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Ontario housing markets to lead Canada heading into 2021

Ontario housing markets to lead Canada heading into 2021

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Ontario housing markets to lead Canada heading into 2021

Housing markets across Canada are expected to remain active for the remainder of 2020 due to pent-up demand and low inventory levels – with price growth in Ontario leading the way, according to a new report from ReMax Canada.

The ReMax Fall Market Outlook Report forecasts the average sale price in Canada could increase by 4.6 per cent during the remainder of the year, compared to the 3.7 per cent increase that was predicted in late 2019.

The pandemic has prompted many Canadians to reassess their living situations. According to a survey conducted by Leger on behalf of ReMax, 32 per cent of Canadians no longer want to live in large urban centres, and instead would opt for rural or suburban communities. This trend is stronger among Canadians under the age of 55.

Pent-up demand

“The classically hot spring market that was pushed to the summer months due to the COVID-19 pandemic created a surprisingly strong market across Canada and across all market segments,” says Christopher Alexander, executive vice-president and regional director, ReMax of Ontario-Atlantic Canada. “Looking ahead, government financial aid programs may be coming to an end in September, which could potentially impact future activity. However, the pent-up demand and low inventory dynamic may keep prices steady and bolster activity for the remainder of 2020. Overall, we are very confident in the long-term durability of the market.”

Not only are Canadians more motivated to leave cities, but changes in work and life dynamics have also shifted their needs and wants for their homes. According to the survey, 44 per cent of Canadians would like a home with more space for personal amenities, such as a pool, balcony or a large yard.

Ontario housing market

With Ontario one of the provinces hit hardest by the pandemic, markets such as Niagara, Mississauga and Kitchener-Waterloo experienced significant drops in activity, but bounced back aggressively in June as economies began to reopen. Toronto continues to be a sellers’ market, with low listing inventory and high demand. An uptick in new listings is anticipated for fall, now that buyers and sellers are more comfortable engaging in the housing market. ReMax estimates a five-per-cent increase in average residential sale price in Toronto for the remainder of the year, with the potential for modest price increases of up to six per cent in regions such as Hamilton, Brampton and London.

Luxury market thriving

Canada’s overall luxury market has remained strong throughout the pandemic, with market conditions unchanged from the beginning of the year in most regions.

The luxury segment in Toronto is considered balanced, with Vancouver pushing into a sellers’ market. Vancouver is beginning to see more interest from move-up buyers instead of the foreign buyers who drove demand in Vancouver’s luxury market prior to COVID-19. This was likely due to travel restrictions brought on by the pandemic. In Toronto, activity was slower than usual this spring as buyers did not have any urgency to transact during the pandemic.

Luxury housing in secondary markets such as Hamilton is seeing a slight uptick in activity, with high-end buyers seeking more square footage and larger properties outside of city centres. Hamilton has experienced an increase in buyer interest from residents from Brampton and Mississauga looking to relocate to the region.


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COVID-19 and condos, here’s what owners can expect during the pandemic

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COVID-19 and condos, here’s what owners can expect during the pandemic

While COVID-19 has impacted all facets of life, health and safety concerns have perhaps been the most pressing issue for condominium corporations. How have these boards reacted to the pandemic, and what can owners expect?

A. Amendments to the CONDOMINIUM ACT, 1998 (THE ACT)

Earlier this year, the government of Ontario passed a bill to amend the Act with several temporary changes to help condo communities more easily navigate the COVID-19 pandemic.

The amendments included:

a. Delaying annual general meetings (AGMs) if the deadline fell within the emergency period, or up to 30 days after the emergency period ended;
b. Holding and voting at owner’s meetings by telephonic or electronic means; and
c. Using electronic means to deliver meeting-related materials (such as meeting notices) to unit owners and mortgagees.

