Hey everyone! We hope you have had a great fall thus far and been able to enjoy the beautiful fall colours outside (socially distanced, of course) and enjoy nature before the rain and snow arrive. We have been busier than ever in real estate as both Buyers and Sellers all across the region have a real sense of urgency to get a deal done.
There have been many questions about how the pandemic is going to affect real estate during the fall/winter months, so for this month’s blog, we are going to show you the numbers, why YOU should be excited, and provide tips to help you when Buying and Selling this winter.
When The Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) forecasted that COVID-19 would bring a historic recession, it had many people worried. The great news is that there has been no slow down in the real estate market as of yet, and it looks like there will not be for a while.
In September, we reached record levels for home sales in the Metro Vancouver region, numbers that are making it seem like we are in the heart of a typical summer.
As you can see, when comparing September home sales year-over-year, the difference is astronomical, plus 1,310, something that we have never seen before. Then comparing September to August 2020 (the busiest summer month), 596 homes sold was the difference, incredible!
What is driving the surge? Low-interest rates and how safe of a city/region we are, as we have handled the pandemic much better compared to other areas.
Things really started to change July 1, when the 5-year fixed mortgage rate dropped below 2% for the first time ever in Canada, and just to give you an idea:
On July 1, the 5-year fixed-rate became 1.99%, a historic low which knocked people off their chair. Now, they are between 1.60% and 1.64%, as of October 13, 2020.
You may want to read that again.
While no one can predict the future and where things will be, come 2021, the sales surge is forecasted to continue into next year, and with the continuance of a recovering, interest rates will continue to be low, which will drive demand.
“Unlike in a typical recession, many of the job losses have been felt in lower-wage, frontline service sector jobs, typically held by younger workers. Higher-wage sectors that tend to drive the ownership market have seen employment levels fully recover. As a result, sales activity has spiked as record-low mortgage rates unleashed a wave of pent-up demand previously sidelined by the pandemic.”
Here are some tips to help you Buy and Sell this winter.
Start the process as soon as possible.
With so much activity, it may be tough to get an inspection or approval right away, or even get things fast-tracked with your lender due to the increase we have seen, so start as soon as you can!
Ask for virtual/video tours.
This has now become huge with all Buyers and Sellers, and you should never be forced to do an in-person walkthrough. This should be one of the first things you bring up with your realtor before starting the process.
You never know what tomorrow’s interest rates will be.
As they say in poker, “take advantage of the table when it is hot!” Interest rates have been volatile, where to maximize your savings and get the most “bang for your buck,” the wait-and-see approach is not one we recommend right now; now is the time to make something happen.
Expect Buyers to be a lot more serious.
The quality of Buyer has gone up significantly since July 1 as the minimum credit score went from 600 to 680, which made it a bit harder to get approved for a loan for some, but made the buyer pool much stronger.
Curb appeal is now more important than ever.
With so much urgency to get a deal done, if the home does not look the part right away, the conversation almost ends there as time is of the essence right now. Make sure you take a weekend to tidy up the front of your home as doing so will garner much more interest.
Check to see where your Buyer’s loan is coming from.
This is an extra measure to make sure you, as the Seller, is fully covered from any hiccups. A Buyer who banks locally, and maybe has built a personal relationship with the people there, may give those individuals more of a chance to close a deal even though they may have been furloughed a week earlier from the pandemic.
This was an important topic to write about this month as we are entering a time that we have never experienced before in terms of real estate. Buyers are Buying, Sellers are Selling, and with more and more inventory coming available across Metro Vancouver, it looks like the surge is going to continue through until next year.
As they say, “teamwork makes the dream work.” We have been able to help so many people through this time to ensure they get the results they deserve. If you or anyone you know is looking to move, do not keep us a secret!
Your referrals are our biggest compliment!
Get in touch with us via the information below, and remember to stay safe! Talk soon!
T: (604) 720-3659
T: (604) 880-9400