Windsor’s COVID Rebound — What Real Estate Investors Should Know

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It’s hard to believe, but we are now more than a year into the Covid-19 pandemic. Thanks to the vaccines developed over the last year, there is light at the end of the tunnel, and it looks like we will come out of this difficult time sooner than later.

We’ve done a great job of adjusting to the pandemic and doing business in spite of it, but the economy still has a long way to go before it is restored to its former state of health.

Let’s take a look at what has transpired and see what we can learn about the market going forward.

At the outset of the pandemic, everything ground to a halt. The market reflected the hard stall that came along with global lockdown. The retail, hospitality, and real estate markets took major losses as people sheltered-in-place and tried to stave off Covid-19’s rapid advance.

As businesses have adapted to Covid-19 and learned to work around the limitations it imposes, some sectors are enjoying a sizable rebound. The success of multiple vaccines has further bolstered a sense of hope and optimism that is driving a steady recovery in Windsor and throughout the world.

Chief among the industries enjoying a much-needed recovery is residential real estate. After home sales plummeted a whopping 54% year-over-year in early quarantine, the residential real estate market is now posting record numbers, with home values soaring more than 30 percent from September 2019 to September 2020. In fact, as of Q4 last year, Windsor became the hottest housing market in Canada.

Unlike the market for single-family homes, the apartment market has taken a hit from the pandemic it has yet to recover from.

Experts chalk much of this loss up to pandemic-related job losses and fewer than normal students in the area due to remote learning.

Mortgage agent Rasha Ingratta told CBC she believes this shift is temporary and that the vaccine will restore the student population as well as warm the job economy in the near future.

For investors looking to maximize appreciation, a well-selected apartment property could be a wise buy at this time. There’s little to indicate that this dip in apartment performance will be anything but temporary.

It is also important to note that many of the bleakest numbers in the rental market do not include single-family home rentals. Many investors have taken the opportunity to buy in at an artificial low point in the Windsor market and use the properties they’ve purchased during quarantine to create rental units.

“I really think this is going to be a temporary shift. I don’t think it’s going to be a long-term shift,” she said. “Right now, vaccines are coming out, things are going to go back to normal, and I think that it’s going to stabilize,” Ingratta said.

We concur. As we’ve discussed in our previous articles, Windsor’s overall demographic and economic trends are on their way up. The pandemic has not changed and cannot change that fact. We would be remiss not to reiterate: this low point cannot last, and now is the time to enter the Windsor market.

Students, immigrants, and retirees continue to make Windsor home, and despite the pandemic, rental prices have continued to go up, making the region an ideal spot for investors.

By the end of 2020, Windsor homes for rent only stayed available for an average of five days. Clearly, demand for rental units remains strong in the area.

The bar for entry in the single-family market is rising quickly, but the commensurate temporary slump we saw in the multifamily market created another artificial valley that will enable you to buy in for lower than the demographics and economic trends suggest you will be able to later on.

Whether you are looking to invest in single-family or multifamily property, this is a great time to invest in Windsor. The window of opportunity is the widest it will be because the metro will only continue to grow, and prices will to continue to rise.

Buying in now will give you time to accomplish any repairs or remodeling your property may need, get your legal and permitting i’s dotted and t’s crossed, and get a handle on your business model and property management strategy.

As an ally to Windsor investors large and small, these are all things MARDA would love to help you with. We provide our clients with valuable guidance, and help them to maximize value from their investments while minimizing their headaches. We can steer you in the right direction because we’ve been in this game for over a decade and have seen the up-and-downs in the Windsor market.

Hiring a management company can help you to avoid legal trouble down the road, add legitimacy to your rental property in tenants’ eyes, and take the headaches out of finding credit-worthy tenants.

Property management companies have all of the technology and service subscriptions necessary to run background checks on potential tenants, saving you the hassle of trying to corral all of those services on your own.

If you do go the management route, choose wisely. You will get what you pay for. If you go for the cheapest option, you may run into trouble down the road. Make sure your management company is trustworthy and that the deal you make is a fair one. We would be happy to evaluate any agreement you are considering.

The pandemic has taken a toll on all of us, but there is no time like the present to right Covid-19’s wrongs. The Windsor real estate market offers a massive opportunity for you to start building long-term wealth for your future. As we’ve said before, we’re here to help. We want you to know that you don’t have to go into this blind. We are a wealth of knowledge for you, and we can’t wait to discuss your goals and dreams with you. Let us help put you on the path to creating a solid passive income stream and wealth tied to real assets in your community.

Picture of Marla Coffin
Marla Coffin

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