Demand for housing keeps market prices high across Simcoe County
BARRIE -- Should you buy or sell your home during a pandemic?
That question is on the minds of many, as the cases of COVID-19 continue to rise across the region.
Peggy Hill with The Peggy Hill Group, says yes.
"We've sold over 50 homes this month, just this month," says the realtor with almost 20 years of experience.
"We typically have about 100 listings, and that's not changed. Everything's still moving. We just have to get used to this new normal," she adds.
Venturing out to see an open house in today's new normal isn't exactly a typical weekend outing.
Realtors are now taking extra precautions to ensure everyone's safety, including wearing masks and gloves, and even prescreening potential buyers before a showing.
"We've encouraged our sellers to leave the lights on, and doors open. That way, there's limited touching of anything, and they just wipe down once people are gone."
Hill adds it's also a great time to buy because some variable interest rates sit under two per cent.
But because of COVID-19, new home building after April 4 was postponed by the Ontario government, and now there's just not enough For Sale signs on lawns.
"We're finding we have so limited inventory," says Hill. "Everything we're selling now is going into multiples, so there's more than one offer per person."
According to the Business News Network, the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation predicts prices will decline as much as 18 per cent across the country.
But that might not be the case for Barrie and Simcoe County.
Stats from the Barrie and District Association of Realtors (BDAR) shows because of COVID-19, sales are down about 55 per cent compared to April 2019, while housing prices are up.
In Barrie alone, detached homes saw an increase of six per cent while housing prices averaged about $580,000.
Robin Jones, the President of BDAR, says the price increase can be attributed to demand across the region.
"We get a lot of our buyers from the GTA," she says. "We still have a lot of internal people who are wanting to move, downsize, and selling. We've got a large ageing population that are looking for downsizing as well. "
Right now, there are about 300 detached homes on the market across the region.
Houses worth less than $650,000 are the highest in demand; a trend that continues across Simcoe County.
Jones says we should see strong housing prices over the next three months.
"I think a lot of people are expecting that the rest of the year will make up for the two months of lax."
The Southern Georgian Association of Realtors says a number of sales also dropped nearly 60 per cent to the lowest they've seen since 1995.