The emergency has ended and Ontario proclaimed Bill 195 and all the exceptions are gone. Your condominium board must hold its AGM with new deadlines, and in order to not contravene the Act by having too many people present in an AGM scenario, boards need to pass an electronic bylaw to have a virtual AGM.

This is something to check on in a new or resale purchase. That is why we have lawyers.

B. Cleaning

Cleanliness and sanitization have also become an important concern for owners and residents alike. A recent Toronto bylaw mandated that apartment owners:

a. Provide hand hygiene stations in all essential common area rooms that remain open (such as laundry areas);
b. Close non-essential common areas and other high traffic areas to be consistent with provincial restrictions, with these common areas remaining closed until provincial restrictions are lifted;
c. Add a schedule for the cleaning of frequently-touched surfaces in common areas (such as doorknobs, elevator buttons, light switches, toilet handles, counters, hand rails, touch screen surfaces and keypads), and disinfectants twice daily and when visibly dirty;
d. Comply with the schedule added to the cleaning plan; and
e. Post Toronto Public Health signage as recommended by the Medical Officer of Health.

While the bylaw applies only to apartment buildings, many condominiums have adapted similar guidelines to keep all individuals within their community safe. We encourage you to see what the condominium you are looking to purchase, new or resale, is doing to protect your safety.

C. Masks and face coverings and safe practices

Multiple municipalities have also recently passed bylaws that require individuals to wear face masks in indoor public spaces. If your condo has a rule in place about wearing masks in the common areas (lobbies, elevators, laundry rooms and stairwells) the owners and residents must follow the rule. Look to see if the condominium you want to purchase has a rule requiring the use of a face mask or covering.

Condo corporations should be installing washing stations, in order that you can wash your hands often as you go through the building, elevators, garbage room, lobby and other publically accessed areas. The condominium corporation should be taking steps to outline social distancing on the floor, regulating elevator use and numbers in elevators.

When buying resale, you should check to see what steps the condominium corporation has taken to protect the people who live there. For new-home buyers, look to see what the builder is doing to guarantee the safety of those buying. Are the halls wide enough? Are there enough elevators? What is in the bylaws and rules to protect the owner? Is the builder contemplating ensuring that the building will be COVID-19- protected and operated safely?

You have a voice. Lobby your board to take steps to protect you and to institute these protective measures. When purchasing new, tell the builder this is your concern and ask what they are doing. When buying resale, inquire about existing safety protocols.

Jayson Schwarz LLM and Jacqueline Moneta are with Schwarz Law LLP. To suggest topics for future columns or ask questions, visit schwarzlaw.ca or email info@schwarzlaw.ca.

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Overcome by pandemic worry? Here's how to put an end to the stress

Overcome by pandemic worry? Here’s how to put an end to the stress

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Overcome by pandemic worry? Here’s how to put an end to the stress

Many Canadians are experiencing higher than usual levels of stress and worry during the pandemic – from our own well-being, to that of our loved ones, to the economy. But a new book says that doesn’t have to be the case, and explains how you can control, if not end, the unnecessary angst.

Photo: iStockPhoto.com
Photo: iStockPhoto.com

Karen McGregor, author of The Tao of Influence: Ancient Wisdom for Modern Leaders and Entrepreneurs, due out in September, says not only does all this worry come at a high cost to our health, it’s a symptom of a bigger problem.

“First, worrying drastically suppresses your immune system. You could eat the world’s cleanest diet, but if you worry all the time, you’re basically saying, ‘No, thanks, organic veggies and fruit, I’m choosing the greasy burger joint down the street.’ That’s what the stress of worry does to our bodies.”

In addition, she says, worry is just another word for fear, which keeps us from being fully present. “When we’re not fully present, we’re disconnected from our primal power, which is love power, and that means we can’t be our healthiest and happiest selves and have a positive influence on those around us.”

Her book lays out a path – rooted in the ancient wisdom of the 4,000-yearold Tao Te Ching – for identifying and breaking the “power patterns” that undermine your influence, create dysfunctional relationships, and otherwise squelch your potential.

