Coronavirus & Real Estate: FAQ

Opinion | March 20, 2020

The proverbial you-know-what hit the fan on Tuesday morning, so despite the Coronavirus having existed in China since December, and despite the DJIA and TSX starting to decline in the last week of February, real estate has only been affected now for four days.

I’m literally reasserting the market conditions out there day-by-day, and while I remain convinced that by, say for argument’s sake, September, prices will be above January and the market will be back to normal, I had no idea what to expect next week, or next month.

I can’t make predictions with any level of certainty either.

can tell you that properties continue to be listed, and properties continue to sell.

Quality listings are coming out too.

My overall feeling on the market is that this is going to be an odd week, but we’ll get far more clarity by this time next week.

Having said that, I want to bring your attention to how market participants, namely buyers, sellers, and agents, are changing the way they do business during these times.

I have three sections for you today:

1) Showings
2) Clauses
3) Condo Rules & Regs



A lot of people are asking, “How can you conduct showings when there’s concern about transmitting a virus?

Every single brokerage is taking precautions right now, whether you feel it will have an impact or now, they’re trying.

Here’s the email that is sent out from our brokerage to every person booking a showing:

Thank you for scheduling a showing. The health and welfare of our clients and community is our priority as such we are taking additional precautionary measures: 1. Please confirm that no one attending the showing has recently travelled outside of Canada (including the US) or been in close contact with someone who has recently travelled. 2. Please confirm you have NOT had any of the following: Fever, dry cough, shortness of breath, or difficulty breathing in the last 14 days. 3. Please confirm you have NOT come in close contact with anyone with a confirmed or presumptive COVID-19 test in the last 14 days. 4. Please limit touching as much as possible. We have asked our sellers/landlords/tenants to leave interior doors open and lights on and ask you to leave them as they are. 5. Please do not use the washroom facilities during your viewing. 6. We ask that showings be limited to only the buyers themselves and are discouraging additional family members accompanying showings. 7. Please practice good hand washing or sanitize your hands prior to entering the home and touching the lockbox. If you have additional questions, please do not hesitate in contacting the listing agent.

I went to book a showing tonight for a house listed by another brokerage.

Before they released the lockbox code and confirmed the showing, they emailed me with the following:

1. Have you recently travelled outside of Canada (including the US) or have been in close contact with someone who has travelled internationally in the last 30 days?

2. Have you experienced any of the following in the last 14 days: fever, dry cough, shortness of breath, or difficulty breathing?

3. Have you come in close contact with anyone with a confirmed or presumptive COVID-19 test, or who has experienced any of the above symptoms, in the last 30 days?

Please reply to this email with a simple ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ response after each question at your earliest convenience. We will need this response prior to confirming your appointment.

And indeed, I had to write back “No, No, No” before my appointment was confirmed.



How are the clauses we use in our Agreement of Purchase & Sale documents going to change?

There are two ways in which we’re adapting.

The first is with regards to signing, since avoiding personal contact means we might not be able to meet in a conference room at our lawyer’s office to sign in person.

We are now including this clause:

The parties acknowledge and agree that all closing documentation can be signed electronically and forwarded by email or fax in accordance with the Electronic Commerce Act, SO 2000, as amended.

You’re starting to see a lot of lawyers adapt as well, with many communicating only by email and/or video-conference, and when they need hand-signed documents, they are couriering them to the clients, and then back to the lawyer’s offices.

The second clause is with respect to the potential for some deals to be delayed for circumstances beyond our control.

This is a clause we’re now using:

In the event that either party is unable to perform their obligations under the terms of this Agreement due to events reasonably viewed as related to the furtherance of public health causes or the containment of exposure to the COVID-19 virus, where one or more of the parties, the community at large or a portion thereof shall be kept from engaging in business activities due to bank closures, Ontario government services closures, business closures, public health emergencies, quarantines or self-isolation of one or more of the parties, their legal representatives, or their Realtors or mortgage brokers, the parties’ responsibilities hereunder shall remain in full force and effect, and the closing date herein shall be extended to the date that is 14 days after resolution of the event triggering this clause, Saturdays, Sundays and statutory holidays excluded, or such earlier date as the parties may agree to.

For those who are really interested in the legalese, I’ll show you a second clause.

The first is from our brokerage.

This one is from our lawyer:

In the event that either party is unable to perform their obligations under the terms of the Agreement of Purchase and Sale due to events reasonably viewed as related to the furtherance of public health causes or the containment of exposure of the novel coronavirus pandemic, wherein one or more of the parties, the community at large, or a portion thereof shall be kept from engaging in business activities due to bank closures, Ontario Government services closures, business closures, public health emergencies, quarantines or self-isolation of one or more of the parties, their legal representatives, or their realtors or mortgage brokers, the parties’ responsibilities hereunder shall remain in full force and effect, and the closing date herein shall be extended to the date that is fourteen (14) days after resolution of the event triggering this force majeure clause, or such earlier date as may be agreed between the parties. This clause has been added for the benefit of both parties to keep the Agreement of Purchase and Sale from becoming ‘frustrated’ thereby requiring the return of deposits, if any, and the voiding of the Agreement of Purchase and Sale.



How is your condominium corporation going to deal with COVID-19?

What can they do?

What can’t they do?

What rights do you have?

Shibley Righton LLP, Barristers & Solicitors recently sent us a newsletter with the following…

Answers To Your Condo Coronavirus Questions

The novel coronavirus and its resulting illness (COVID-19) have the potential to disproportionately affect residents of buildings with shared indoor spaces such as hallways, stairways, elevators, and amenity rooms. While, as set out below, buildings with concierge services may be in a better position to implement controls to limit the spread of COVID-19, there are steps that all boards/management may take in an effort to secure the safety of residents.

Below are our answers to a few frequently asked questions from our clients. While there is no “one size fits all” answer, the comments below can hopefully help guide your community.

Can access to the building be restricted to residents only?

No. Delivery personnel and other essential visitors will be necessary to assist residents who are infected with COVID-19, in self quarantine or practicing social distancing. Notices should be posted and sent to residents advising that only essential visitors will be permitted, such as food/supply delivery personnel and wellness/healthcare providers.

Can visitors be asked questions or made to take protective measures before entering the building?

Yes. In a building with a concierge, a visitor can be asked to identify whether they have recently travelled out of the country or are experiencing a fever, cough, or shortness of breath. If the visitor answers “yes” to any of those questions, or refuses to answer, then access to the building may be prohibited. Everyone entering the building should be asked to make use of available hand sanitizer.

Should we prohibit delivery personnel from entering the elevators and delivering directly to residents?

If the building has a concierge, most deliveries should be left with the concierge. The concierge can accept the package on behalf of the resident. This limits the number of strangers accessing the hallways and other common elements. Residents who are healthy should continue to collect their packages from the concierge. Healthy residents should be asked to meet any food delivery personnel at the front door of the building.

Residents who are unwell or in self quarantine should be asked to remain in their suites and deliveries should be left with the concierge and can then be placed outside the resident’s door. Where there is no concierge, a neighbour may be asked to retrieve the delivery and leave it outside their suite door. A digital message board among resident can help to facilitate this.

Residents should be encouraged to request “no-contact” delivery in the delivery instructions of any online or mobile app order.

What about dog walking services?

