by Admin Staff
on Monday, November 16th, 2020 at 1:54pm.
Covid-19 has changed the way we live, work and play. It's changed the way we shop at businesses, and changed the way we conduct business ourselves. This change has negatively impacted the world's housing market. Buyers have become more unsure than ever about starting the process, and sellers are hesitant to even put their homes up for sale. With precautions and orders in place to slow the spread of the virus, being physically present for any part of the home buying or selling process is difficult, sometimes impossible, to do. Experts in Canada, as well as worldwide, are making ominous predictions about the housing market's future based on the results they are seeing right now.
But is that truly the case? Should we really be worried and hesitant?
Simply put, no. We should be aware of what's going on in the world, but for our local housing market, there's not really a need to worry. Take a look at the monthly housing market statistics we and other brokerages in Yorkton release. (Find ours in the Buying and Selling Guide - Click here for the October 2020 edition, stats are on page 29)
Do those numbers seem like drastic drops from the previous year? Not at all. Those numbers indicate that houses are still being bought and houses are still being sold. It's the typical rise and fall from year to year. Sure, we are doing more of our tours online, more of our appointments socially distant and more of our transactions finished digitally. However, here's why our local situation hasn't seen a huge change: life goes on.
People in Saskatchewan, and especially those in the Parkland area, know that life continues to march on, despite tough situations and devastating events. Take a look back during 2008 when the rest of the world was facing a recession - Saskatchewan was actually having a prosperous year. Take a look back to all of the floods that have poured down on us in the past 10 years - we put on our muck boots and hoisted each other out of that mess ourselves. Life continued. We knew that despite economic rising and falling, and despite the temperament of Mother Nature, life would continue to go on, just as it always had. We adapted when we needed to adapt, and rebuilt where we needed to rebuild. So, despite the pandemic happening currently, life is still happening. Some need to relocate for work, some need space to expand their families, some need a place to express their new independence, and some just need a place to retire.
That being said, there are some things to note when searching for a home during this time:
Consider Your Lifestyle
When you're searching for a new place, you want to make sure it's a perfect fit for you and those moving in with you. It's helpful to make a list of needs and desires. When creating it, consider your present and future lifestyle. Do you spend more time indoors or outside? Will you need separate spaces as your family grows? Have you taken up a hobby during quarantine that you want to continue with? Or, perhaps your lifestyle has changed in some other way that has changed your personal needs. This list serves to reference those changes, and what you should look for to accommodate them. You might not get everything you want of course, but it will help you and your Realtor in the right direction.
Not All Things Can (Or Should) Be Done Digitally
There are some parts of the process that you just need to be there for. Taking virtual tours are convenient, and agents try to show you absolutely everything, but when you're seriously considering a home, your presence in that home is paramount.
Keep An Eye Out For Local Perks
Businesses are feeling the effects of Covid-19's impact. In order to keep running, they adapt. Part of that adaptation may include lowered costs for services, or payment forgiveness. For example, mortgage rates have been lowered to help out buyers. Some banks are even offering payment deferrals, or more flexible payment options. It always helps to know what options are available to you.
Life continues on, yes, but we are still affected by the world around us. Precautions are in place to help protect you and protect others. Respect public health, and be sure to safeguard your own. The home buying process may just take a little longer than normal, but in the end, you'll have yourself a home to be safe IN.
Even though things in our lives have gone through changes, our own housing market hasn't gone through anything drastic. We're all making our own paths through life, and a pandemic doesn't change that. As long as we stay aware of what's happening around us, we can adapt to help ourselves. It may even benefit others - be it a local business or just the neighbour next door. Above all else, be safe, but do not be fearful. Life goes on.