The bottom line: Even right now – especially right now – we need to break the bonds of worry and create a healthier, happier life.

She offers these tips:

First, understand why worry happens.

Worry is a mechanism of the mind that is designed to keep you exactly where you are. By mulling over a situation without a solution, you are not changing and not acting. This is the mind’s nature; its job is to keep you safe from perceived harm. While that can serve its purpose if we are in imminent danger, the reality is that it blocks us from creativity, productivity and following our dreams.

Tune into the channel you’ve been listening to for years.

Pay attention to your thoughts and feelings and see if you start to notice a pattern. At the heart of your worrying could be blame or judgment. It could be your need to be right or your need to be a victim to your circumstance by repeating the same story of injustice to anyone who will listen. It could be your need to withdraw from others and live out a pattern of withdrawal and entitlement in which the world owes you something.

Then… dismantle your channel.

Become more aware of how you worry. Does your victim power pattern take hold, or do you pull away from everyone?

Focus on solutions.

Each time you become aware of a worry-filled thought, ask yourself what you’re going to do about it. You can stay helpless by feeling overpowered by worry, or you can take action. At the very least, your action will help you feel less helpless, and at best it can help you shift into a healthier state of mind.

Create a new language.

Language is powerful, whether we are saying those words out loud to others or simply thinking them to ourselves. Replace your go-to “worry words” with words that empower and generate passion and enthusiasm. You are always influencing yourself and others, so get serious about using empowering, positive language.

“Worrying doesn’t fix what’s going on in the world; it only hurts you,” says McGregor. “We’re all facing challenges due to the pandemic, but we don’t have to let worry make them worse. Be gentle with yourself and start making healthier choices. You’ll immediately notice a shift in your outlook. That’s true now, and it will be true long after the pandemic is over.”


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Is there a mass exodus from Toronto in our future?

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Is there a mass exodus from Toronto in our future?

 

Toronto

COVID-19 and this current health crisis has forced many of us to reconsider where and how we should be living, and where and how we should be working. The 400-sq.-ft. downtown condominium unit was perfect for your short walk to work, your access to nearby restaurants and nightclubs, and your short subway ride to your bestie’s house. Now, you’re working from home in a cramped space, your favourite restobar is shut down and you’re afraid to take public transit.

Where is the best place to live in the era of contagious viruses?

Every Torontonian has a slightly different version of this pandemic reconsideration story, with questions such as: Do I want to raise my kids downtown? Do I want to be crammed closely into elevators, streetcars, cubicles or tiny boutique fitness centres? Will a suburban lifestyle keep me and my family safer? Or, will a move to a much smaller municipality outside the GTA be better for our general well-being and health?

Massive shift

We have witnessed a massive shift over the last 20 years, with the complete revitalization of downtown Toronto, the building of new office buildings and especially new highrise condominiums. The city’s population has soared in recent years. Many buyers have chosen to live in downtown condos for lifestyle and environmental reasons, to be walking distance to cafes, shops, parks, friends, hospitals and employment – all while reducing the need for development on the outskirts of the GTA that eats up greenfield lands and increases the reliance on personal automobiles for transport. They don’t want to pay for a parking spot, a car lease, license fees or insurance for a vehicle that sits in a garage most of the day and pumps out pollution the rest of the time.

A second group of people are living in downtown condominiums and rental apartments for affordability reasons, while they would much prefer to live in a single-family detached home in an inner-suburban community with a big backyard and two parking spaces. However, that requires many years to save for, and based on recent trends, that number of years is rapidly increasing. They need to be as close to work as possible to save time and money, and centrally-located highrise buildings fit the need in the short term.

Mass exodus?

Because of COVID-19, some experts are predicting a mass exodus out of Toronto, as people flee for less expensive housing and more rural and isolated locations to escape this deadly virus. If you’re thinking about buying in Toronto, how worried should you be about prices falling due to a major decline in demand as residents pack up and leave?