Healthy residents who are at home should bring their dogs down to the building doors to be handed off to and picked up from a dog walker. Where residents are not home or in quarantine/self-isolating, dog walkers may be required to pick up and drop off dogs directly from a unit. In such cases, buildings should consider strict protocols as to how access to a unit is granted. Like all other visitors, dog walkers who have recently travelled out of the country or exhibit symptoms of COVID-19 may be denied access and a resident may have to find an alternate dog walker.

Can access to the amenity areas be restricted or prohibited?

Yes, and it is recommended. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, boards are justified to restrict or prohibit access to amenity areas (gyms, theatre rooms, boardrooms, pools, guest suites, etc.) and cancel any bookings indefinitely. Taking steps designed to limit the possible spread of COVID-19 is consistent with a condominium corporation’s obligations under section 117 of the Condominium Act to not permit a condition to exist or carry on an activity that is likely to cause in jury to an individual.

Could the corporation be liable for the closure of amenities or the cancellation of events/bookings?

In our opinion, it is very unlikely that a corporation would be held liable. A corporation’s obligation to keep its community safe takes precedence over these facilities.

Could owners be entitled to reimbursement of monthly fees if the use of amenity areas is restricted or prohibited?


Does the board have a different duty of care to residents who are under a medical isolation?

No. The standard of care remains unchanged. The board is required to act honestly and in good faith and to exercise the care, diligence and skill that a reasonably prudent person would exercise in comparable circumstances. The board should make decisions that are consistent with the information and recommendation provided by the relevant health authorities.

What other steps can the board take to support residents who are voluntarily self-isolating?

If not already done, we would recommend that a corporation:
▪ install additional hand sanitizing stations;
▪ increase the frequency of common area cleaning and consider undergoing special chemical treatments to limit the spread of infection, even if they result in an increased cost to the corporation; and
▪ ensure residents know how to contact the board/management to address concerns.

A resident is returning to the building to be quarantined after a positive diagnosis of COVID-19. What can the board/management do?

Many boards have asked residents to advise the board/management of any positive diagnosis of COVID-19, if they are being sent home to be quarantined and/or if they are self-isolating due to potential exposure. The board/management should take steps to coordinate with such a resident to reduce the likelihood that the resident interacts with any other resident or staff (for example, using the service elevator or designated stairwell to get the resident to their suite) and that the common areas accessed by such a resident are immediately cleaned and properly sanitized.

Everyone has a role to play in “flattening the curve” and the board/management should take all reasonable steps to keep residents safe and secure in these uncertain times.



Well folks, that was an interesting week to say the least.

Hopefully the above gives you a little insight into how things are being done right now, and just maybe, a little comfort.

Have a great weekend, and here’s to better days ahead!

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  1. Pingback: Coronavirus & Real Estate: FAQ | Real Estate News Group
  2. Long Time Realtor

    at 7:31 am

    Current TRREB sales data for March 19.

    59% of freeholds sold at / over asking.

    56% of condos sold at / over asking.

    Fun fact:

    Highest condo sale of the year reported yesterday: 77 Charles St. West, PH1, sold for a whopping $9,000,000!

    1. J G

      at 3:22 pm

      Hello, can you please post what is the decline in Sales during the past week compared to any week in Feb? Either GTA or Toronto is fine. Thank you,

      1. Appraiser

        at 4:15 pm


        All of February had 4,786 freehold sales. Divided by the 29 days of the month equals 165 sales per day.

        Thus far in March there have been 3,632 freehold sales. Divided by 20 equals 182 sales per day.

        Although the numbers are not official until the end of the month, I don’t see a big decline in sales yet.

        1. J G

          at 5:19 pm

          Last week please. RE people not answering the question asked, typical.

          1. Chris

            at 5:38 pm

            “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” – Upton Sinclair


      at 10:56 pm

      Can I oppose people entering in order to see the house i rented, especially since I am diabetic and asthmaand have children under the age of two

  3. R

    at 7:40 am

    Anyone attending or holding an open house now is an idiot putting others in unnecessary risk.

    1. Appraiser

      at 8:27 am

      That’s very judgemental.

      Would not social distancing measures and common sense cleanliness suffice?

      Have you ever considered that those who had previously sold their home or moved from their rental and were already house / apartment hunting, now need a place to live?

      Food, clothing and shelter – the necessities of life.

        1. Derek

          at 9:19 am

          Our real estate Lord God says no to open houses:

          “Realtors really need to stop doing open houses. At this point, it doesn’t matter if your seller irrationally insists on doing one. Sometimes you have to do what’s right, even if it means losing a client.”

          1. Chris

            at 4:23 pm

            You’ve come a long way from calling the whole thing “over-sensationalized by various media”! Nice to see you’ve revised your previous mistaken opinion.

      1. R

        at 12:25 pm

        Most realtors can’t even upload a photo right side up or bother to look up SF or taxes. Do you trust they will fill out the pre-check honestly or correctly?

        If you are going into an open house can you trust that the seller is safe or do they just want to get it sold before the market tanks, safety be dammed?

        If you are selling, can you trust people walking through will fill out the form honestly? How many people give a fake name and email at an open house?

        Can you trust people walking through won’t touch anything? Even normally people touch stuff they aren’t supposed to. Maybe they are sick or asymptomatic but are looking for a “deal” in these crazy times.

        Is the realtor or seller responsible if someone gets sick and it’s tracked back to the open house?

        Shelter is important, but not more important than community safety. Business an economics is important but not more than community safety. If you think you are special, tell that to all the other closed businesses.

        I do in fact feel bad about sellers caught between buying and selling. Don’t we have virtual tours, faceTime and other technology that can help?

        Extrodinary times call for extraordinary measures.

        1. Appraiser

          at 1:34 pm

          “Shelter is important, but not more important than community safety.”

          Safe shelter “is” community safety.

          If those that require housing don’t find it soon, where do they go? Hotels are closed. Moving in with family is not an option for many, and is probably unwise under current social distancing protocols in any case.

          Can they move in to your basement in the meantime ?

          1. Chris

            at 6:19 pm

            “BC Real Estate Association to announce suspension of all open houses.” – Steve Saretsky, March 20, 2020

    2. Chris

      at 9:05 am

      The state of California seems to agree with you, R:

      “The California State Public Health Officer and Director of the California Department of Public Health is ordering all individuals living in the State of California to stay home or at their place of residence, except as needed to maintain continuity of operation of the federal critical infrastructure sectors, critical government services, schools, childcare, and construction, including housing construction.”

      1. Jimbo

        at 2:48 pm

        I guess we live in a society not an economy.

        Hopefully society can survive this pandemic.

  4. Ed

    at 8:34 am

    2. Please confirm you have NOT had any of the following: Fever, dry cough, shortness of breath, or difficulty breathing in the last 14 days.

    So David doesn’t this clause basically eliminate you from doing any showings since you had flu like symptoms last week?

  5. Chris

    at 1:02 pm

    “Forecast Update: Recession is Now Unavoidable

    As policymakers work to support their economies, the near term hit to GDP will be very large. In the US, for instance, we expect GDP will fall by almost 8% (QAAR) in the second quarter. In Canada, that decline is expected to be closer to 11% (QAAR) as more aggressive containment measures are deployed and the decline in oil prices begins to be felt.

