We can remember being told to brace for the worst when Covid -19 first appeared, and lockdowns began.
We were warned that COVID-19 threatened to become incredibly disruptive to the real estate market, which led realtors, ourselves included, to believe that we would be shut down. In July, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation warned the countrywide market could drop significantly.
Somehow, we got lucky. It never happened here. Southern Georgian Bay sales escalated through the roof. The Real Estate world did have to figure out how to operate in a now almost completely virtual world. There were no more open houses, less in person meet and greets and more online business dealings. We had to relearn a whole new set of rules.
The pandemic has still been a challenge for some realtors, needing to balance their workload with suddenly having their children at home, or having to care for an elderly friend, family member or neighbour. Others have flourished, being able to take on more listings, with more free time on their plate.
The market never slowed. In December, within Southern Georgian Bay, residential sales totaled 270 units, an increase of 36.4% from 2019. For the year of 2020, a total of 5332 residential units were sold, another increase of 36.4%.
The market also saw a large increase in price, single family homes rising 21.8% in December, and 23.3% over the course of the entire year. The price of townhomes also saw an increase in price, rising 15.4% in 2020.
So what caused this unexpected real estate boom? Low interest rates, and the fact that many people living in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) no longer have to commute to work and wanted a better quality of life further north. With the rise of work from home job opportunities, we expect to see the market continue to rise. Those who lived (and are living) in the GTA have realised that they would like to have some space, some freedom, and some land. Those are not usually possible in the larger cities, and people are looking to get out.
Real Estate has definitely become a sellers market this past year, but that does not mean the amount of buyers has dwindled. Some properties have had as many as 40 showings, and 20 offers. The hard part is for first time home buyers, or those still on a limited budget. The houses are going for over asking, which is making it difficult for everyone to get the house they desire.
The trend seems to be holding, as we enter into 2021, and we cannot see real estate being hard hit with the pandemic, and are hoping for another successful year.
If you would like to learn more about the growing market, and how you can get the most out of your house’s sale, please don’t hesitate to contact us today.