We will certainly see some of the older residents in the lifestyle group sell their suites and move to the smaller quaint and walkable downtown areas in places such as Peterborough, Brighton, Cobourg, St. Catharines and Niagara-on-the- Lake. However, expect most to stay due to proximity to family and friends, and the unwillingness to start over in a new place, finding doctors and dentists – and even finding the best pizza slice.

The second group, the ones living in Toronto for affordability reasons only, have less ability to move. If you can afford only a $600,000 condo, you have to travel pretty far to get a single-family house for that price, and you better be a handy person for all the work you’ll have to do on it. Secondly, the work-from-home situation isn’t likely to be permanent for most employers, so we hope you like sitting in traffic.

Desirable city

Anyway you slice it, the predicted demise of Toronto is premature. It is one of the most desirable cities in the world to live in. When the borders reopen, expect there to be a backlog of people looking to come here, especially with the social and political unrest south of the border, not to mention the unruly spread of COVID-19.

Don’t be a short-term speculator. Buy for the long term, add value to the property you buy via design, renovations and additions – but stay within your budget. The grass isn’t always greener on the other side, and people’s love of Toronto will ultimately trump their fear of the virus. Good luck.

Ben Myers is President of Bullpen Consulting, a boutique residential real estate advisory firm specializing in condominium and rental apartment market studies, forecasts and valuations for developers, lenders and land owners. bullpenconsulting.ca Twitter@benmyers29

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In Conversation With… Mark Palumbo, Sales Manager, Democrat Homes

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In Conversation With… Mark Palumbo, Sales Manager, Democrat Homes

If COVID-19 has done anything, it’s convinced some homebuyers that more is necessary. Bigger homes, larger lots, more privacy and personal space. Or, as Mark Palumbo, sales manager at Democrat Homes’ Forest Heights Estates development, describes it, to live without being “squished on top of one another.”

Homes Magazine sat down with Palumbo for his insights into these and other matters at Democrat Homes, as well as his background in acting. Yes, acting.

Let’s start with an easy one: How’s business these days?

Business is booming. Our beautiful Forest Heights Estates site is situated 20 minutes north of Barrie in Horseshoe Valley. Every lot that we offer here is nestled into the trees and gives people the space both on their lot and in their home that is so hard to find in the city.

There is no need to live crammed into a subdivision like sardines where you can touch your neighbour’s house from your window. From the minute you drive into the site, the first thing you notice is the incredible towering trees on the 100-ft. frontages each one of our lots provides.

People have really begun to realize that it’s possible to live in a stunning community like this with the space and house you’ve always wanted. The affordability and lifestyle you get with this community is what has fueled the steady traffic we have seen at the model home.

How did the pandemic affect construction and sales at Democrat Homes?

It has been a crazy year! Our model home remained closed through the early months of the pandemic. We were lucky in that construction was one of the few industries allowed to continue working. We have moved to an appointment-based structure at our sales office, which allows us to control the flow of people coming through, as well as effectively clean and sanitize our model home after each visit. We also provide masks, gloves and hand sanitizing stations for people. Safety is a priority, and something we take very seriously.

How has the company ‘pivoted,’ in terms of virtual sales and other changes during the pandemic?

Almost all of the appointments I have now are set up virtually. All the information a potential purchaser needs can be found on democrathomes.com. We made it a priority to make the website as functional and informative as possible. You can view everything from floorplans and site maps to quick move-in options and virtual tours right on the site.

What distinguishes Democrat Homes and its product from what else is available in the market?

Democrat Homes has always prided itself on offering people a better home on an incredible lot for much less money than you could ever hope to find in Toronto markets. We want to show people that the home of your dreams is possible and it’s just an hour away from the city.

But beyond that, we are a familyrun business that cares about our customers and the product we build for them. With so many other home builders out there, the process of buying and designing a new home can be cold and joyless.