    Given the unprecedented nature of the public health emergency, the measures required to deal with it, and the rapidly evolving response to the health and economic dimensions of the pandemic, we do not have a high degree of confidence in point estimates of growth. It may well be, for instance, that Canadian growth does not fall by the 2.2% we currently expect, or that Eurozone output will decline nearly 3%. We are certain, however, that growth will fall, and that a recession is now inevitable in many countries. How bad that recession ends up being will depend on the effectiveness of current and future containment measures and how aggressive and targeted the economic policy response is.”
    – Scotiabank Global Economics, Forecast Update

    In other news:

    “Government of Canada has received 500,000 applications for Employment Insurance this week, PM Justin Trudeau says. That compares to 27,000 for the same week last year.” – CBC News Alerts

  6. Appraiser

    at 1:19 pm

    TRREB update for March 19, 2020. GTA only (as per TRREB parameters).

    71 Freehold sales. 58% above or at asking.

    36 Condo sales. 69% sold at or above asking.

    Highest freehold sale so far from yesterday – 1267 Cummock Crescent, Oakville. $3,900,000.

    1. Chris

      at 1:43 pm

      Didn’t you share this already this morning under your alternate posting name?

      1. Bal

        at 2:03 pm

        Chris…i read that Amazon, will be hiring 100,000 and 7 eleven will hire 20,000 to meet the demand during covid-19….dont you think this will offset travel and tourism layoffs….

        1. Chris

          at 2:16 pm

          Don’t know about the 7/11 hirings, but that Amazon figure is for the USA.

      2. Appraiser

        at 2:14 pm

        The data can be determined with five clicks of a mouse from the TRREB database.

        Here’s the secret formula:

        After accessing TRREB Stratus MLS with your 3 passwords.

        1. Click search properties.

        2. Click Sold.

        3. Click GTA.

        4. Click Freehold / Condo.

        5. Click date.

        It’s not rocket surgery.

        The apocalypse is nigh, Im sure.

        1. Chris

          at 2:17 pm

          Make sure to forward these steps to John Pasalis so he’s all prepared for the weekly update we’re awaiting!

          1. Appraiser

            at 3:31 pm

            John Pasalis utilizes the exact same database as every other realtor. He doesn’t need my help.

          2. Chris

            at 3:35 pm

            Perfect, then he should be all set for his weekly update, which he says will begin on Monday!

    2. J G

      at 2:26 pm

      Asking price doesn’t mean anything, why are people still posting this? We know this since 2016.

      How about tell us how much Sales have plunged this week compared to any week in Feb? Does anyone have that number?

      1. Chris

        at 2:33 pm

        Appraiser knows it doesn’t mean anything. He’s selectively sharing data, we all know why.

        Not to mention, Will Dunning, chief economist for Mortgage Professionals Canada just said yesterday there is little value in daily reporting. Weekly is preferable. Appraiser just ignored that comment, as he does with most he doesn’t like.

        1. Derek

          at 2:49 pm

          His posts grind your gears, I get it, but don’t they show the market hasn’t hit the brick wall? At least, not yet? Is your thesis that it is just a matter of time before the bug hits the windshield? If so, in the interim, all of these posts, anecdotes, etc., are interesting to see play out. Don’t deprive us of the real time play by play between now and the resolution, for however long it takes to get there!

          1. Chris

            at 2:59 pm

            I’ve posted plenty of anecdotes from realtors, mortgage brokers, and others in the industry, which appraiser dismisses as conjecture, before sharing his own personal anecdote concluding the opposite, typically accompanied by some quip you’d expect from a ten year old.

            Stats on “sold over asking” are a useless metric. Daily stats are prone to wide fluctuations as Mr. Dunning explained. I will be looking to Mr. Pasalis to provide weekly updates on the number and change of sold and active listings, and average price.

          2. Derek

            at 3:16 pm

            Yes, keep posting them, please. What they ultimately are indicative of, time will tell.

          3. Chris

            at 3:20 pm

            Ah don’t worry, I will. If his little jabs had any impact, I would have stopped posting long ago.

  7. Chris

    at 3:19 pm


    All mortgage rates on all terms from all lenders going up next week

    20 to 35 basis points”

    – Ron Butler, March 20, 2020

    In other news:

    “Frustrated Canadians looking for mortgage deferrals from big banks facing delays, denials

    Some Canadians looking to defer mortgage payments due to COVID-19 say they are facing delays, confusion and outright denials from the country’s big banks.

    As part of the government’s pledge to help Canadians suffering financially due to COVID-19, Finance Minister Bill Morneau asked the heads of Canada’s big banks to allow people to defer mortgage payments for up to six months.

    The banks responded by issuing a statement saying they “have made a commitment to work with personal and small business banking customers on a case-by-case basis to provide flexible solutions to help them manage through challenges such as pay disruption due to COVID-19; child-care disruption due to school closures; or those facing illness from COVID-19.””

  8. Appraiser

    at 3:39 pm

    Big news in the mortgage industry per Rob McLister @ ratespy:

    “The government has just made major amendments to “allow mortgage lenders to pool previously uninsured mortgages into National Housing Act Mortgage-Backed Securities (NHA MBS) for CMHC to purchase these securities through the recently announced Insured Mortgage Purchase Program. This includes mortgages for refinances and those with 30-year amortizations, both of which are presently excluded from government-sponsored securitization.”

    “Protective Umbrella: Never before has the government shielded Canada’s mortgage finance system like this. The above measures will at least partially mitigate a severe confidence drop in Canada’s housing sector. They’ll also keep borrowing costs low(er) for consumers. We simply can’t say it emphatically enough: The Department of Finance and CMHC deserve maximum credit for so adeptly and proactively managing this crisis.”

    1. Chris

      at 3:47 pm

      And yet rates are going up, per Ron Butler, as posted above.

      And some more news:


      This is not about any one bank or any one lender

      This is NOT meant to create anxiety, this is information so people can consider their situation

      Starting next week all mortgage lenders will assess the viability of future employment in the application process

      All lenders will consider whether the applicant’s employment situation will be effected during this crisis

      This will not apply to applications already submitted, if your application is in: all good

      This is very worrisome for some but simply necessary”

      – Ron Butler, March 20, 2020

    2. Chris

      at 3:52 pm

      “Thanks Rob, does this change your view that renters should not rush into buying a house?”

      “Different people have different housing needs. All I can say is that if I were a renter there’s no way I’d rush to buy ahead of what’s coming. Again, I’m no prophet by any stretch and prices could always surprise us, but if you live by odds, these odds ain’t great.” – Rob McLister, March 20, 2020

      1. Bal

        at 3:55 pm

        It is so much fun to read comments….i think the name of this blog should be changed to Appraiser VS. Chris….lol ????

        1. Chris

          at 4:05 pm

          Glad you find it entertaining! Gotta keep busy while we’re all self-isolating!

  9. Appraiser

    at 3:55 pm

    Latest real-time update on TRREB sales data for March 19, 2020.

    117 Freehold sales. 49 Condo sales.

    Still running at well over 50% of all properties selling over / at asking price.

    1. Chris

      at 4:01 pm

      No reply to the points above? Not surprising. Much easier to just post a couple handpicked daily stats for the third time today!

