How the pandemic will impact the housing market


Published May 15, 2020 at 12:07 am

While it appears the Province is working towards slowly reopening businesses and regaining some semblance of normalcy, it’s become abundantly clear it will take some time for things to return to th

While it appears the Province is working towards slowly reopening businesses and regaining some semblance of normalcy, it’s become abundantly clear it will take some time for things to return to the way there were—if they do at all.

This pandemic will undoubtedly change the way we do so many things including work, socialize, shop, and so much more.

It’s already had a substantial impact on the housing market, and it’s expected to have an even bigger impact moving forward. has been tracking the data, and has put together a list of predictions for how the real estate market—for both renting and buying a house—will change.

“ has experienced its all-time high in traffic numbers in the first week of May surging 59 per cent compared to the first week of April,” Matt Danison, CEO of, said in a blog post.

“Renters who put off moving when the pandemic hit are now starting to resume their apartment search in the hopes that Canada’s lockdown will end in the coming weeks,” he continued.

Post pandemic, location will be a much bigger factor for those looking for a place to live.

Places close to where people buy groceries, shop, and work will be much more sought-after, according to the data from—13.5 per cent more Canadians say they care about proximity now than before the pandemic started.

Virtual tours and leasing are likely to be embraced by both tenants and landlords after the pandemic.

While 3-D and virtual tours have been around for a while, they will likely increase significantly in popularity, as they will allow people to view properties from their own home—removing the need to commute to a specific location and limiting person-to-person contact.

Additionally, more virtual tours will lead to more mobile-leasing platforms, and more tenants will be paying rent digitally than ever before.

The downside of virtual tours, however, is that landlords could make the space appear larger or smaller than it is, and it offers landlords the ability to only show the parts they want potential tenants to see.

Short-term rentals in urban spaces are also likely to be converted into long-term rentals.

With events such as weddings, conferences, seminars, festivals, and concerts having been put on hold, the need for short-term rentals is not in demand.

This could benefit densely-populated areas such as the GTA, where vacancies are low, and rental prices are high.

The cleaning industry will likely also see significant growth, as apartment buildings will need to be cleaned much more often and thoroughly.

commonly-touched surfaces, such as door handles, door knobs, light switches, elevator buttons, restrooms, laundry rooms, stair railings, common areas, mailboxes, exercise equipment and gyms, and workspaces will need to be disinfected frequently.

This will make cleaning a more involved, and expensive process for landlords and property managers.

Another likely outcome for the post-pandemic world is an increase in claims with the Landlord Tenant Board.

During the pandemic, many people have been laid off, and, as a result, have been unable to pay rent.

The government has assured people they won’t be evicted during the pandemic, but what about immediately after it ends?

Landlords are going to expect tenants to resume paying rent as soon as restrictions are lifted, regardless of whether they have a job.

Additionally, the number of people moving is expected to plummet, as loss of income, economic instability, not to mention quarantine, will incentivize people to stay where they are.

Due to the border closure, there will be fewer immigrants, international students, and seasonal workers, which will likely result in more rental options and cheaper prices—something the GTA could benefit from.

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