We know summer may not officially be here until June 20th, however in Saskatchewan, summer unofficially begins when the last of the ice leaves the numerous lakes across the province. We are definitely enjoying taking advantage of the warmer weather, and getting to be outside after a few months of being cooped up.
One of the most common questions we've been asked over the past few months is “how’s the real estate market been during COVID-19”. Well the answer we would have given in March and early April is very different from the answer we would give you now. In the first month after the shutdown was announced, our phones were basically silent and the emails were trickling in. However since mid April, interest from buyers looking for homes has picked up dramatically. Conversely, the number of listings are down by about 20% over last year. Last year at this time there were more than 1,900 homes on the market and this year we’re at just over 1,500 homes. It would seem that the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 shutdown has influenced homeowners' decisions to have their home on the market. This smaller supply of homes has changed the supply and demand equation that normally drives the marketplace. Low interest rates, and the reduction in the qualifying rate has encouraged buyers to enter the market. We are seeing in some cases multiple offers and some homes selling for over asking price. In our opinion, it could be a great time to consider listing your home in the market based on the low inventory. And if you're looking to buy a home, low interest rates make it an appealing time to consider starting your house hunt.
In early May, we started implementing some safety procedures that helped us to meet with clients, and show homes more safely. Some of these procedures include: practicing safe distancing, restricting the number of people viewing the home at one time, asking clients not to touch any surfaces, and using hand sanitizer.
We’ve continued filming Thirsty Thursday every week using Zoom. Check out one of our latest episodes filmed via social distancing below. We hope everyone is enjoying the start to summer and is staying healthy.