      Once again: “Suggestion: there are strong “day of the week” effects so reporting in 7 day increments avoids that source of distortion.” – Will Dunning, Chief Economist, Mortgage Professionals Canada

    2. Bal

      at 4:02 pm

      Last four days the market is very slow…..i noticed in my neighbourhood as well as on housesigma

      1. Chris

        at 4:09 pm

        Careful, appraiser might launch into a tirade of childish insults directed at you in response to your sharing anecdotes he doesn’t care for…

    3. J G

      at 4:03 pm

      How many times do I have to tell you, asking doesn’t matter.

      Looking at HouseSigma, seems like sales have plunged at least 20% in City of Toronto. Feb had 2477 Sales in 416, in the past 7 days I see only about 500 deals, this is including all the super hot condo market you’re raving about. Maybe next week will be better? Lol

      1. Chris

        at 4:07 pm

        He knows. We all know. He’s obfuscating purposely.

        TRREB reported 7,187 sales in March 2019, equating 232 per day. Appraiser’s stats show 166 today, or a decline of 28.4%. Maybe 66 more sales will close over the next 8 hours to pull us level to last year?

      2. Bal

        at 4:12 pm

        By the way, J G thanks for telling me about a great tool house sigma….it is handy

        1. Chris

          at 4:17 pm

          Honestly, you’d be better off ignoring all the noise here, and just doing your own research on Housesigma or Bungol. Will give you a better idea of what’s happening in the market, than the competing narratives on this blog. Though might be less entertaining!

          1. Bal

            at 4:44 pm

            True less entertaining…..and in this panic environment we all need little entertaining ????

    1. Appraiser

      at 4:33 pm

      Oops, I stand corrected. Yup, it sold for $75,000 more than previously stated.

      1. Chris

        at 4:37 pm

        Happy I could help you out! With the correction, it only sold for $523,000 less than their initial asking price, rather than $598,000 less. And only $174,000 less than their final asking price, of $4,149,000.

  10. Appraiser

    at 4:45 pm

    Sales update for March 19, 2020. All of TRREB.

    Freehold sales 148.

    Condo Sales 60.

    1. Chris

      at 4:52 pm

      Ah, so you’re going to hourly updates now?

      -10.3% sales volume compared to average March 2019. How bout listings?

      1. Appraiser

        at 5:29 pm

        John Pasalis will be filling you in on all the dirty details next week, remember.

        I’m just providing snapshots of the level of activity, in order to illustrate how the real estate market has failed to seized up yet, despite all the hysteria.

        1. Chris

          at 5:35 pm

          Oh I know what you’re doing, don’t worry. It’s easy enough for anyone to see, when you go about ignoring or childishly ridiculing any comments that prove you wrong, counter your narrative, or that you otherwise deem inconvenient.

          But sure, keep giving hourly updates. Fill your boots, buddy!

          1. Appraiser

            at 6:07 pm


            “I think people don’t appreciate how insane the market was 3 weeks ago. We had 1 month of inventory and a lot of houses were getting 10+ offers. Even if half the buyers stepped out of the market, we still have a tight sellers market with 2 MOI and houses getting 2-5 offers.”

            ~John Pasalis, March 20

        2. Derek

          at 6:07 pm

          I don’t want to come between or interrupt you guys, but if we were to say broaden our discourse a bit, RE Lord God commented:

          “When every other industry is teetering on the verge of bankruptcy, a stable housing market is a good thing and might help our recovery. Which is why governments and banks are trying to avoid a crash in housing!”

          My question is, when every other industry is teetering on the verge of bankruptcy, how could RE possibly avoid a downturn? Can governments and banks do enough to prevent it, and are they doing so?

          1. Derek

            at 6:15 pm

            Will other tidbits such as the 500,000 new E.I. claims and the reports of massive sector-wide layoffs be more predictive of what RE is going to experience in the near future than these sales figures? Yes, no maybe?

          2. Appraiser

            at 6:22 pm

            The mortgage changes noted above will help a great deal. Allowing CMHC to off load up to $50B in mortgages from the big banks balance sheets is a big deal.

            Similar programs that were implemented during the GFC of 2008 helped Canada avoid the worst of the meltdown.

            Can the government and banks do more? Yes, I think they can and they will if necessary.

            I’m not saying a downturn is completely avoidable, but the impact will be blunted, thanks to quick and decisive action by Department of Finance and CMHC.

          3. Chris

            at 6:23 pm

            You already know the answers you’re going to get.

            I’m going to say yes, having this many people unemployed will impact real estate. Kyle will say the people laid off weren’t buying homes anyways, and all the home buyers are working from home and still earning money. Appraiser will say Toronto real estate is “unstoppable!!!” and that this whole pandemic is overblown and not as bad as the flu.

            And nobody knows for sure.

          4. Chris

            at 6:27 pm

            Curious how you think the changes reported by Rob McLister will have a significant impact, when they hardly seem to be moving the needle of his opinion on the situation.

          5. Derek

            at 6:27 pm

            Appraiser, in broad strokes or simple terms, how does that maneuver work? Is the idea that the banks balance sheets are cleared of existing risk permitting them to go to back to work issuing more mortgages? The existing loans were a barrier to issuing more?

          6. Chris

            at 6:31 pm

            “The amendments allow mortgage lenders to pool previously uninsured mortgages into National Housing Act Mortgage-Backed Securities (NHA MBS) for CMHC to purchase these securities through the IMPP.

            In simpler terms, banks can effectively offload some of their more dodgy mortgages to CMHC. This reduces the banks risk, clears their balance sheet, and allows them to continue issuing new mortgages. LIQUIDITY”

            – Steve Saretsky, on the changes

  11. Appraiser

    at 6:12 pm

    For those playing along at home.

    The Dow Jones index nose-dived again today and closed down over 900 points to an astounding level – 35% below the peak of February 12!

    1. Jimbo

      at 6:18 pm

      Buy while it is in sale. My suggestion is US airlines…..

      1. Derek

        at 6:20 pm

        There was article (maybe the Globe) about a couple REIT big wigs scooping up their shares too.

        1. Drowzee

          at 11:26 pm

          Yup, just found the Globe article by John Heinzl (paywalled, though). I’ve been buying a residential REIT, whose share price got hammered even more than 2008. The valuation contrast with Toronto pre-construction condos is just insane.

      2. Appraiser

        at 6:40 pm

        If things start to stabilize, you could be quite correct.

      3. Jon

        at 10:05 am

        “On sale”…they are on the verge of bankruptcy because they were over leveraged and pissed away the majority of their free cash flow on stock buybacks in a scheme to enrich management teams. The CEO’s of Southwest, Delta, American, and United pulled in roughly 400 million dollars selling stock options alone in the last 10 years.

        Yes, they will most likely get a bailout, however during bailouts equity holders are always wiped out (see: 2008 auto bailout). So, not very “on sale” if you ask me.

    2. Chris

      at 6:21 pm

      What were you quoting the other day about bears showing reserved jubilation?

  12. Appraiser

    at 7:20 pm

    Coronvirus update:

    Canada had 204 new cases today with zero new deaths. There have been 12 fatalities thus far in Canada due to Covid-19.

    The U.S. reported a whopping 5,398 new cases today and 41 new deaths.

    Sadly, Italy today reported 5,986 new cases and 627 new deaths.

