MARCH 2020 STATISTICS RELEASE
Statistics include Fort McMurray and surrounding area
We are in unprecedented times. Real estate has been deemed an essential service by the Provincial
Government of Alberta. This doesn’t mean it is business as usual. All Brokerages have put safety
measures in place to make it safe for showings to continue.
We are asking the public to be intentional with showings. To buyers: Please be sure your pre-approval is
in place before you view any homes. Sellers are making sure their homes are safe for you. Follow all of
the precautions outlined by sellers.
Even though public open houses have been cancelled, recently CREA released a new feature on Realtor.ca that allows for virtual open houses. A great way to stay at home and preview a property.
For further safety measures, Home Inspectors now have board access to lock boxes. During the home
inspection clients may be asked not to attend in order to reduce the risk to the parties involved.
As in May 2016 after the Wildfires hit Fort McMurray there was a drastic change in the market. Numbers
will be skewed over the next several weeks until we are through this current world crisis. Homes are still
selling and being viewed with lots of precautions.
Thank you in advance to buyers and sellers for patience during this time. On behalf of all of the Real
Estate Professionals serving Fort McMurray we are working hard to keep you safe! Thank you to all of
the front-line works making us #FortMacStrong. We encourage you to shop locally as much as you can.
Complete statistics are posted monthly on our website www.fmreb.com.
Selling a home can be stressful in any circumstance, let alone in the midst of a global pandemic. With ongoing uncertainty, and an evolving situation that’s changing by the minute, it can be hard to know what the next step is in the selling process. The world of real estate never stops, as people are always needing to be buying or selling for a host of time sensitive reasons, regardless of what else is going on.
We’ve reached out to our RE/MAX Influencers – a panel of RE/MAX sales associates throughout Canada – to get their expert insights and advice for sellers during this time, and share what RE/MAX agents are doing to ensure your safety during the home selling process. Here’s an overview of the measures that are being taken:
The biggest piece of advice that our RE/MAX Influencers have for sellers is to stay home, and to only be going out if absolutely necessary. That said, there is always going to be necessary preparations that you will need to implement before listing your home. Curtus Collins of RE/MAX Crown Real Estate (North), Regina, SK says, “be prepared for a long sale, it’s anticipated that the market will return when this is all over. Take this time at home to make sure the condition of your home is perfect for when the market does begin to normalize.”
Staying home may be the perfect opportunity to spruce up your home with a fresh coat of paint or a deep clean if you’re planning on selling in the future!
One of the most important things to do during this time is to stay listed! Just because potential buyers may not be viewing homes in person, doesn’t mean they won’t be viewing properties online. Many REALTORS® are asking sellers to take small videos of their homes to show to potential buyers, as realtors are also trying to keep their distance to keep everyone healthy and safe. Social media is also a big tool that agents are utilizing to help promote properties to buyers who may be unable to view a home in person.
Agents are encouraging sellers to hang in there and to keep their properties listed. Agents are doing their best to showcase and market seller’s properties in a safe and healthy way and are using a variety of technologies to do so!
Given the nature of the COVID-19 pandemic and the need for physical and social distancing, one very important thing that REALTORS® are doing to help maintain the health and safety of their clients is to screen potential buyers when it comes to showing listings. Many agents, as mentioned above, are opting to do virtual tours of properties rather than showing them in person. As open houses are not being allowed at this time, virtual tours are a great way to showcase properties to serious buyers.
As hard as being patient can be, it is the biggest piece of advice our RE/MAX Influencers have for sellers. Navigating real estate during this time is going to be a learning curve for everyone, as many people will be restricted to online house shopping; but, our agents are determined to do everything they can to facilitate that change while keeping everyone involved safe and healthy.
“Sellers will have to be a little bit more flexible than they would have been a month ago. We expect sellers to be cautious, but this will pass! People will always need a home,” says Dave Beattie, RE/MAX Sea to Sky Real Estate, Whistler, BC.
While many sellers are faced with uncertainty at this time, our RE/MAX Influencers want you to know that they are here for you, and will do whatever they can to make the home buying and selling process as stress-free as possible. “We have contacted all of our sellers to let them know what we are doing during this COVID-19 breakout. Communication and information are key,” says Glenn Dennis, RE/MAX Select Properties, Vancouver, BC. “We have also offered help by picking up medication or groceries and delivering them to any of our clients who cannot get out of their own homes.”
For more articles from our expert Influencers, click here!
We also asked our Influencer panel for their insights and tips for buyers, so click here to check out that article!
