It’s time to dust off my crystal ball. Who doesn’t want to know the future? So, the fortune teller known as “The Great Gerry” (me) shall impart his wisdom upon you, loyal subscriber.
Looking back at 2020 – A tale of two half-years…
To help give some context to my forecast, it may help to look back at 2020. WOW, what a crazy year! The first six months can be described as a nervous wreck and the next six months a feeding frenzy. When the Covid-19 lockdown hit around mid-March, tumbleweeds were blowing through the streets of Blue Mountain and Collingwood. Uncertainty and apprehension ruled the day. Buying real estate wasn’t top of mind. Staying healthy by staying away from the Covid-bug was the number one priority. By the time we got to July however, when it seemed the Covid pandemic was under control and dissipating, the market took off as if on rocket fuel. Record prices for condos, townhomes and single-family homes were being set week after week. The market was set ablaze by purchasers who wanted to leave the densely populated cities behind and set up new roots in resort country. People were discovering working remotely actually does work. Why not work from a new home in Blue Mountain? The demand kept increasing and the supply decreasing over the second half of 2020. Good old Economics 101 at work.
Looking forward to 2021 – Another tale of two half-years…
As I write this eNewsletter dear subscriber, Ontario’s premier has just extended the province’s lock-down order to February 11th from the original Boxing Day lockdown. Daily Covid cases are at an all-time high. The Village at Blue Mountain, where my office is located, is a ghost town. It feels like March 2020 all over again. Groundhog Day. If the past is any predictor of the future, the first six months of 2021 will look a lot like the first 6 months of 2020. Real estate purchasers will be in a “wait-and-see” holding pattern. Even though the current market is technically a seller’s market with low inventory, I feel buyers will remain hesitant until they see progress that the Covid pandemic is turning a corner for the better. This all may sound grim, but not to worry, the cavalry is coming! Mass vaccinations are just around the corner. I won’t argue we’ve gotten off to a slow start but there is a big light at the end of the tunnel. Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are getting into the arms of Canadians. AstraZeneca, Janssen and Novavax are working hard to get approval. Johnson & Johnson just announced they are only weeks away from getting a one-shot vaccine approved that can be stored in regular refrigerators. Canada is committed to getting all Canadians who want a vaccine inoculated by the end of September 2021. As more people get vaccinated, the warm weather returns in June and July, people get back to work and we see some sort of return to normalcy, I feel you’ll see the real estate fence sitters make their move and the market will be set ablaze yet again as it was in the second half of 2020. We all want life to return to normal as soon as possible.
Conclusion – Commerce is in our DNA
I’ve heard someone once say, “Toronto is like New York run by the Swiss.” I’ve always liked that expression. My interpretation of it is the good people of Ontario like to work hard, make money and participate in commerce but we like to do it in a fair, orderly fashion. We like to make money and spend it, but in general we’re thoughtful spenders. When we buy something, it better make sense. I believe that working hard and spending the fruits of our labor is part of our culture. When we’re asked or forced not to work and stay home, it rubs us the wrong way. What I’m trying to say is the first 6 months of 2021 with Covid still unchecked will make Ontarians hold their money close, but once we feel safer and more optimistic in the second half of 2021 it will be in our nature to open up our purse strings and get buying again! It’s in our DNA.
Let me know what you think. E-Mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org