We offer a more personal experience that makes buying a home special. I am the purchaser’s main liaison throughout the entire process, from sales to house design. This is the biggest purchase people make in their entire lives, and I strive to make the experience the best it can be.

You’re building in non-GTA markets – Horseshoe Valley and Orillia. How are those markets doing?

Better than ever. In these crazy times, people have begun to realize the importance of working remotely. We offer incredible homes in beautiful areas with the highest quality services around. Bell FIBE is available at all our sites, offering lightning fast Internet speeds, so working from home is an easy transition. Not only do you have the flexibility to realize your remote working options, but our sites are surrounded by the most incredible year-round activities. Lake Simcoe is just 10 minutes away, and our site is situated with direct access to hundreds of kilometres of walking, ATV, snowmobiling and snowshoeing trails. We are a five-minute drive to Horseshoe Valley ski resort and six different golf courses. The possibilities are endless, and the markets reflect that.

Some experts say larger detached homes on sizeable lots, in more remote locations like yours, will be a growing market in future, given everything COVID-19 has taught us in terms of working from home and personal space. How do you see this?

The future is now! COVID-19 has made people understand the issues that come with living squished on top of one another. Democrat Homes offers empty nesters a tranquil setting and stunning home to retire in. We offer families the space for their kids to play and explore nature instead of being cooped up in a small home devoid of living space, or a 500-sq.-ft. apartment. There really is something for everyone here in Forest Heights Estates, and there has never been a better time to make your dream home a reality.

What’s next for Democrat Homes?

We are currently focused on the two brand new sites we have just begun: Forest Heights Estates in Horseshoe Valley, and Professor’s Walk in Orillia. But, the future looks bright! We plan to be providing quality-built homes to the people of Ontario for many years to come.

And on a personal note…

When I’m not at the office, I am: A husband and soon to be father!

My greatest inspiration in this business is: My father, who started this business with my uncle almost 20 years ago now. He is the best man I know, and I have learned so much from him. He inspires me every day to be better at everything I do, from our business to home life.

If I wasn’t in the homebuilding industry, I would: Be an actor. I studied acting at an arts high school in Toronto, then went on to get a university degree in dramatic arts. I’ve been in a ton of plays, commercials and even had a TV show all about Canadian beer that I cohosted with my brother Chris.

Portfolio

Forest Heights
Horseshoe Valley
Estate homes

Professor’s Walk
Orillia
Detached homes

democrathomes.com

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Virtual care during COVID

New resources for virtual health care during COVID-19

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New resources for virtual health care during COVID-19

Have you tried to get a doctor’s appointment during COVID-19, even once the restrictions began to lift? Easier said than done, eh?

As concerns rise over the well-being of Canadians, leading mental health and substance use organizations are highlighting the value of virtual care during the pandemic. When it is difficult for caregivers and clients to meet in person, technology can enable them to meet virtually.

Photo: bigstockphoto.com
Photo: bigstockphoto.com

A new resource, Virtual Care for Mental Health and Substance Use During COVID-19 highlights the importance of seeking care and support early on, and provides information on how to access the many virtual care options available, to help people in Canada, including the new Wellness Together Canada portal.

“Recent polling conducted for the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) by Nanos Research tells us that, while the mental health of people in Canada is worsening, access to online services remains low,” says Louise Bradley, MHCC president and CEO.

The Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA) – in partnership with the MHCC, the Canadian Society of Addiction Medicine, The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre and the Canadian Psychological Association – developed this resource to address concern that people in Canada may not be seeking or accessing help for mental health and substance use issues.


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BILD construction survey

Survey shows almost 500 projects delayed due to COVID-19

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Survey shows almost 500 projects delayed due to COVID-19

A majority of residential construction projects in the GTA have been delayed due the COVID-19 Pandemic, according to a survey from The Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD).