What’s the quickest way to attract the right homebuyer? Top curb appeal tips? What should you do with your pet during showings? What are the cheapest (and best!) home staging ideas? What about luxury home trends? RE/MAX Influencers is an expert panel of brokers and agents that provide insight on Canadian real estate and market trends. RE/MAX Influencers are featured on the RE/MAX Canada blog and on RE/MAX Canada’s Facebook, Instagram and Twitter channels. Learn more about RE/MAX real estate franchise opportunities in Ontario-Atlantic Region and Western Canada.
Buying or selling a house in Fort McMurray is a big undertaking under normal circumstances, let alone in the midst of a pandemic. With economic impacts and the uncertainty that accompanies day-to-day life, Canada’s federal, provincial and municipal governments and companies have implemented a number of COVID-19 relief measures to help soften the financial blow.
We’ve compiled a list of some pre-existing and newly announced programs and incentives intended to assist current homeowners, buyers and sellers, along with some links to further inform anyone seeking some COVID-19 relief.
The situation is changing hourly, so REMAX.ca will continue to update this list as things develop.
COVID-19 Relief Measures
Federal Government Pledges Up To $52 Billion in Direct Support to Canadian Workers and Businesses
On March 18, 2020, the Prime Minister announced $27 billion in direct support to Canadian workers and businesses during this challenging time. On March 25, an emergency federal bill received royal assent to increase that amount to $52 billion, including support for workers unable to do their job due to Coronavirus. For more information, click here.
Mortgage Payment Deferral Programs
Many homeowners who’s employment and income have been interrupted due to COVID-19 are struggling to make their mortgage payments. In response to this, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) and other mortgage insurers offer tools that can assist homeowners experiencing financial hardship at this time.
In addition to this, a number of Canadian’s large banks will be allowing mortgage payment deferrals for up to six months as part of their measures to help customers who may be struggling with the financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to a Tweet from the president of the Canadian Bankers Association, RBC, TD, BMO, Scotiabank, CIBC and National Bank are the banks that are offering these deferrals. We encourage you to talk to your bank if you are under any sort of financial strain.
Bank of Canada Lowering Rates
The Bank of Canada’s benchmark interest rate has been on a downward trend recently. In its latest scheduled interest rate announcement on March 4, the Bank cut its rate from 1.75 to 1.25 per cent. The Bank followed up with an unscheduled announcement on March 16, announcing a further reduction in its key interest rate by a further 50 basis points to 0.75 per cent. On March 27, the Bank again cut its rate by another 50 basis points, to 0.25 per cent, with a goal of bolstering economic activity and keeping inflation low and stable. For more information on what the Bank of Canada is doing, click here.
First Time Home Buyer Incentives
The First Time Home Buyer Incentive was implemented in September 2019 to help qualified first-time homebuyers reduce their monthly mortgage payments without adding to their financial burdens. The incentive is a shared-equity mortgage with the Government of Canada and offers a number of different options for first-time homebuyers. You can read more about the First Time Home Buyer Incentive here.
Insured Mortgage Purchase Program (IMPP)
The Government of Canada implemented measures intended to bolster the financial system through the launch of its Insured Mortgage Purchase Program (IMPP). The government is prepared to purchase up to $150 billion of insured mortgage pools through CMHC, increased from the original $50 billion announced on March 16 as part of the Emergency Response Act. This will allow stable funding to banks and mortgage lenders that will help ensure lending to continue to Canadian consumers and businesses. For more information on the Insured Mortgage Purchase Program, click here.
Property Tax Deferrals
Some Canadian cities are allowing property tax deferrals, such as Toronto, Ottawa, Grand Prairie and more, while other cities are considering similar action. These decisions are being made at the municipal level and things are changing daily. We recommend visiting your municipality online to determine if your upcoming payment can be put on hold without repercussion.
Hydro Pricing Reductions
Ontario is eliminating mid-peak and on-peak electricity rates giving residents who have been forced to stay home due to COVID-19 the lowest rate available (off-peak) all day for 45 days. The lowest electricity rate is also being extended to small businesses and farms. For more information on the Ontario hydro rates, click here.
Internet Usage Rules Relaxed by Major Telecommunication Companies
Some major telecommunication companies, such as Telus and Shaw, are changing their phone and internet plans and adapting amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The Shaw website notes that they do not have data caps on their internet plans, allowing you to keep kids entertained and work from home without having to worry about data caps on your internet.
CRA Sets New Deadline to File your 2019 Income Taxes
The CRA has announced that there are new tax filing and payment due dates. The new due date for filing individual tax returns has been extended to June 1st, 2020. Taxpayers will have until September 1st, 2020 to pay any 2019 income tax amounts owed. For more information regarding the new dates for filing taxes, click here.
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Hi, my name is Dana McAroe. I'm a Real Estate Agent in Fort McMurray. I help people get the best possible outcome from their real estate transaction - whether they are selling or buying or a house.