We are living in an unprecedented time – a new chapter in history. Every moment of the day has been changed by COVID-19 – from all the activities which we enjoyed to even valuable time with family and friends. We hear stories about real estate – from articles in the paper, radio, and TV…. but what does all this mean and how do the facts align with potential fiction? A couple of things are true – a) The real estate market is currently one of the strongest “Selling” markets we have seen in a couple of decades. b) Mortgage interest rates are the lowest we have seen in decades. As a point of interest, I remember selling real estate when interest rates were 22% – can you imagine?? And today, you can negotiate to potentially 4% or lower.
So where is the fiction? a) Prices will not go up for ever; b) Interest rates will not always stay at these low levels. c) There are several potential issues which could disrupt the economy going forward.
Supply and demand
As mentioned, this market is based on an economic principal “supply and demand” …we currently have limited supply vs. consistent demand. If one looks at the statistics for the past year, one can clearly see the drop in available properties, i.e., listings are way down. However, with most people working from home, there has been a lot of discussion about the need for extra space… more communal and family relaxation space. The term “staycation” is very popular… so suddenly, swimming pools are very popular whereas a couple of years ago, they were very difficult to sell. Recreation space, bigger back yards, patio space, and porch space has been in demand. There is another element to this equation and that is the demographic shift which is occurring. The older generation and the baby boomers have been staying in their homes because the living options tend to be more in congregate settings – such as condominiums, apartments, or senior’s accommodation, which in this current COVID-19 time is somewhat worrisome – even though possibly less work. At the same time, the younger generation is exploring the purchase of their first home and as mentioned are struggling to find something that meets their budget requirements.
What this all means is …. if you are thinking about selling…. get good advice relative to price and expectations. Now is definitely the time to sell and move forward. However, make sure you have a plan…. where are you going to move to?? Another popular trend at the moment is “Multi Generation Living” which means that often families of different generations share a home. Do not worry about potential buyers walking thru your home because the technology is wonderful. A lot of home selling is done virtually now. There are amazing “walk thru” presentations online so a benefit of Covid is some of the new technology. However, before an offer is drafted, a potential Buyer should always walk thru the property…. cameras can not always identify everything that a Buyer may like or find distracting. Room sizes, colours, windows, or other important items such as roofing, eaves, electrical service may not be as clear as when one is viewing a home in person. If you have been thinking of selling….do not hesitate…. now is the time.
By Judy Marsales, Broker of Record
Judy Marsales Real Estate Ltd.