Some business sectors are thriving despite COVID-19 pandemic

by | Dec 18, 2020 | News

Airlines, the travel sector and restaurants are some of the many industries that have been hit by the pandemic.

Kala Narayanan, owner and founder of EUROJETS Canada Inc., said sales have dropped to “next to nothing.”

“It has been zero sales literally from March,” she said.

But others, including real estate, insurance and information technology are booming.

“We have exceeded last year’s numbers,” said Charles Park, a GTA manager and broker at RE/MAX West Realty Inc. “The business is up by 24.3 per cent compared to last year.”

Park said the residential real estate industry is doing very well. In November 2019, almost 7,000 properties were sold at an average price of almost $845,000. This November, almost 9,000 properties were sold at an average price of about $955,000.

The Toronto Regional Real Estate Board reported in October there were 2,118 more homes sold than in October 2019. It isn’t the only board to report a better year. The Oakville, Milton and District Real Estate Board showed a 154 per cent increase in sales in November than the previous year.

However, there are winners and losers within industries, Park said. In real estate, condominium markets are suffering because of lockdowns.

Harsimran Sira, a realtor at SAVEMAXX, said even without open houses new listings are selling with multiple offers.

“When the pandemic started in March, there was a pause, a freeze in the market until June,” he said. “As soon as the lockdown (was) over, people flooded the markets, which brought the value of the homes up by $30,000-to-$40,000.”

He said the boom is based on the usual equation of supply and demand, with fewer homes for sale and low-interest rates on mortgages.

Harmel Johal, a Mississauga realtor at RE/MAX Paramount Realty, said the Bank of Canada has lowered rates which caused a “surge in real estate and mortgage markets.”

Information technology is also going strong despite the pandemic.

Mukund Mishra, a business analyst at Tech Mahindra, said there is increased demand for IT services as more and more people work remotely. For him, that’s been good news.

He has plenty of business and “is working virtually, hence able to spend more time with my family and I also get time to upgrade my skills by enrolling for various programs.”

Sanjeev Malik, an insurance and financial advisor, said the industry has been highly profitable during the pandemic as more people buy life and critical illness insurance. He said there has been a significant increase in policy sales this year compared to 2019.