BILD construction survey

The survey covered 498 active projects (276 in Toronto) representing 156,000 units at various stages of construction. These interruptions will have far reaching impacts on housing supply in an already tight market and will have negative financial impacts on government coffers.

The residential construction industry was granted essential workplace status under Ontario’s emergency orders during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the industry was only able to complete homes that were near completion. Nevertheless, overall development and building projects across the region were delayed.

Slowed processing

“One might ask, if the building industry was granted essential workplace status, why are there new housing slowdowns,” says BILD President and CEO Dave Wilkes. “The response is a bit complicated. Disruptions to the supply chain negatively impacted the ability of the industry to secure vital building materials. Worksites had to appropriately adjust to COVID-19 protocols, as social distancing rules negatively impacted productivity and some municipalities had to adjust to working remotely. This slowed processing of planning and building applications and stalled developments and construction projects.”

The survey found that 65 per cent of projects in Toronto reported interruptions of three to six months, and 32 per cent were greater than six months. Eighty-three per cent of not yet above grade projects reported delays of three to six months, and 11 per cent are greater than six months. Eighty-five per cent of projects under construction permitted for above grade reported a delay of three to six months, and five per cent are greater than six months.

Significant losses

Altus Group estimates that these holdups will result in the loss of about 9,000 housing starts over the course of the next 18 months. This will set back occupancy of more than 8,000 units by the end of 2021, potentially exacerbating an already existing shortage of housing in Toronto, reduce construction activity and see the loss of 10,000 jobs per year.

“Now more than ever, all levels of government must work together to make sure that proper measures are in place to remove barriers that will unlock consumer and industry construction investments to help kick-start the economy,” adds Wilkes.


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Something's up in Muskoka

Property prices in Ontario’s Lakelands region seeing a surge

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Property prices in Ontario’s Lakelands region seeing a surge

If you’ve ever thought about buying a property in Muskoka – either recreational or permanent residence – this may be your time.

Despite the pandemic, property prices in the Lakelands region (Muskoka, Haliburton, Orillia and Parry Sound) are seeing a surge.

Photo: Liana Miglin
Photo: Liana Miglin

Muskoka, always a much sought-after hot spot, saw non-waterfront property prices jump 8.3 per cent in May 20 to $420,868, from $388,750 in May 2019. Waterfront properties rose 3.9 per cent to $727,500 from $700,500 over the same period.

“The pandemic has helped people realize that now is the time to make the move,” Catharine Inniss, broker at Johnston & Daniel Rushbrooke Realty, and president of the Lakeland Association of Realtors, told Active Life. “Employers have realized that telecommuting works beautifully, so people can now live here year-round and work remotely.”

Vacation properties such as cottages, mind you, are often among the first to be hit in the event of a market downtown. But this is where supply and demand comes into play.

“There are a limited number of properties here, and this area is world famous for good reason,” says Inniss.

Muskoka and other parts of the Lakeland region are also seeing developers come in with new home options.


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Boost your immune system through exercise

Boost your immune system through exercise

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Boost your immune system through exercise

We are living in a new world where terms such as social distancing, lockdown, shelter in place and flattening the curve are all part of our lexicon. COVID-19 is global, effecting all races, socioeconomic status and mostly all ages. However, the aging population is at higher risk for developing serious complications.

Photo: bigstockphoto.com
Photo: bigstockphoto.com

Your first line of defense

The immune system is an intricate response system that even science is continually studying, as it is not fully understood. Your first line of defense is to follow a healthy lifestyle.

  • Do not smoke
  • Diet high in fruits and vegetables
  • Exercise regularly
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • If you drink alcohol, drink in moderation
  • Get adequate sleep
  • Wash hands frequently
  • Minimize stress

We are living in a stressful time where many of our most common de-stressors have been removed – time with family and community, traditional forms of exercise and spiritual venues. Stay connected through technology or your phone. Schedule regular calls or video chats with loved ones. If you are struggling with anxiety or depression, please go to camh.ca for great advice and resources.

