With a province-wide “emergency brake” shutdown looming in Ontario, new rules will come into place on Saturday April 3, having effects on nearly every industry in the province, including real estate.
The most substantial real estate restrictions will be placed on rental accommodations. All hotels, motels, lodges, cabins, resorts, student housing, and other shared rental accommodations will not be permitted to open their shared amenities such as pools, gyms, or other recreational facilities.
Short term-rentals like cottages, cabins, and campsites may only be rented to individuals who are in need of housing. Only campsites with electricity, water, and sewage disposal can be used, and all shared facilities other than washrooms and showers will be closed. Aboriginal ice fishing huts can still be used but only by members of the same household and not overnight.
For any Ontario residents looking to buy or sell real estate during the shutdown, showings must be done by appointment only, as open houses will not be permitted.
New buildings will continue to go up, though, as construction activities, including demolition and land surveying, are considered an essential service and will be allowed to continue during the shutdown.
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Whether the shutdown will have any effect on the overall market is hard to predict. Strata.ca agent Osman Omaid believe that it could cause a dip in activity.
“The lockdown may actually cool things down just enough this spring, which is traditionally when a lot of buyers are looking to enter the market,” Omaid said. “We may see slightly lower prices due to less activity, and this could lead to a very brief buyers’ market. Looking for the best price is always about timing.”
Fellow Strata.ca agent Larry Medina, on the other hand, doesn’t expect to see much change, especially since realtors are classified as essential workers.
“With so much pent-up demand from the 1st and 2nd lockdowns, there’s no slowing down the market,” Medina said. “My clients are telling me they are not stopping their search.”