    It’s early days but Canada seems to fairing better than most. Adhering to social distancing and other measures seems to be working. We as Canadians owe a debt of gratitude for a top notch universal health care system, staffed by some really talented and caring people.


    1. Chris

      at 7:33 pm

      Ben Rabidoux put together the following graph:

      We’re faring better than most European countries, but are about on pace with the USA. With Covid-19’s incubation period, may be a few days yet before we see the impacts of social distancing. And we need everyone to buy into it; not line up outside a video game store together.

    1. Chris

      at 8:30 pm

      3% down from March 2019. I wonder if listings are also down 3%… somehow I doubt it. And yet again, no info on average price. How surprising!

      Also, Scott Ingram’s stats are to March 17th, not 19th. Minor detail, but as David said, “real estate has only been affected now for four days.”

      I’m sure everyone is waiting with baited breath for you to give us 5+ updates again tomorrow, chock-full of cherry pic-… sorry, carefully curated, statistics!

      1. Appraiser

        at 9:16 pm

        I’m sorry the real estate market isn’t crashing fast enough for you.

        Give it time.

        I’ll keep you posted when Armageddon arrives.

        1. Chris

          at 9:19 pm

          Good things come to those who wait! Have a great night, pal.

        2. Derek

          at 1:23 am

          In fairness, you do come across as giddy when financial markets are in the crapper; not sure you’re morally superior in that position. Probably lots of regular people with houses AND balanced portfolios that are felling the pain every which way.

          1. Chris

            at 9:29 am

            Bingo. He’s been excitedly posting every time the stock market has had a moderate downturn over the past three years. Houses are just another asset class, so it’s no different to cheer their prices declining.

          2. Appraiser

            at 3:31 pm

            It’s not so mush giddy as…told-ya-so.

            I said “frothy” and Chris said it was a “head fake”, as I recall.

          3. Chris

            at 3:57 pm

            Nah, you sound pretty giddy. Which is fine, just don’t pretend that you’re morally superior to those of us who are giddy about house price declines.

            And stock market head faked you out more than a few times over the past couple years. But hey, your fifth (?) time giddily calling for a crash turned out to be the one when we entered a bear market! Kudos!

  13. Chris

    at 8:40 pm

    “This is going to get really bad. Toronto condo market is investor driven. 60 days of non payment by tenants will decimate the market. Bars, restaurants.. nobody is going to be able to make rent” – Chris Borkowski, Right at Home Realty

  14. Chris

    at 8:45 pm

    “Unprecedented 500,000 jobless claims send Canada’s labour market into freefall

    2.5 per cent of the labour force applied for EI this week, suggesting we’re already in a deep recession

    The speed of the meltdown in the labour market has no precedent. The largest number of jobless claims for a whole month was 499,200 in 1957, according to Statistics Canada data.”

  15. Drowzee

    at 12:21 am

    I don’t really see how it will be business as usual in September or whenever the virus is contained. By then, a lot of personal and business balance sheets would be severely stressed by the lost income from all the shut downs and knock-on effects. And that in turn, would reduce their spending, which would reduce others’ income. (The only way around this would be some unbelievable amounts of government stimulus, far more than what’s politically feasible, IMHO.) There’s a great article in the NY Times, which explains how these shutdowns can be so damaging to the economy:

    On top of that, Canadian household debt/income ratios are at record levels, which will only get worse as incomes drop in the coming weeks and months. And if the recession pushes down housing prices, that would depress spending even further, and potentially create a recessionary feedback loop.

    Obviously, the housing market is not going to turn around overnight, but I don’t really see how it will get through the next several months unscathed. Normally, I’m not very confident about making predictions, but now I’m pretty confident that the housing market will be noticeably slower in the fall than in Jan/Feb, even if the coronavirus is contained by then.

    1. Chris

      at 10:43 am

      We’re likely heading for a global recession at this point, but whereas American household deleveraged after 2008, Canadian households piled on more debt. Hard to see how this doesn’t exacerbate the situation north of the border.

      Agree with you, Jon, and Sigruper, we appear to be in for quite a bit of economic pain. And it seems fanciful to think that will somehow be bullish for real estate, or that it will quickly rebound.

    2. Appraiser

      at 3:33 pm

      And as everyone knows, there’s nothing more exact than a “confident prediction”.

      1. Chris

        at 3:39 pm

        Said the guy giving all the confident predictions that Toronto will plow right through any recession, and be unstoppable.

        The irony is almost too rich.

  16. Sirgruper

    at 12:43 am

    Not really sure why anyone would think with huge job loses and business loses that sales and prices can do anything but drop. I have seen people trying to delay or get out of deals already. Private mortgages are not renewing as cash is king. At best, those who can hold on will not sell but those that can’t or are afraid will bail and prices will drop. Once that happens, investment stops and there is a stampede for the exits. Until there is real light at the end of the tunnel, the next few months will not be pretty. Happened in 2008-2009 with a V and buying on opportunities worked but in 1989-1990 real estate had a dead cat bounce and then died. Unless you know how the virus will work out in North America, at the moment it’s either 2008 or 1989 again.

    1. Cal

      at 7:43 am

      A lot depends on government actions: Will the government and the central bank decide to use massive amounts to prop up RE prices (guaranteeing or buying bad mortgages, offering more incentives for buyers, keeping interest rates low), or will they let the “free market do its magic”. RE valuations are embedded in so many feedback loops in the economy, so there are good arguments for keeping the prices up. But the government will have to address many other urgent needs, and RE prices will not be among the top priorities.

    2. Appraiser

      at 9:52 am

      A few thoughts on your comments.

      Having been previously traumatized as a newish real estate agent at the time, I too once feared the return of 1989.

      The GTA back then was experiencing another population boom. You could purchase a new home (condos were a new concept at the time) from any builder for a $1,000 deposit to hold for a year until built. There was no requirement for a 20% deposit before closing.

      The market was going up rapidly at the time and flipping before closing was rampant and largely unregulated.

      Some people bought a few houses, others bought quite a few. I was a coward and bought none.

      A few of those people made a quick buck by getting in and out early. Others went bankrupt. Let’s not forget that it was still only a relatively small percentage of the population that had the nerve and the money to speculate in great numbers, same as today. Speculators get what they deserve, good or bad – same as gambling to me.

      The point is, this is not 1989. Thirty-one years ago there was no 20% cushion before going underwater for home owners, investors or speculators. There was no water.

      Also, interest rates at the time were at levels that I fear my future grandchildren will one day put down senility when I tell them.

      This economic shock was not a case of structural unemployment, high interest rates or runaway inflation, that much we know.

      It appears that the damage can be better managed today through the timely implementation of coordinated fiscal and monetary measures. We didn’t even have inflation targeting till 1991.

      As you may recall, Canada’s economy and real estate market recovered much faster post- GFC than the United States, with far less damage. Remember when the TSX was higher than the Dow?

      So, in answer to your proposed thesis, I would liken this shock to 2008-2009 more so than to 1989.

      Having said that, it has has been my experience that history rarely replicates itself exactly. The causes of the GFC (fraudulent and predatory mortgage lending in the U.S.) are far different than what we are experiencing.

      This is a bug.

      1. Chris

        at 11:33 am

        “As you may recall, Canada’s economy and real estate market recovered much faster post- GFC than the United States, with far less damage.”

