The pandemic has pushed many financially stressed households to the brink. Here’s a budgeting guide to navigate the crisis

[Vancouver Sun - April 29, 2020] The COVID-19 pandemic isn’t just a health crisis. It’s also a financial crisis affecting virtually every household in British Columbia in some way. With so many workers laid off, furloughed or having work hours reduced, a lot of individuals and families are faced with the need to radically cut spending. And many are likely struggling just to stay afloat. March data from the MNP Consumer Debt Index – providing an early snapshot of the pandemic’s impact [...]

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Forced Selling May Be Headed For Canada’s Housing Market – Some previously priced-out homebuyers might have a shot at getting into pricey housing markets right now.

[Huffpost - April 22, 2020] A sharp rise in joblessness, combined with the bust-out of the short-term rental market, will send Canadian house prices down in the short term, some market experts are saying. And for some homebuyers ― those who are still in decent financial shape in this crisis ― that presents a rare opportunity for bargains in some of Canada’s priciest cities. So far, experts aren’t predicting a huge price decline. Stephen Brown, senior Canada economist at U.K.-based Capital Economics, [...]

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‘COVID Clauses’ Await Buyers In Canada’s Housing Market

[Huffpost - April 20, 2020] TORONTO (Reuters) ― In Canada’s typically busy home-selling season, wary buyers are donning masks and gloves to view properties while realtors offer virtual tours and coronavirus clauses as the real estate industry copes up with the outbreak. Canadian home resales are forecast to fall by about 30 per cent to a 20-year low this year, Royal Bank of Canada estimates. Home sales slumped 14.3 per cent in March from February. Armed with new COVID clauses, some agents are still trying. The COVID clauses include confirming [...]

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The Home Front: Virtual home design showroom tours are the new norm

[Vancouver Sun - March 28, 2020] If you’re stuck at home for any length of time, everything within your four walls starts to receive a lot of attention; from those you live with, to that dust you’ve never noticed before, to the sofa you’ve grown tired of. Strolling around home design showrooms is suddenly off the table for many, or has certainly become a lot more restricted, with many retailers closing their doors to the public, amidst the coronavirus situation, with [...]

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Buying and selling during the COVID-19 pandemic

[Synergy Mortgage -  May 6, 2020] The spring market is an active time for home buying and selling but this year it will be quieter. This is due to the safety measures taken to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus. If you are planing to make a move this spring, it is possible, however please consider the following information.   The BC Government declared real estate an essential service on March 26, 2020. But it is far from business as usual. [...]

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Major lenders begin to cut fixed mortgage rates

[Globe and Mail - April 16, 2020]   Fixed mortgage rates are creeping lower this week, as the funding markets that banks and other mortgage lenders use to raise money for loans have begun to normalize after weeks of outsized volatility. Toronto-Dominion Bank brought its five-year fixed rate down to 3.09 per cent from 3.24 per cent this week, and several other major lenders including Royal Bank of Canada and MCAP have also reduced their rates. Five-year fixed-rate mortgages ranged between 2.39 [...]

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Real estate agents use virtual tours to show homes amid COVID-19 pandemic

[CTV - April 16, 2020] TORONTO -- While real estate support has been declared an essential service in Ontario during the COVID-19 pandemic, some agents are making sure to keep their physical distance by offering virtual tours of homes. Buying a home is one of the largest purchases most people will ever make and so it is difficult to find the perfect house without seeing it in person first hand. Michael Collins, president of the Toronto Real Estate Board, told CTV News [...]

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Summer revival of pandemic-ravaged Canadian real estate seen by RBC economist Robert Hogue

[Georgia Straight - April 16, 2020] An RBC economist expects a possible summer resurgence of the real estate market in Canada. In a housing update, Robert Hogue of RBC Economics described the ravages being done by the COVID-19 pandemic on the residential property market as a “temporary shock”. “We expect stronger activity to resume once social distancing orders are relaxed though there’s great uncertainty as to when this will happen,” Hogue wrote. “Our baseline assumption is sometime in June,” Hogue continued in his [...]

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Covid-19: Understanding Mortgage Payment Deferral

[CMHC - March 24, 2020] The COVID-19, or coronavirus crisis has left many homeowners in Canada without a job or with reduced hours and wondering how to pay their mortgage. Homeowners facing financial stress may be eligible for a mortgage payment deferral up to 6 months to help ease the financial burden. The COVID-19 Mortgage Payment Deferral program will be ongoing. You can apply at any time during this outbreak. What is mortgage payment deferral? Mortgage payment deferrals can help you during times [...]

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