MARKET FLUCTUATIONS IN SQUAMISH
How quickly things can change…
In February the real estate market was in full swing and we were seeing multiple offers on some single-family homes, a trend that we haven’t seen since 2016-2017. Since the Corona Virus has escalated, and with the shutdowns that have occurred over the past weeks, the real estate market has shifted quickly.
Below is a summary chart of the February, 2020 real estate stats for Squamish:
You will see that the local housing market was strong in February, but when we receive the statistics for March we will see just how much the Coronavirus has impacted real estate sales in the area, but so far I can confirm that the market has slowed.
MORTGAGE DEFERRALS & NEW RATES
To help homeowners weather the economic burden of the pandemic, the big banks and credit unions have announced mortgage payment deferrals for up to 6 months. Contact your lender to find out the terms and qualifications for mortgage deferrals. Each lender will have their own set of rules and expectations.
The loosening of the mortgage “Stress Test” rules, due to come in effect on April 6th, has now been put on hold indefinitely as per the announcement of the office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions. Some analysts are predicting that the low interest rates will propel the housing market, while others are saying that economic slowdown will decrease sales and values for spring and summer, followed by a rebound in the fall.
The latest news was that the Bank of Canada slashes the key interest rate to 0.25%. The Prime lending rate has now dropped by 1.25% in one month. This has never happened before. Fixed rates went up a bit over the past week. And are expected to drop a bit again.
I will keep you informed as to what really happens. Your biggest asset is valuable to you and you need to know what your options are.
BUYING & SELLING PROTOCOLS: COVID-19 EDITION
The Coronavirus epidemic has also shifted HOW homes are currently being showcased to potential buyers.
I am implementing several special measures to continue serving your real estate needs while observing protocols for public safety.
As of now, here are some of the changes I have adopted to minimize the risk of spreading the Coronavirus, while still being able to support you in your home sale or purchase:
- ALL OPEN HOUSES HAVE BEEN SUSPENDED.
- ONLINE VIRTUAL WALKTHROUGHS: Rather than public showings and walkthroughs, I will be creating a marketing video to provide a virtual “tour” of the home.
- 3D TOUR FOR ALL MY LISTINGS: Our office has a Matterport camera for 3D filming, so I will be creating a digital, 3D rendering of the entire home and providing floor plans for all my listings.
- PRIVATE VIEWINGS: I will be making private viewings of homes you may be interested in conditional on the use of gloves or hand sanitizer. I may suspend viewings temporarily if agreed upon with the Seller, however, for Buyers I can conduct FaceTime viewing options.
- SANITATION: I will be cleaning high traffic areas and surfaces before and after viewing.
- CHECKLISTS: An addition to my buying and selling protocol irrespective of the impact of Covid-19 is the implementation of the new checklists from the Real Estate Council of BC to use for Buyers, Sellers, and Tenanted properties.
- STAY HOME RULE: I will be working from home and helping those who cannot get out for groceries or supplies. If you or any of your friends need any assistance please give me a call at 604-892-4428. I’m always happy to help!
If you are not immediately needing to buy or sell your home, enjoy some downtime and take advantage of catching up on your spring cleaning and repairs around the house (see this RE/MAX article for some tips for sprucing up your home).
I wish you well as you and your family brave this storm. I am here to help address any questions you may have about the market in the meantime, so please do not hesitate to reach out to me at BarbGloor@telus.net.