What we thought would happen, happened. What we didn’t want to happen, happened. And what we hope happens, will happen!
We thought that with the economy and price of oil going as low as it did, real estate prices and sales would dip, and they did. Benchmark prices were down 3.4 per cent in the last quarter of 2016 over the same time the previous year; however, sales were up 3.6 per cent.
With our economy at the end of 2016 as it was, unfortunately we received another kick with the new lending rules that took effect in November. It slowed the market to almost a standstill. January came quickly though, buyer confidence increased, and activity has picked up. We are going to see signs of more stability and balance in sales and pricing as inventory is bought up in the spring market. This will continue through the second quarter. When the economy and employment rates get better, sales should increase in the third and fourth quarters.
Buyers are still looking for a great deal when buying a home, and are really plugged in. They are very educated when they are ready to write an offer because they have seen a lot of houses, and have had a lot more conversations with their Realtors. They know what value is to them, because they have had the time to figure it out.
Sellers are pulling out all the stops to capture buyers’ attention as well. They know the competition; they know what needs to be done before they list their home, and how to navigate the market. Motivation and expert advice helps them position themselves to get sold.
I often have funny stories to share about selling homes … just ask me. But recently I was showing a home and the potential buyer saw there was a skylight in the house. They announced to me “I am NOT buying a house with a sunroof” and quickly left the house. Honestly … it is never dull!