There is no doubt that the big real estate crash of a couple years ago redefined the industry in every way possible. From Hawaii to the Hamptons, real estate in North America will never look quite the same again, from the way we borrow money to the prices we pay for homes. The crash highlighted some major discrepancies in the real estate world; some areas are recovering faster than others, some continue to fall in price, others are already recovered. But what can you expect to find in this strange new real estate world?
Generally speaking, the old adage about being safe in a big city (as far as real estate anyway) continues to hold true. Anyone looking through the papers will find that Toronto real estate is back around the same prices it was before the fall. While that may seem like a balanced market, the truth is that you have to consider the fact that a couple years have gone by; trends before the crash would indicate that prices in Moore Park or anywhere else in Toronto should have increased by 50% in that time. So what we may be seeing is that the crash has resulted in compensation for the huge boom which preceded it.
One area that did not seem particularly hit by the real estate crash, at least domestically, was the condo market. From King West to Bay Bloor, condos continued to be popular buys throughout the crash and afterwards in cities such as Vancouver, Montreal, and Toronto. This was not true everywhere, as a look in the States will show that many condo development plans were cancelled over the last three years due to low demand. However, the increased demand for rents has probably resulted in more people buying condos as investment properties in Canada, thus keeping the market stable.
Places such as Cornell Markham and other towns close to large centres have fared well during the crash years as well. People are still looking for homes at great prices near to big cities such as Toronto. Prices in Markham still reflect that, as buyers continue to look at these bedroom communities as further breaks in housing dollar demand.
Real estate brokerages are perhaps a place where most people can see the biggest changes since the crash. Other companies now offer many more options than previously, in order to attract more customers. Menus, rebate programs, and other enticements are starting to get more buyers back into the market.