        And as the data shows, American households deleveraged after the 2008 crisis. Canadian households continued to take on debt. While the average American savings rate is ~8%, Canada’s is ~1%. Our friends down south are in a much better position to weather this downturn than we are, this time around.

        “This is a bug.”

        Seasonal influenza is a bug. This is an economy-shuttering pandemic. You don’t get half a million Canadians applying for EI from a bug. We didn’t even see that during 2008.

  17. Jon

    at 9:04 am

    Real estate prices will be HIGHER in September? Have to strongly disagree David. At best we are entering a global recession, at worst we are entering a global depression. Equities are getting liquidated (hell, even gold – a supposedly safe haven is getting liquidated) at a pace that we have never seen in our lifetimes, I don’t know why real estate would be immune. With Canadians already being over leveraged (1.6 Trillion in consumer debt alone), coupled with recessionary layoffs, we are going to see a spike in default rates. I’m not a doom and gloom guy or trying to claim the sky is falling, but lets be realistic here.

  18. Chris

    at 11:35 am

    Some more AirBnB anecdotes:

    “Toronto Airbnb hosts ponder selling as bookings vanish

    “I quit my full-time job to do this full-time last May,” she said. “I have four units and they have always performed at 90 per cent occupancy or higher until now. I have four individual apartments within my bungalows. I might have to take in full-time tenants, but I really don’t want to.”

    She’s not alone. While some are giving in and offering long-term housing to make up for the lost income, others are simply selling their Airbnb-approved properties.

    “I’m facing zero per cent occupancy this week,” he said, exasperated. “Typically, we have bookings from abroad who, on average, stay for 10 to 15 days. Now we’re just seeing locals and kids looking for a place for the night and, at the most, a weekend. The hospitality industry is feeling the impact on travel quick. I’m feeling it. I think I’ll be okay when this is all over, but what happens to the people who run Airbnbs full-time who have bills to pay?””

  19. Derek

    at 12:37 pm

    Appraiser, is this in your wheelhouse:
    “Appraisal Institute of Canada basically just said – no more appraisals IN HOUSE. Site visits OKAY but… sorry lenders, either take it or cancel the deal. I bet most take it. #MortgageUpdate”

    What’’s it mean?

    1. Appraiser

      at 2:10 pm

      No that is incorrect.

      A few appraisers are not going in to homes, or so I’ve heard. None from my office. Some appraisal orders may be switched to a drive-by or a desk-top version.

      The AIC has a best practices protocol for full appraisals that was e-mailed to all members. There are also some suggestions about doing an exterior inspection of the property only, if it will be accepted by the lender.

      Lenders are still ordering full appraisals.

      1. Chris

        at 2:19 pm

        “#appraisal institute of canada is suggesting we stop full service appraisals. Follow local health guidelines. Appraisals are a HUGE part of #mortgage #supplychain and will grind this market down to a standstill soon enough.” – MortgageJake, March 20, 2020

        Jake, want to weigh in here?

        1. Appraiser

          at 2:45 pm

          Yeah Jake.

          What do you know that we appraisers don’t ?


          1. Appraiser

            at 2:54 pm

            P.S. Pretty irresponsible Jake. I thought you were a pro.

          2. BJA

            at 3:12 pm

            Come on, he’s got “mortgage” in the name of his website (and in his actual name!) so he’s obviously an expert whose opinion we can count on. I know I’ll trust his speculations to the ends of the earth (to which we may be headed…).

  20. Appraiser

    at 2:59 pm

    TRREB sales update for Mar 20, 2020.

    127 Freehold sales reported thus far and 32 condos.

    Highest condo price paid yesterday: 10 Belair St. # 1007, $2,583,174

    Highest freehold sale price from Friday was 78 Larkield Drive $2,050,000.

    1. Chris

      at 3:13 pm

      For all those of you who correctly surmise that appraiser isn’t giving all the info:

      10 Belair St. # 1007, initially listed August 28, 2019 for $2,990,000, sold for $2,583,174, or $406,826 below asking.

      78 Larkfield Drive, initially listed March 18, 2020 for $2,288,800, sold for $2,050,000, or $238,000 below asking.

    2. Chris

      at 3:15 pm

      And a reminder again:

      “Suggestion: there are strong “day of the week” effects so reporting in 7 day increments avoids that source of distortion.” – Will Dunning, Chief Economist, Mortgage Professionals Canada

      1. Appraiser

        at 3:47 pm

        So far that demand curve is looking pretty hard to bend with just words.

        I know, I know it’s all “pre-pandemic” or “day of the week” or something you read somewhere.

        1. Chris

          at 3:54 pm

          “So far, it’s hard to tell. Real estate is what economists call a “lagging indicator,” notes Romana King of, meaning that, usually, it takes a while for economic trends to be reflected in housing market data.

          “The numbers won’t show up for anywhere from a week to three months from now,” King said.

          Still, there’s little doubt that COVID-19 has already brought about seismic changes in the industry.

          Some lenders are lifting variable mortgage rates even after the Bank of Canada lowered its trend-setting policy rate by one percentage point in the span of less than two weeks.

          Banks can’t lower the interest they pay on deposits as much as mortgage rates, McLister said. This squeezes their margins and creates upward pressure on mortgage rates.
          That should stop when people get back to work and mortgage arrears have topped out, McLister said.

          How soon that actually happens will be key in determining whether the housing market is headed for a temporary blip or something more serious, King said.

          “We talk about interest rates and we talk about supply and demand levels,” King said. “But the primary indicator when we talk about real estate is job security.”“

          Sounds like your own industry is increasingly disagreeing with you, appraiser. I suspect we can look forward to you getting snippier as your sense of isolation grows!

  21. Chris

    at 4:22 pm

    Looks like you were wrong yet again, appraiser:

    “The Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) is calling upon all Ontario REALTORS® to immediately stop holding open houses during the Province’s COVID-19 State of Emergency. As community leaders, Ontario Realtors need to do their part in protecting the health and safety of their clients and the general public.”

    1. Appraiser

      at 5:47 pm

      @Chris: Sadly behind the curve again: RECO has a different view.

      The below excerpt is from the TRREB website:

      Updated: Open Houses, Showings & COVID-19 Best Practices
      General News 20 March 2020

      It is understandable that real estate open houses and showings are of concern to many, due to the uncertainty we’re faced in dealing with COVID-19. The real estate regulator in Ontario, the Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO), has issued a guidance on open houses and showings that you can read here:

      As RECO has advised, “though it is your client’s decision whether to hold an open house, you can decline to proceed if you are not comfortable with the risk to your health. As always, you should discuss the services you are prepared to offer with your clients.”

      1. Appraiser

        at 5:59 pm


        OREA is not only a powerless but redundant organization.

        OREA College is closed.

        All education courses and administration of realtors is done through RECO.

        But I bet you already knew that. Right ?

        1. Appraiser

          at 6:12 pm

          PPS Even if they stop open houses. Properties can still be shown. No biggie.

          1. Chris

            at 6:16 pm

            It’s all no biggie, huh? Just a bug, just a half million jobs lost, just no more open houses, s’all good man! Unstoppable!

