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Video: Central Alberta Real Estate Market Update - April 2020

Blog by Amanda Blake | April 29th, 2020

We are asked often how the real estate market is doing given the circumstances surrounding COVID-19 and the public health advice to stay at home in an effort to minimize the sprad of the Coronavirus. This pandemic is effecting the market in some ways, as you would expect it to. Amanda and Jamie decided to record a video conference they had to discuss the situation and keep you up to date with the latest info. 

Video Transcript

Hey everyone, it’s Amanda and Jamie here, thanks so much for watching. For those of you who do not know us, I'm Amanda Blake and I am the Owner and Broker of Lime Green Realty.

And I am Jamie Worthington, a real estate professional, also with Lime Green Realty. 

So we've been asked by several clients recently “what’s going on in the market today, are people buying properties? Are they even looking at properties? Is now a good time to list?” 

With everything, all the changes that are going around, we thought it would be a perfect opportunity for Jamie and I to address some of those questions for you guys.

So, Amanda, when people ask you those questions, what's the number one thing you tell them? 

Honestly, right now it really depends on their situation. Because with everything going on we do not want to encourage people to go out and buy a property, or put their house on the market, if they're not in a position where they really have to, or it's not a more urgent or time-sensitive matter. 

So if you don’t have to sell, it’s probable not the right time. How many real estate agents would you hear say “now might not be the best time for you to sell, right?”

Exactly and with it being the spring market out there right now, I know a lot of sellers out there wait until this time exactly to put their house on the market. As we see the snow melting, it happened a little bit later this year, but I think a lot of people were getting the itch to get their house on the market and now it's kind of come to a bit of a pause. 

So, if you need to sell, you can sell. It might be a little more difficult, it might be a little more challenging through these times, but you can definitely do it. But that doesn't come without other challenges because we've actually seen a decrease in sales from this time last year. 

That’s right, yes, and so, in Alberta real estate has been deemed an essential service. So there are still buyers out there that need to buy. They may have sold their property. They may be getting transferred from different provinces. So there are buyers that are in that situation where they do have to purchase a property in the next few months. There are also sellers that need to sell due to job transfers, or just financial reasons themselves. So, we aren’t encouraging people to avoid that if they have to, but sales have definitely decreased. We're seeing about a 33% decrease this year, so far, from this time last year in terms of single-family houses, house sales, sorry, in central Alberta.

There will always be buyers and there will always be sellers, our job is to match the two of those together to find that harmonious transaction. So, give us an idea of the numbers, as of this morning because some people will say, “oh, that all sounds great 33% decrease but what does that mean as far as the numbers go?” 

Okay, so the good news is, there still are transactions happening in Red Deer. I think there was 31 properties sell so far in April. Single-family, townhouse, duplexes in Red Deer alone. So that means there still are buyers out there. 271 sales as of January 1st to April 20th. Compared to last year I think it was 352, so we have seen it soften and I am anticipating it’s going to be getting a little bit less, as we get through the next couple months here. 

So things have slowed down but obviously hasn’t come grinding to a halt, so…

Which is a great point to make, yea. Haha

Shameless self-plug here. How is Lime Green Realty doing?

Well, Lime Green, I mean like everyone, I think we’re all kind of slowing down but where we’re trying to stay busy. Jamie, yourself actually, you were involved in a multiple-offer which is unusual at this time, or in these circumstances, I should say. And one of our other buyer’s agents, Layna was also in a multiple offer. So, tell us how you feel about that, Jamie.

Well, it’s an interesting situation because it's definitely a buyer's market right now and I would argue to say it's been the best time to buy in my real estate career. Amanda you might say the same thing if you're looking to buy a property, this would be the time. Get your pre-approval done, get yourself ready to go, because you're a premium client right now if you don't have a house to sell especially, right? So, to go into a multiple-offer situation it's kind of a double-edged sword because you want to tell your client, you can pretty much get any house that you want right now, but there's a few other buyers who might want that same property. Great properties are still selling and like Amanda said, some of them are going into multiple offers.

Exactly, yes and we've had a few seller’s fortunate enough to sell this month too. So again, it has not come… I think when this whole thing started we were all wondering ‘is it just going to come to a dead stop? Is it going to completely, just, halt our business for whatever time frame that is?’ And the answer is no, we are still still going, just at a much slower pace. So, um, this is not our typical spring market by any means, but you're right, there are still sellers that are listing. With that being said though, there are, I have noticed quite a few sellers taking their property off the market during this time and probably waiting for this whole thing to pass. 

That was going to be another point that I brought up, it’s because people do have the option to temporarily withdraw their property off of the market, so they're not going to incur any penalties, or it doesn't affect their numbers, or their statistics negatively. But do you find that showings are down, because people are hesitant to let others into their home?

100%, absolutely. Yes, and we've all taken different policies, implemented different policies and procedures within our brokerages and the CARA area. They've all advised us to change a little bit of how we're doing business and ensuring, just ensure everyone's health and safety. So with that being said, sellers actually don't have to allow showings right now. That’s different from what our typical protocol is, is we're not usually allowed to have a property on the market that’s not allowing showings. But, they are understanding that buyers aren’t wanting to go into a person's property and some sellers aren't wanting others to access their property, either. So that's definitely changed. Those that are, we also have implemented certain things that we can do, such as wearing gloves and hand sanitizers. Some people are asking people to leave their shoes on. So there’s different things we can do as agents, and buyers, and sellers, in this market, to help make sure that everyone's health and safety is looked after.  

Now, Lime Green Realty has always been a virtual brokerage. One of the things that we've been able to do, is to provide virtual tours of some of our properties here. Tell us a little bit about that.

Yeah, so I mean whether you're selling or buying, um, a lot of sellers are allowing their agents to do a virtual tour first, before allowing a buyer inside the home. And we’re all doing the same thing. So it's you're not sure if a property is going to work for you, I would certainly suggest you do as much information, uh, collect as much information as you can. Take a virtual tour of the property, do a drive-by, make sure the area works for you, the yard is good enough size for you, everything kind of ticks the boxes before you book a showing inside that person’s home. 

Yeah, in Red Deer here, you might like the property, you might like the location, you might like the price, but maybe you don't like the fact that it's right on Ross Street, or it's really close to Taylor Drive. So, doing a drive-by can definitely save you a little bit of time and unnecessary visits at properties that, chances are, you’re not going to be interested in. 

Exactly, yea. So we’re encouraging buyers to do as much research beforehand and again we're also pre-qualifying, we’re going through a more thorough process and pre-qualifying buyers during this time. So, if you have to sell in order to buy, or if you're just kind of checking it out right now, we don't suggest, doing that. Wait until this is over and then get back to it. But, if it is something that, you know, you're having to purchase the property in the next couple months, by all means, we can we can help you, we’d love to help you. We just want to make sure that this is an actual suitable property for what you're looking for. 

Okay, so if you have any other questions, by all means, comment down below. We’ll be more than happy to discuss those in another video. In the meantime, Amanda, if somebody has questions about buying or selling where can they go?

You can reach us online at limegreenrealty.ca, or you can contact our office at 403-505-0066.

Okay, so from Amanda Blake and myself, Jamie Worthington, thank you so much for watching and if you do need help with your real estate services, by all means, give us a call. Things are a little bit slow, but they're definitely still moving. 

That's right, Jamie. Thanks so much for watching you guys, and stay safe and be well!