Current challenges at the time of writing are that gyms and some outdoor spaces are closed. Even when they reopen, some of us may be understandably nervous to go back to the social life we lived before.

The benefits of exercise

One of the best ways to combat stress is through exercise, as it:

  • Lowers your body’s stress hormones and blood pressure
  • Improves sleep quality, mood, and feelings of well being
  • Increases strength to perform tasks of daily life, thereby increasing confidence and safety
  • Studies support increasing circulation through exercise the immune system functions more readily

When exercising at home, motivation is a challenge:

  • Set a schedule, same time every day
  • List your goals and follow up
  • Have a workout calendar
  • Play upbeat music, no TV
  • Vary between cardiovascular and resistance training
  • Download an app specifically for a mature population or explore YouTube for follow-along videos such as Pocket Yoga, Pilates-Lumowell, Tai Chi for Seniors or Workout Trainer.

Exercise routine

All exercises should be reviewed online for proper form. Never start a new workout routine against your doctor’s advice.

DAY ONE: Cardiovascular focus (go at a pace that gets the heart rate up but allows for you to speak): 20 repetitions x 4 cycles through:

  • Alternating side reaches with squat between
  • Alternating knee to elbow
  • Squat floor-to-ceiling reach
  • High knee standing march
  • Air boxing

DAY TWO: Resistance training focus: Series of the following, 8 to 12 repetitions x 4 cycles

  • Chair squat
  • Wall pushup or floor knee pushup
  • Crunches (not full sit up)
  • Lying hip bridges
  • Side plank
  • Bird dogs
Agnes Ramsay is a Registered Nurse, Personal Trainer and Wellness Coach who specializes in Electric Muscle Stimulation Training.

agnes.ramsay@xbodyworld.com


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Homebuyer intentions remain stable despite COVID-19: TRREB

Homebuyer intentions remain stable despite COVID-19: TRREB

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Homebuyer intentions remain stable despite COVID-19: TRREB

Homebuyer intentions were understandably affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, but a survey by Ipsos Public Affairs for the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) indicates the pause is purely temporary.

The Consumer Home Buying & Selling Intentions Survey captured home buying and selling intentions, along with consumer opinions on preferred government policy directions related to the housing market.

“While COVID-19 has temporarily impacted home sales and listings in the GTA, the Ipsos survey results that show homebuying intentions have remained quite stable certainly suggest that many people will be looking to satisfy pent-up demand for ownership housing once recovery starts to take hold,” says TRREB President Michael Collins.

“As people gradually return to work, consumer confidence will improve, and a growing number of people will look to take advantage of very low borrowing costs to purchase a home. Home purchases will continue to be aided by the use of technology available to realtors, including live-stream open houses.”

GTA-wide, 27 per cent of survey respondents said they were likely (very likely or somewhat likely) to purchase a home in the next 12 months. While buying intentions were down compared to spring 2019 (31 per cent likely), they remained relatively in line with the five-year trend.

Home purchasing intentions were above the GTA average in Toronto (34 per cent), for younger people aged 18 to 34 (45 per cent) and households with children (37 per cent).

The most common reason for not intending to purchase a home over the next 12 months was that they liked their current home (62 per cent). General affordability issues were also a common response. COVID-19-related issues influenced 16 per cent of respondents who indicated that they were unlikely to purchase a home.

“The supply of listings was an issue before the onset of COVID-19, with market conditions tightening and price growth accelerating throughout the first quarter of 2020,” says Jason Mercer, TRREB’s chief market analyst.

“The Ipsos survey results suggest that the supply of listings will continue to be an issue as the economy and housing market recovers,” Mercer adds. “Policy makers have acknowledged that there is a lack of a diverse housing supply in the GTA. While the supply issue has understandably taken a back seat to COVID-related issues in the short term, it should once again be top-of-mind once recovery takes hold.”


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