after a major slowdown earlier this year, home sales have returned to pre-pandemic levels.
Trends of active movement and relocation are mainly driven by big shifts in life plans. People are now moving due to health concerns. Home buyers are looking for testing sites in communities, hospitals and clinics, groceries and other amenities that would make their lives safer and easier. Home buyers are also realizing now that their living spaces should be optimized for the new work-from-home lifestyle and remote schooling. Moreover, because of the quarantine, they’re also looking for more space to breathe.
People are now keener with their “new normal” requirements and accessibility to amenities as well as services. With this, moving away from the city is still relative to their access and proximity to their urban networks. People are still buying homes that meet their life-work-play lifestyles altogether.
In Durham Region, east of Toronto, sales increased by 8 percent relative to last year’s sales. In Halton Region, west of the city, sales went up by 22 percent at the end of June, according to a report. These sales were particularly evident in the detached housing market. Peel and York regions are also some of the more competitive markets as well.
While the move to suburban areas is more pronounced, don’t lose sight of cities like Toronto. Condominiums and multi-use apartments are now more spacious as well. Younger people who still want to experience the high-rise lifestyle, including students who’ll be returning to Toronto to study are on standby for opportunities to live in the city.
Finding a home amid a crisis
Finding or having a home amid a crisis is a form of stability. In this context, a home is not just an investment, but a place to live with utmost security. For the majority, buying a home is the largest investment they can make in their lifetime.
When it comes to real estate, in the heat of an economic meltdown, market changes – whether in listings, demand, prices and mortgages – have a huge effect on ordinary people who want to buy a home. The future still spells out uncertainty. Moreso, adaptability remains imperative.
While Canada is hitting record low mortgage rates, this could still be a double-edged sword in the face of a weaker national and global economy. Turn the odds in your favor by seeking the help of a trusted professional who can help you buy a home and achieve long-term security amid a crisis. Daisy Raouph’s a reliable local mortgage broker and financial security advisor who can help you assess the real estate market according to your financial situation.