The Truth About Richmond Hill Real Estate During COVID-19

Tuesday May 10th, 2022


Since the start of the year – and the onset of the coronavirus – real estate has been a tricky area to navigate. Buyers were told to buy, buy, buy, sellers were discouraged from the prices of mls listings, and renters were in a predicament very few would have experienced before – unemployment.

But what was the real-world effect of COVID on GTA property, especially in areas like Richmond Hill? How has COVID-19 affected the way Ontarians interact with real estate if it has at all? The only way to answer these questions is to look at the numbers and decipher what they mean. 

Prevailing Positivity

Before we dive into the hard facts, the effect on houses for sale prices and overall sales has been overwhelmingly neutral in comparison to predictions at the beginning of the novel coronavirus. Besides a short dip at the start of the pandemic, house prices and house sales have made a quick return. 

COVID-19’s Impact on Property Sales Over The Past 6 Months 

April was the worst month for real estate market in Richmond Hill. In April, only 89 properties sold, and homes spent an average of 18 days on the market, according to data released by Listing CA.

That’s a sharp contrast to the start of summer when sales more than doubled to 219, and the number of days homes spent on the market was down 38%, to 11 days.

April was also one of only two months in the year (leading to September), where house prices went into the negative territory. In April, property prices contracted by 6.82% month-on-month. In July, the second month with negative property prices, prices only dropped by 3.62%.

However, property sales are in the process of increasing as Ontarians adjust to the new normal and seek out mls property that meets their family's new needs. These new needs include more space as more professionals work from home, some children continue with online school, and quarantining is a daily part of life.

Because when the world is in a pandemic, having a home in a fantastic neighbourhood – in a town like Richmond Hill – provides some comfort and relief. 

When you dissect these numbers further, Freehold houses and detached townhouses have rebounded in price the quickest. Whereas condominiums have been in high demand as they spend fewer days on the market when compared to the same period for the previous year. 

Impact on Rentals & Investment Properties

Rentals are possibly the least affected segment of the market. Renters in Richmond Hill make up a substantially smaller population than owners, equating to approximately 14% of occupants. 

But, with a population of primarily professional working adults with families, even a rental in a suburban town like Richmond Hill is appealing. The surrounding infrastructure, growing diversity, steady population increase all contribute to making Richmond Hill an excellent option for tenants to reside and offer investors an overall positive ROI. 

What Do These Numbers Mean For The Long Term?

Most of us purchase a home for the long term. Although COVID-19 has caused one of the greatest economic shocks to date, what a pandemic has taught us is that space is a commodity. In an area like Richmond, freehold houses offer the most space. But the area in its entirety offers homeowners a variety of other benefits, including population numbers and beds per 1,000 that are advantageous in comparison to elsewhere in the GTA.

Real-World Consequences & Strategies

Property markets fluctuate, it's the name of the game. The best way to navigate the GTA houses for sale market is to ponder the real-world consequences of your decisions and what the market means in real terms. 

It's great that you’re aware of market tendencies, but areas like Richmond Hill are fairly sheltered from market fluctuations. Therefore, it's better to consider what you want for yourself and your family – especially if you are purchasing a family home.

If you’re thinking of selling, consider your motives and intentions. Markets fluctuate throughout the year. During summer, homes sell quicker and usually for more than they’re sold for in winter. It’s just that this year, coupled with plummeting temperatures, buyers and sellers had to contend with a quick-spreading, novel virus. 

The only way to weather the storm, which plenty of us have learnt to do over the past few months, is to separate long-term decisions from short-term realities. 

Incidentally, COVID-19 could help the real estate market in a suburban town like Richmond Hills, where freestanding homes are plenty. And the knowledge that having a bigger garden and more rooms, if you’re going to be in quarantine for extended periods, doesn't hurt.

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