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The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly changed the world as we know it. Physically distancing from others in our community has been difficult for many but this does not mean we cannot lean in and help others. For weeks, the Canadian Government and Provincial health authorities have been asking its citizens to stay home and stay safe in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19.

For many of us, "Shelter in Place" means time at home with our kids, loved ones or pets, groceries delivered, an inviting couch with endless Netflix streams and a warm bed at night. Being "stuck at home" really means staying safe at home. But what about those among us whose home was never a safe place?

Our support of local women's shelters remains a core value of our team and we are committed to continuing our work with them. Currently, there is an urgent need for care packages for women who have recently escaped domestic violence and for those in third stage housing complexes. These are vulnerable women and children in our communities who had very few resources to begin with while trying to seek safety in a shelter. Our team is working diligently to collect the following items:  

Care Package Components:

  • bottles of bleach-based Fantastic spray disinfectant cleaner

  • containers of disinfecting wipes 

  • packages of toilet paper

  • liquid hand soap

  • hand sanitizer

  • small bottles of bleach

  • packages/bottles of laundry soap

  • $25 grocery and pharmacy gift cards (these need to all be in the same increments; $25 each

  • adult colouring books with markers/pencil crayons

  • activity kits and other self-care items to pass the time in self-isolation

April 9th update from the shelters:
As the days fly by, so do our needs.

This is the latest list that we put together today.

Cridge Transition House could really use:

               Wal-Mart cards

               Gas cards

               Cleaning supplies: All-purpose spray cleaners, bathroom spray cleaners, disposable cleaning cloths, etc.

               We have a good supply of disinfectant concentrate that we mix up in spray bottles but if anyone can source disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer that would be amazing.

Cridge Supportive Transitional Housing could really use:

               Pre-paid VISA or Mastercard cards (many places not handling cash now, and to pay for groceries on-line, WIFI needed now kids are doing school remotely and other materials for home learning, etc)

               Lap tops for kids to connect to school

The Cridge web site now has a new donation page for the gift card campaign from 3 stores: Walmart, Thrifty’s and Fairway.

Gas cards and pre-paid VISA or Mastercard cards cannot be purchased on our donation page.


We want to make it easy for you to help! Do you have any of these items at your home or are you able to add them to your next grocery shop? We will arrange for a contactless porch pick up from you!

Our team members will be driving around Greater Victoria this Friday & Saturday afternoon between 2-4pm to pick up items. If either of these days/times do not work for you, please reach out to our team and we will arrange for an alternate pick-up. 

These are truly difficult times, and for those who are most vulnerable, including women and their children impacted by domestic violence, the days are extremely challenging. Please consider donating care package items as a way to stay connected to your community in a time where we must stay (physically) apart. We are all in this together. Stay home. Stay healthy. Stay kind.

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We are in unprecedented times since the outbreak of COVID19 in the Victoria real estate market. Our team has had a few questions being asked by our clients, so we thought we would address them here and give our insights. Read on for answers to the following questions:

Why do I keep seeing new listings popping up in my neighbourhood?

What is the market doing right now?

Are we going to see housing prices go down in Victoria?

With interest rates being low, is now a good time to buy real estate?

Is the Modern Real Estate Team still open for business?

Why do I keep seeing new listings popping up in my neighbourhood?

It's natural to feel a bit shocked when a new sign pops up in your neighbourhood, especially since we are all being told to stay home, and to social distance. There are a number of good reasons why a new listing would be listed now. First, real estate has been deemed an essential service. Housing is a basic need, and people will continue to need to buy and sell for various reason including some of the following:

  • Some people bought a home before COVID19 broke out, and they are not in a position to carry two mortgages. They would have to list their home in order to sell it before they take ownership of their next home
  • If a home is vacant because it is an estate sale, the executors may have the home on the market because they do not intend to rent it
  • Family reconfigurations such as divorce, separation, or growing family, could cause a family to list their occupied home for sale
  • If someone has lost their job due to the pandemic, or has run into financial hardship, this could be a reason they are ready to list and sell their property
  • If a tenanted property has become vacant and the owners no longer want to be landlords, they may list their vacant home for sale
  • If someone is relocating to Victoria for work, or being relocated out of the city, then we may see real estate transact for this reason as well

What is the market doing right now?

The short answer, is we do not know what the market will do in a medium to long term sense from this pandemic. There are so many variables to consider and unfortunately our crystal ball is not working at the moment! Here are some of our observations about the current market conditions:

  • We are seeing a decrease in the level of activity (less sales overall)
  • The number of new listings coming on the market is dropping, and many listings are being cancelled
  • The demand for housing is also dropping, as buyer are waiting on the sidelines to wait this out and see what happens. 
  • Right now the reduction in supply, and reduction in demand seems to be matched.
  • The market over all appears to be balanced (neither buyers or sellers have more leverage over each other)
  • Keep in mind, when we look at pricing of properties, we look into the micro market, comparing comparable locations and product types. Each area and product type will have it's own market, and so please reach out to us if you need more specific advice. 

The next question that always comes up is....

Are we going to see housing prices go down in Victoria?

  • This is a hard question to answer because the short answer is we do not know
  • For prices to drop, we have to see an increase in the number of listings (supply) and continued reduction in the demand for housing
  • Our experience with the real estate prices in Victoria is that they shoot up like a rocket, and drop like a feather. 
  • Our experience after the last market correction we had in Victoria was after the financial market crash in 2008. We saw an immediate reduction in activity (end of 08) followed by a very strong rebound in the real estate market (2009-2010) due to the pent up supply and demand from the lack of activity. Prices then started to decline gradually between summer of 2010-end of 2015.
  • There are so many factors that can cause prices to go up or down, and no one has all the answers. Markets are very complex and the desire to buy or sell real estate will depend on the labour market, global market factors, and financial markets. 

With interest rates being low, is now a good time to buy real estate?

  • Interest rates have been very low for quite some time
  • What is being advertised in the media, is not often matched by what a bank or lender is offering
  • Check with your mortgage professional to see what you qualify for, and what the best rate is for you
  • Most people are only buying if they have to right now
  • We are encouraging everyone to put public safety first and hold off on looking at real estate if you don't have to move
  • Ask yourself if you need to move now? If the answer is yes, we are here to help you and ensure the process is conducted in a safe way. 

Is the Modern Real Estate Team still open for business?

We are here to help our clients with their essential moves. If you're feeling anxious or stressed about the market uncertainty, please do not hesitate to reach out to us if you have questions or if you just need someone to talk to. We care about our clients and are here to help you navigate your decision making process. We want everyone to stay as healthy and safe as possible! If you're curious about what the new process of buying and selling real estate is right now, please reach out and we can go through some of our safety procedures and new protocol. 

Lastly, if you or a family member in another city need some guidance, we would love to connect you with one of our Royal LePage colleagues that we trust. We have some great connections all across Canada that can guide you through this uncertain time with professionalism, integrity and above all else, keeping safety and your health in mind. 

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