The COVID-19 pandemic has brought many changes to the Toronto real estate market.
From virtual showings to limited inventory, and a jaw-dropping influx of interest in the GTA’s suburban areas, Toronto realtors have had to adapt to the changing market. But with vaccines rolling out and a possible end to the pandemic insight, we’re left with one big question: what changes to the market will linger even after the pandemic ends?
Cliff Liu and Jenelle Tremblett, two agents with Strata.ca, shared their predictions for what COVID-19-era real estate trends will continue on in Toronto after we move out of the pandemic.
Increased demand outside of the city.
With the ability to work remotely during the pandemic, many city-dwellers have chosen to give up their smaller condos and apartments and instead head out to more suburban areas outside of the downtown core. This appetite for more space and (relatively) more affordable prices is expected to continue on even after the pandemic ends.
And this isn’t a change that’s only been seen in Toronto. It’s been happening in major cities all across Canada.
“One of my friends was shopping for a house in Montreal, right before the pandemic hit,” Liu told Daily Hive. “But due to remote working options, they also started looking a few hours outside the city. And guess what? They ended up buying a small private island!”
Balconies are an apartment and condo necessity.
Now that we’re a year into the pandemic, those who have chosen to remain in Toronto are making any amount of outdoor space a must-have in the current market. And that’s not something Tremblett thinks will go away after the pandemic.
“No balconies are a deal-breaker. We’ve had several warm days, but many buildings have not yet turned on the A/C,” Tremblett said. “So buyers are realizing that balconies are necessary.”
Interest in backyard office studios.
With work-from-home options expected to continue in some form post-pandemic, Liu says that recent interest in properties with backyard office pods — or the ability to build one — is going to stay around.
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“COVID-19 has opened up a demand for backyard studios,” Liu said. “My clients are becoming more intrigued by office pods, which can be built right outside your home. These modular spaces might be a good option if you don’t have room for a traditional home office.”
Building amenities are a lower priority.
With COVID-19 forcing condo and apartment buildings to shut down their communal amenities for over a year now, Tremblett says, “homebuyers are realizing that maybe they can live without the pool and party room.”
“I’m noticing that my clients don’t care as much about amenities as they used to,” she said. “Amenities aren’t a make-or-break anymore.”