You are probably asking yourself in this rapidly changing situation how does the current crisis effect real estate and me? The current market has gone into a slow stall with sellers trying to establish safe methods of having their homes shown, while buyers are cautiously watching the market and interest rates to see if there will be a favourable time to buy.
What we know for now is that Real Estate in BC has been declared an essential service, along with Professional services including lawyers & accountants, land registration services, construction work, insurance plus building code inspectors.
This does not mean business as usual for Realtors, however it grants Realtors the privilege to continue to practice real estate in a socially responsible manner in strict adherence to the Provincial Health Officer’s orders. This includes limiting in-person interaction as much as possible and following physical distancing requirements until the state of emergency is lifted. In additions, tenants must provide consent for any showings of rental properties.
The new normal will be for homes to be shown via virtual tours, with descriptive floor plans and the bulk of the contact between clients and Realtors to be done by email, phone, Facetime or some form of video chat. Fortunately we are all used to using Docu-sign to facilitate ease in signing contracts. Going forward, home purchases will be subject to inspection to ensure that there is an actual hands-on viewing of the home by a professional prior to subject removal.
So this means for a Buyer who needs a home and a Seller who must sell, your Realtor will facilitate the transactions within the safe guidelines mandated.
For me, I am focusing on the positives. For every challenge, there is opportunity. That can look like rejoicing in your time at home, discovering new pleasure in cooking, gardening or time with family & pets. We can help those in need by assisting with food gathering for the local food bank or fundraising for local charities. Thank goodness it is spring with longer sunlit days and warmer climates. I am also so grateful to be Canadian, to live in BC and I look forward to the time when we can literally “meet again”
Stay safe, talk soon, Eleanore
The current late spring market is definitely quieter than some previous years. In all sectors; detached, condos & townhouses we see increasing supply, less sales, longer days on market and softening of prices.
According to Ashely Smith, REBGV president, “Government policy continues to hinder home sale activity. The federal government’s mortgage stress test has reduced buyers’ purchasing power by about 20 per cent, which is causing people at the entry-level side of the market to struggle to secure financing. Suppressing housing activity through government policy not only reduces home sales, it harms the job market, economic growth and creates pent-up demand.”
“There are more homes for sale in our market today than we’ve seen since October 2014. This trend is more about reduced demand than increased supply,” Smith said. “The number of new listings coming on the market each month are consistent with our long-term averages. It’s the reduced sales activity that’s allowing listings to accumulate.”
That being said, the Squamish market is more active that the Lower Mainland market. For homes that are priced well, we are even seeing a few multiple offers. Now more than ever Sellers need to price their homes sensitively otherwise the savvy Buyers are moving on and hunting for deals.
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