Back in March when the world became an uncertain place, all of us scrambled in the business world to try to understand what this might all mean. What does a lockdown look like for my industry? How do I help navigate what is going to happen? And finally, what will be the long-term affects? There were no simple answers, so the best thing was to turn to industry analysis and the government agency that might be able to shed some light on the situation.
What became clear was that this was a health crisis that would have significant financial repercussions so there was a limited playbook to follow. One thing I heard very early on was that the many facets of the real estate market, whether that be the buying and selling of property, home renovations, lawyers, home inspectors, interior designers, landscape designers, and construction could be the leaders in bringing back a portion of the economy. In British Columbia, these related businesses account for 24% of our GPD, as this is an amazing place to live and offers so much to its residences.
After the initial shock of what we were facing started to sink in and after we had all made substantial sacrifices, many of us began to realize that changes may need to occur. We needed more space to work from home, homeschooling became apart of our lives, we wanted to live in places that offered more room to breathe, we want to have more multi-generational living setups, and these were just a few of the reasons to look into our housing options. As we moved into June it became abundantly clear that households were on the move.
After a quick start to the year, things hit the wall of course in March. From mid-March until the beginning of June sales were slow and inventory was very low, with the gradual lifting of restriction both of these issues began to change and by the end of June had corrected. As we began July the market had steadily been active and by September we were seeing multiple offers, which in some cases resulted in properties going above asking price. The Lower Mainland reported sales that were 44.8 percent above the 10 year average for September and this was the highest total on record for that month.
With Squamish being a smaller market we did not experience that drastic a result, but it was busy nonetheless. Sales volume year over year based on the total number of sales is up by 13%, 415 transactions this year compared to 362 for 2019. In Detached homes, the increase was 13%, townhomes are up by 10% and apartments saw the largest increase of 27%. The number of properties available on the market for sale remained about the same at lower than normal levels. Median prices in all housing types have gone up since 2019, which can also be attributed to the inventory levels being lower than normal. Single-family homes increased in price by 13%, townhomes by 6%, and apartments, which seems to have more inventory than the other two sectors, saw the biggest increase in sales volume and only had a 2% increase in median prices.
With limited housing supply, and interest rates being at a record low, this would suggest that for the next while these trends are expected to continue. With high demand and shorter times on the market for properties that are listed. Giving the sellers a slight advantage in the market place and keeping the buyers on their toes. Careful, thoughtful, and knowledgeable guidance will make your real estate experience less stressful.
“Real Estate can not be lost or stolen, nor can it be carried away. Purchased with common sense, paid in full, and managed with reasonable care, it is about the safest investment in the world” – Franklin D. Roosevelt, 32nd President of the United States
Information deemed to be accurate, all information taken from the MLS Database, October 2020