      2. Chris

        at 6:14 pm

        “TRREB Strongly Recommends Members Stop Conducting Open Houses

        TRREB is strongly recommending that Members stop conducting in-person open houses during the Ontario State of Emergency, and continue to offer best practices due to the uncertainty we’re faced with in dealing with COVID-19. TRREB is committed to the protection of the health and safety of its Members and the general public. In light of provincial government restrictions on public gatherings and guidance regarding social distancing, TRREB recommends that Members do not hold open houses for the time being.”

        Sorry, what was that you were saying about being behind the curve? Maybe check for updates before you shoot your mouth off next time, bud!

        1. Long Time Realtor

          at 6:41 pm

          There will still probably be be open houses.

          A strong recommendation is not a ban.

          Still a moot point.

          When they ban showing appointments let me know.

          1. Chris

            at 6:45 pm

            I will keep you posted appraiser/long term realtor!

            Got any other pseudonyms you’ve been posting under?

  22. Chris

    at 5:02 pm

    “‘It’s pretty catastrophic’: Canada has never seen job losses like this before

    “I can’t recall anything that looks quite like this before,” said Wayne Lewchuk, economics and labour studies professor at McMaster University. “It’s pretty catastrophic.”

    For many Canadians, job losses during the last financial crisis are still fresh in mind. Only this situation is substantially worse.

    Consider that over an eight-month period ending in mid-2009, roughly 425,000 Canadians lost their jobs, according to data from Statistics Canada’s labour force survey. All told, employment declined by 2.5 per cent.

    Already, the federal government has received about 500,000 applications for employment insurance benefits this week, an “unprecedented situation,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Friday.

    It’s not hard to envision a COVID-19 disruption that makes the financial crisis look like a blip.”

  23. Long Time Realtor

    at 6:16 pm

    I mostly found open houses to be a waste of time. Don’t do them. Haven’t for a very long time.

    1. Chris

      at 6:17 pm

      Don’t disagree, however appraiser tore into R for suggesting open houses be stopped. Seems that take has aged poorly, and in record time.

      1. Long Time Realtor

        at 6:55 pm

        Open houses are primarily utilized to meet new people, talk some real estate and hopefully turn some of them in to a new client or referral, one day.

        Random people off the street are often totally unqualified tire kickers, nosy neighbours or other agent’s clients, and very occasionally a prospect.


    1. Chris

      at 7:29 pm

      “Officials at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and epidemic experts from universities around the world conferred last month about what might happen if the new coronavirus gained a foothold in the United States. How many people might die? How many would be infected and need hospitalization?

      Between 160 million and 214 million people in the United States could be infected over the course of the epidemic, according to a projection that encompasses the range of the four scenarios. That could last months or even over a year, with infections concentrated in shorter periods, staggered across time in different communities, experts said. As many as 200,000 to 1.7 million people could die.” – New York Times

      Remember when you were downplaying Covid-19, as less serious than influenza? Another take of yours that has aged exceptionally poorly!

      1. Chris

        at 10:23 am

        Exactly, especially because experts in Canada estimate 20-70% of us will get Covid-19. If 1% of those infected die, it will be devastating. The fact that appraiser thinks that is something to cheer should lead everyone to question his soundness.

      2. Appraiser

        at 10:46 am

        @Derek: You are absolutely correct. Any death rate is horrific. Like many people I’m searching for perspective here.

        The worst flu epidemic of my lifetime was the 1968 outbreak, sometimes referred to as the “Hong Kong” flu.

        “…the 1968 flu pandemic was caused by the H3N2 strain of the Influenza A virus, a genetic offshoot of the H2N2 subtype. From the first reported case on July 13, 1968 in Hong Kong, it took only 17 days before outbreaks of the virus were reported in Singapore and Vietnam, and within three months had spread to The Philippines, India, Australia, Europe, and the United States. While the 1968 pandemic had a comparatively low mortality rate (.5%) it still resulted in the deaths of more than a million people, including 500,000 residents of Hong Kong, approximately 15% of its population at the time.”

        Covid-19 has thus far killed 13,671 people. In 1968 there was no worldwide lock-down of the citizenry or economy. The flu ran it’s course and humanity eventually developed herd immunity.

        The worst epidemic previously to 1968 was the so-called “Spanish Flu” of 1918-1920, where an estimated 20-50 million people perished.

        “Of the 500 million people infected in the 1918 pandemic, the mortality rate was estimated at 10% to 20%, with up to 25 million deaths in the first 25 weeks alone. ”

        1. Chris

          at 12:10 pm

          I’d recommend we all turn to other more reliable sources than this blog for updates on the Covid-19 pandemic. Listen to experts like epidemiologists, immunologists, the WHO, our own medical officers of health, etc., and not the anonymous posters here.

          As Kyle aptly said the other day, “This is after all the Toronto Realty Blog, not the Global Virus blog.”

          1. Appraiser

            at 12:22 pm


            The title of this particular blog is: Coronavirus & Real Estate: FAQ

          2. Chris

            at 12:31 pm

            Doesn’t change the fact that an anonymous Toronto area real estate appraiser is a poor substitute for expert advice and information pertaining to the current pandemic.

    2. Cal

      at 7:09 am

      Not sure what US mortality rate has to do with RE in Toronto. But if must, please be responsible and use reliable data, not some random opinion from the internet.

        1. Appraiser

          at 10:16 am

          Quote from above link:

          “Why is cardiovascular disease (CVD) so prevalent in those who died with COVID-19?

          Most acute viral infections have three short-term effects on the CVD system:

          Increase the risk of acute coronary syndromes due to the inflammatory response.
          Depression of the myocardium leading to worsening heart failure.
          The inflammatory process can unmask heart arrhythmias,

          Seasonal influenza infections have been shown to contribute to an increase in CVD deaths significantly. Community-level rises in Influenza-like illness (ILI) were associated with and predictive of CVD mortality: deaths from ischaemic heart disease rose from 2.3% to 6.3% when emergency department visits with ILI rose from the 25th to the 75th centile.”

    1. Chris

      at 7:43 pm

      From the article you shared:

      “Some of the nation’s biggest lenders, like Royal Bank of Canada, have forecast Canada will fall into a recession later this year as a result of the impact from COVID-19 and low oil prices”

      Hmm, who’s prediction to believe: a single billionaire, or some of Canada’s biggest banks and their teams of economists and analysts… that’s a tough one…

        1. Appraiser

          at 11:04 am


          prejudice or discrimination on the grounds of a person’s age.

          1. Chris

            at 12:03 pm

            You trust whichever prediction you want! My money is on the teams of economists. Yours can be on the lone 91 year old billionaire. Let’s check back later and see which bet pays off.

  24. Appraiser

    at 7:59 am

    TRREB sales data update March 1 – March 20, 2020.

    Freehold Sales = 5,101 +25% year over year.

    Condo Sales = 2,165 +11% year over

    1. Chris

      at 10:18 am

      Wow! On March 15, you commented that John Pasalis was reporting sales up 55% for first two weeks of the month. 7 days later, it’s dropped to 25/11% for the month, clearly showing how fast this last week has slowed, and is weighing down the average against the busy first two weeks.

      Will be interesting to see John’s update tomorrow, when he hopefully shares data on listings volume and average price!

        1. Appraiser

          at 11:14 am


          All TRREB data provided to date is unofficial. (P.S. that goes for any data provided by Mr. Pasalis or anyone else).

          Month-end statistics as compiled by and reported by TRREB are the official record.

