Certainly interesting times for everyone over the past 2 months but hopefully to quote B.C.'s provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry we have reached "the end of our beginning of this pandemic". Prior to the COVID outbreak, our local real estate market was definitely heating up with low inventory, high demand and upward pressure on pricing particularly in the sub 1 million dollar market. It was expected to be a very busy spring market and great for home owners selling. Once we entered a state of emergency however, most price ranges of the market slowed significantly with very little activity both on the listing and sales side. With great uncertainty and fear, it is understandable that this resulted in home owners delaying putting their house up for sale or having very restricted showings. Similarly, buyers were reluctant to go out to view homes so hence the grinding halt to activity. It is important to note that prices have decreased very little over this time and while there have been some examples of distressed sales with sellers who needed to transact, that has not correlated to a market wide reduction in prices. Be wary of media reporting staggering drops in real estate... that refers to volume and not pricing!
It is interesting to note that smaller/lower priced markets outside of the GTA have seen significantly more activity through out the COVID crisis as have other markets in other regions of Canada. This may be accredited to less dense populations feeling more secure in continuing to move forward or perhaps just the lower priced market has great buoyancy. We certainly don't profess to have a crystal ball but as government restrictions loosen, we are optimistic that the spring market may simply be displaced back into summer or early fall, at which time an enormous amount of pent up demand, historically low interest rates and a continued favourable immigration view will kickstart our housing market back into action. We are already beginning to witness minor increases in sales volume and showing activity (see Showing Time figure below).
If you have any questions at all or would like to receive a complimentary virtual pricing evaluation of your home, please don’t hesitate to contact us!
Blair & Peter