2020 – What a year it has been. First and foremost I hope you and your family have made it through the year with your health and sanity in tact. It has been and continues to be a very challenging and unprecedented time for our community, province, country and world. Continue to support local as best you can and stay safe.
What did 2020 look like from a real estate perspective?
In some regards it was tale of 3 different years (and this year sure felt as long as 3 FULL years). This article will reflect on what it was like to work through this roller coaster year in real estate and give some insight into where the 2021 market might be heading.
Part 1: January to Lockdown:
When the year started I was not entirely sure what to expect – but I was optimistic. The final 2 months of 2019 felt like we were finally moving on from the market correction of 2017. January 2020 arrived with strong consumer confidence and high demand for Hamilton real estate. It seemed like the strong Seller’s market we had been experiencing for the previous 20 years was returning in full force. With high Buyer confidence and very low listing inventory we saw sales volume and average sale price increasing week after week. A RED HOT Seller’s market was here!
Part 2: Mid-March to end of April:
Right up until lockdown, including the day before the “state of emergency” came into effect properties were still selling with multiple offers for way over asking. Then lockdown hit and everything stopped. It was like the phones were disconnected. Only “essential” real estate business was to be conducted – but it was still vague as to what constituted “essential”. I had a listing fully prepared, ready to hit the MLS and it happened to be ready that first day of lockdown, March 25th 2020. This listing was priced very well in very sought after location. It hit the market and… nothing. No calls; no showings and absolutely no clue where the real estate market (and economy) was heading. It was a scary time. However as time went on in lockdown, life went on…
Part 3: End of lockdown and beyond
Slowly but surely – agents and clients became increasingly more comfortable adapting to this new reality. Buyers, Sellers and Realtors together with the help of public health guidelines along with direction from their Brokerages found ways to view and sell properties safely. In the midst of this global pandemic life, especially as it pertained to the real estate world, was continuing to move forward. Couples got together, couples separated, jobs changed, people changed – perhaps growing tired of looking at the same four walls. Sales were climbing month, after month, after month… and so were the prices. The “Seller’s Market” that we felt coming in early 2020 had arrived – BIGTIME. As the year went on the normally hot spring market was pushed back and ran straight through – nonstop. There was no summer lull, the market was gaining momentum all the while showing great consistency and strength. As mortgage deferrals began to end there was no dip in the market. People who were feeling pressure to sell were, for the most part, able to sell (and do very well value wise).
Where does it go from here?
As the year draws to a close what have we learned and where do we think we are going?
– Real estate can be resilient.
– Demand still remains high.
– Buyers with job security are moving up and down the property ladder
– Buyers are moving into the city at an increased rate – taking advantage of good value relative to Toronto
– Listing inventory, while growing still remains low.
– Prices will continue to rise. Likely not at the 20% year over year we saw this year, but still they will rise.
– There is going to be increased competition for what little listing inventory there is.
The majority of homes sold this year have sold with multiple offers and are selling for over asking. You absolutely need a trusted professional to help guide you through this process. If homes are priced right they will not last. Prices are rising at a rate that is hard to match with your savings over the same time period – Do not get priced out by waiting! I know this local market and can help you navigate the madness.
- Get an auto-email custom search set up. This will send you new listings in the area of interest instantly. Do not wait for them to hit MLS
- See as many homes as you can so that when you see the right one you can act fast with confidence
- If the property looks like it will sell in competition consider a pre-offer home inspection
Proper exposure and pricing is of great importance to make sure your home attracts the most interest (and offers). Every property is different and careful consideration should be taken when preparing your home’s marketing plan. There is a lot of work to be done prior to the sign going in the lawn. Yes – homes are selling quickly, but make sure you are not “leaving any money on the table” and use a professional Realtor with a proven track record. I can help.
- Take the time to touch up any minor repairs. Lets discuss potential major renovations before you begin any of them.
- Engage in pre-MLS marketing (make sure your listing is exposed). Targeting Instagram and Facebook advertising before your home is on the open market
- Price accordingly (being overpriced is the “kiss of death” for a listing in any market, but especially in a hot market)
I am always happy to discuss real estate. Using my 10+ years of experience as one of Judy Marsales top producers and leveraging the professional relationships and knowledge I have gained along the way. Let’s talk. I will put you in the right position to be successful in 2021 and beyond!