A New Normal

Video call while wearing a mask

Zach IrelandPlanet Realty

2020 has been anything but normal. The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged our society in ways not seen in generations. Simple pleasures that were once taken for granted now seem entirely out of reach. As March turned to April, and April turned to May, a “normal” September seemed almost a given. But here we are, September. And are things normal? No, but it’s time we start warming up to a new normal.

In the world of Real Estate, there have been some surprising trends. Now more than ever, DIY projects and home improvement is at the forefront of people’s minds. Home Depot posted a 7% year over year sales growth in the most recent quarter. While Lowes posted an 11% growth in the same time period. Gardening may have never been more popular than it was in spring of 2020. Do-it-yourself projects in and around the home are boosting moral, not to mention property value. The obvious limitations on international travel have further solidified the idea of placing more stock on principle residences. Instead of an all-inclusive trip to the Caribbean, people are remodeling backyards, in preparation for staycations. 

With millions of people still working from home, we are putting much more stock in the place they work, live, and play. We’ve seen a huge shift of people moving away from downtown condos to suburban and rural properties. The idea of cashing out of a Toronto condo for more space, for less money, is extremely attractive to many. Especially to those who no longer require close proximity to office buildings and places work. The economic theory of agglomeration has been completely turned upside down, and Guelph Real Estate has greatly benefited from it.

This summer saw the highest housing prices ever in Guelph. For the first time, the average sale price in Guelph exceed $600k. Fueled by record low interest rates, and a desire for more space, Guelph Real Estate has arguably never been as competitive as it was in Summer 2020. 

Another trend that emerged from the pandemic is panic buying. What started with toilet paper and puzzles, turned into puppies. Puppy adoption numbers spiked approximately 40% above the mean in Canada. This, further contributing to the trend of moving away from city centres, electing for more space and privacy that suburbs and rural areas offer.

From a home buyers perspective, wish lists look different in a post COVID-19 “new normal”. Separate home offices, play areas for kids, and private outdoor spaces are now must-haves. Homes are no longer just a place to sleep. They are now our offices, gyms, schools, parks, restaurants, and movie theatres. Even with hopes of a vaccine, the home is, and will continue to be sacred.

As REALTORS®, we’re posed with new challenges. We’re now searching for your new home, which doubles as your office, gym, school, park, restaurant, and movie theatre. It’s a part of our new normal, as well as yours. And the team at Planet Realty is capable and ready to assist you in navigating your next move.

Monday, September 14, 2020