COVID-19 and the Real Estate Market
As the province, country and the world find their way through these unprecedented times, I thought it would be time to bring everyone up to speed on the real estate market in general.
1) The world is not ending. It is certainly going through a wake-up call, but there will be a tomorrow. Call this a “pause” or reset button. This will be an eye-opener for a lot of people. Things will be different on the other end of this pandemic. It just might be for the better; unfortunately, to get there, a lot of heartache, anguish and financial implications will be a direct result.
2) With social distancing, comes staying at home. Many people will not be going on vacation – they are going to be bored. Our experience from Christmas was where we saw online activity on our listings increase dramatically because people had time to search online for their next home or investment.
If you are thinking of selling, get in the market as soon as possible. There should be lots of online activity – there may be a slow down in physical activity going through property but with photography and video – the first showings are online anyways. When we come out on the other side of this pandemic, our listings will be prime targets to be physically viewed. Proper health and safety protocols can be put in place to limit physical showings or the number of people through a property.
3) Calm down and think rationally, there is no reason to hoard food or other items – see above – but also ensure that you understand – this is somewhat similar to other crisis like 9/11 or SARS but this time it may last longer and we are being asked to do more – there was softening of activity than a return to a “new normal”… we got used to it and we will get used to a new normal. Take it day by day. People still need to live their lives, people still need to make plans; we will be the one planning with them. There is a tomorrow, it’s going to be ok, it’s going to be different but you will be ok, we will be your “Rock”… that is the way we do business. The key to all of this is “JOBS” – our interest rates are so low, its crazy, but if people don’t have jobs they don’t buy real estate – we will see some layoffs in some industries but we also may see a massive influx of economic stimulus which should provide some help in weathering the storm. If there is an immediate need to move – then now is always the best time, but each situation is different and we will always answer your questions honestly and with your situation as the priority.
We have been here for over 45 years, we will be ready when you are.
4) Buyers – we will make you a plan, one that is best for you. This may end up having you waiting, this may end up with you pouncing, again, each situation is different. Interest rates are low – but it still may not be your time due to your job or other situation. We can discuss the best path forward for you and recommend the best people to talk to you about financing.
5) Typical to other problems in the world we have experienced, the real estate market should have a general softening of market activity for 4-6 weeks. In watching Asia’s recovery, it was about 6-8 weeks and the trend of infection subsided and is now recovering with fewer and fewer infections. We need to know that the conditions the North American people are being asked and ordered to do is so that health care can manage the outbreak. It is to smooth the “curve” where there is not a mad influx of sick people in hospitals and doctors’ offices… because the health system can not support that amount of sickness. By slowing the spread – the infection does not infect as rapidly and hopefully not at all, and people getting sick is lessened and health care workers can manage and give support. Interest rates and government EI and economic stimulus hopefully will help soothe the short term pain. People still want to make a move, interest rates are good and if they have a job that is decently secure, there will be people to buy and sell. Given where our markets were heading this spring with multiple offers – we just may end up with a good balanced market moving forward after April, mid-May… it just may be the reset button this market needed.
6) Theory, but something to think about, is that given the recent “social distancing” we are to do, living in a more rural area has its benefits. Maybe the thought of mass transit, large urban densities in cities is not for everyone…there just may be more people looking at quality of life versus being downtown. We are not immune to the world’s problems, we just might be a little more insulated.
Remember, we know what we are doing, we have done it over a thousand times. We research, we analyse and we help make plans and goals that lead to success. That is what we do. We will get through this and we will be better in the end. Stay safe.
Brett Puckrin, AACI, P.App, PLE