As precautionary measures to protect Ontario communities increases, we continue to see the closure of more businesses. Up until April 2, all construction was deemed essential and workers were permitted to remain working on site. However, on April 3, 2020, Premier Ford announced that the province will be seeing more sectors of the economy close in response to the coronavirus pandemic. He confirmed the closure of the industrial construction industry in the province on April 4, 2020, for 14 days with a potential expansion if needed to help flatten the curve.
Under Ford’s new orders, only critical construction projects will continue to move forward. While this does include industrial projects like new hospitals, roads, and bridges, this has left many prospective home buyers wondering what exactly this means for the real estate industry.
As of right now, new construction for residential projects will stop. Residential construction that is close to being completed can and will continue.
The following are the different types of residential construction projects that are currently on the essential businesses list and will continue:
- When a footing permit has been granted for single-family, semi-detached, and townhouses
- When an above-grade structural permit has been granted for condominiums, mixed-use, and other buildings
- When the project involves renovation to residential properties and construction work beginning before April 4
Buyers who have already begun the process may be forced to live with delays beyond the construction period originally outlined in their contract. Since the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic, delays are considered unavoidable, which allows builders to extend dates without requiring buyer approval.
For buyers who are considering purchasing new projects that are just now for sale or who are about to launch, there are some things to keep in mind. Be sure that you are flexible enough for project delays. Delays are expected at this point, but the length is still unknown – buyers could be facing years. Another thing buyers should do is check and see if the builder got their permits before these measures were enforced.
Do your research because real estate is a long-term investment and preparation will save you headaches in the long run.
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