          1. Appraiser

            at 11:29 am


            I can’t recall Mr. Pasalis ever providing a similar disclosure in any of his “reports”. I could be wrong.

            I suppose we’ll see tomorrow.

          2. Chris

            at 11:56 am

            Ah, so you won’t share average price, but will make veiled comments about it. Yet one more reason to await John’s update. And I think most people know his updates will be preliminary and subject to changes and revisions. But until the monthly TRREB updates, they’re the best we’ll have.

  25. Appraiser

    at 11:40 am

    Evan Siddall

    “We are shifting teams, extending deadlines and easing requirements to ensure accelerated approvals. All of us at @CMHC_ca want to get as much money into the housing sector as we can. Everyone needs a safe home. “

    1. Bal

      at 11:59 am

      No weekend break for you guys, I guess……lol lol…..get some rest….recharge yourself for next week attacks….lol…

    2. Chris

      at 12:01 pm

      Wow, this is the same Evan Siddall who only a short couple months ago was quoting The Economist’s special report on how home ownership “is an obsession that undermines growth, fairness and public faith in capitalism”. For him to do such a quick 180, things must be looking worse than any of us thought.

  26. Appraiser

    at 12:12 pm

    Latest TRREB MLS rental update March 1 – March 20, 2020.

    Freehold rentals = 1,291 Down -7% year over year.

    Condo rentals = 2,143 Up +2% year over year.

    1. Verbal Kint

      at 12:30 pm

      Give it a rest — you’re discrediting the mental acuity of the entire profession.

      500k Canadian EI applications in one week + 9% of Americans already laid off = the economy/car is engulfed in flames, but you’re reading off the number on the sidewalls to see when the tires were manufactured, and measuring how much tread is left.

      The big picture is not hard to see here. Two years from now is fuzzy. Two months from now is blindingly obvious.

      1. Appraiser

        at 12:41 pm

        Another prophet who can see the future.

        What’s your secret @Verbal?

        1. Appraiser

          at 12:42 pm

          Remember Verbal – don’t shoot the messenger.

          Now, back to your crystal ball.

      2. Appraiser

        at 1:24 pm

        P.S. As an aside:

        My critique of your somewhat disjointed / mangled / incoherent tire analogy:


        Just ‘sayin .

        1. Chris

          at 3:58 pm

          Verbal Kint’s analogy doesn’t seem incoherent from where I’m standing. Maybe give it another read, a bit slower this time, and it will make sense to you as well.

          1. Appraiser

            at 4:38 pm

            Analogy, the weakest form of debate.

            Thought you’d approve.

          2. Chris

            at 4:51 pm

            You didn’t seem to have any issue with analogy in debate when Kyle employed one the other day.

            Isn’t it odd how you only seem to take exception to predictions, anecdotes, analogies, etc. when they run counter to your beliefs? How curious indeed!

    2. J G

      at 8:46 pm

      Last week only please. What’s the decline? 20%,30%?
      And no, I don’t want to bite you.

      1. Appraiser

        at 8:22 am

        When you stop insulting people by denigrating their profession you may be rewarded.

  27. crazyegg

    at 1:00 pm

    Hi All,

    There needs to be measures put in place to also suspend maintenance fees for condos.

    Mortgages and property taxes can now be suspended by requesting it…

    Logistically, this can be challenging as multiple stakeholders are involved: water, gas, management company, insurance, etc. but something needs to be done…


    1. Appraiser

      at 1:33 pm

      Supposedly, the giant national / international social safety net that has been just implemented will prevent anyone from losing their residence.

      In Ontario, Doug Ford said his government “will not allow it”

      We’ll see.

  28. Cal

    at 1:35 pm

    @Appraiser (re numbers from
    @everyone who thinks that according to the publish data 1% of us will die

    Before we accept x% case fatality rates, let’s all understand that at this early stage any numbers computed from the published statistics for Canada or US are meaningless. Especially for US, since testing there is complete shambles.

    While the counts are still increasing exponentially, you cannot compute the case fatality rate by dividing the number of reported deaths by the number of reported cases. That’s because some of those reported cases will still die.

    You can also try to use only the closed cases (recovered or dead), to get another meaningless “case fatality” number. For Canada today, it is 14 recovered and 20 dead, for the case fatality of 20/34=59%, another nonsense number.

    Even if you could compute the case fatality rate accurately, it wouldn’t mean much, because most of us will not become a case, because we will have no symptoms even if we are infected.

  29. BJA

    at 4:09 pm

    The most conservative estimates of “preventable deaths” (i.e. could be prevented/reduced by fairly simple and cheap measures such as water filtration, immunization, mosquito nets, etc.) in poor countries, primarily in Africa, are on the order of 8,000,000 per year, roughly three-quarters of whom are children under age twelve. Not a lot of *panic* these days (or ever, really) around the world about this. And don’t hold your breath for it to (ever) happen.

    1. Appraiser

      at 5:59 pm

      Excerpt from above article :

      “The small Italian town of Vo is where the virus was first identified in Italy. All 3,300 people living there were tested after being put into lockdown. A total of 66 people, 3% of the population, tested positive for the virus. Perhaps most importantly, most of the infected had no symptoms. After two weeks of self-isolation, 6 people still tested positive but were without symptoms, meaning that prevalence of the virus had dropped by 90% (from 66 people to just 6 people) and all symptoms of the virus were gone.”

    2. Chris

      at 6:45 pm

      “CleanTechnica is the #1 cleantech-focused website in the US and the world”

      Looks like a blog focused on solar energy, electric cars, and the like…and the article references BuzzFeed…

      I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: absolutely nobody should pay any attention to this anonymous Toronto area real estate appraiser, sorely lacking in relevant credentials, and his questionable sources, when it comes to Covid-19 information.

      Rely on advice and information from our medical officers of health, the WHO, and others with expertise and experience in the field, disseminated through credible means like our governments and media sources of high repute.

      1. Whaaa?

        at 7:18 pm

        Chris, why do you not seem to care about the equally anonymous Kint’s dubious link? (BTW, anyone who clicks on it, or any other link to an unknown destination, is an idiot IMHO) You often copy and paste large excerpts from articles you link to, which I applaud. Kint (and often Appraiser) obviously can’t be bothered to do the same.

        1. Chris

          at 7:26 pm

          I just saw Kint’s post. Have no idea what the hell that article is, and wouldn’t trust the source any more than appraiser’s.

          I wouldn’t trust what I post either to be honest. Check the sources I link to, see if it’s a credible media source, and who they reference. Listen to experts, not me, not appraiser, not kint, not anyone on this blog on the subject of Covid-19.

          1. Appraiser

            at 8:23 pm

            Not to worry Chris, you guru will reveal all tomorrow.

          2. Chris

            at 8:44 pm

            Try to keep up, appraiser. I’m talking about reputable sources of Covid-19 information, of which you are not. Neither is John Pasalis, who I assume you’re referring to when you say “you [sic] guru”.

  30. Denise Kozak

    at 6:36 pm

    Am I allowed as the tenant to deny access because I am in self quarantine and symptomatic ?

  31. Yesi Merino

    at 3:24 pm

    Thanks for sharing! A large amount in commercial real estate agents are taking the same precautions when showing commercial spaces. Many businesses still need a space to work out of, because many of their employees don’t have a home office and can’t focus on their work at home.

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