Working Remote | Issue 197 Guelph Weekly Sales Report
This week we packed up our computers and our favourite mugs and set up shop at home. As things are certainly not business-as-usual, we have been working with our team and our clients to prioritize safety over everything. Let's jump right into the numbers.
THIS WEEK IN THE GUELPH REAL ESTATE MARKET:
This past week there were 56 homes reported sold in Guelph and the surrounding townships. That’s nine more homes, or 20% higher, than the same period a year ago. Obviously these numbers and enthusiasm – 68% of the sales this week went at or above list price – don’t reflect the severity of the current situation. I suspect you will see that effect over the coming weeks.
We’re also seeing some of the fallout over the past couple of days as some people who just did deals now attempt to back out. Apparently they didn’t see the memo on the health crisis and decided after they won on offer night to back out.
Now I’m not trying to make light of the situation, but merely point out how so many of us operate in silos and don’t often see the big picture until it's too late.
Here’s what you are going to see in the next 6-10 weeks. Real estate sales are going to slow tremendously as both consumers and Realtors realize finally, how quickly this pandemic is taking hold and minimize their exposure. This is a good thing for the market.
More on that in a minute.
You have no doubt been inundated with emails and messages from people to mind social distances and ramp up hand cleaning, etc. and that a lot of businesses are doing the right thing and closing their doors to the public.
Earlier this week, we closed the doors of both our offices to the public and ceased doing public open houses. It’s the right thing to do. Given the technology we have, we have dealt with the vast majority of our transactions this week virtually and online. Our next step will be to shut down showings of properties. We’ve given our seller clients the option to put their listings on hold until we know when it will be safe to resume public showings. We have protocols in place to support our clients who have already purchased but not closed. We have also spoken to our legal professionals and mortgage partners to ensure all pending deals close on time. We will help make sure all of our clients closing during this time have the necessary supplies to clean and sanitize their homes.
If you are like us, your priorities now are your family, health and making it through this. Next on the priority list is what this pandemic is doing to us economically. We’re well aware that the stock market has melted down and set many people back years in their savings. What about the Guelph real estate market?
In our opinion, and being sensitive to the current environment, there could be a bit of a silver lining for the real estate market. Prior to the outbreak, the local market had been on an incredible move upwards – readers are well aware of this, as it has been the leading topic of this blog for nearly the entire year. This current public health situation will no doubt slow down real estate sales. What likely won’t happen is a massive pull back in prices, like the stock market. The real estate market is local and not automated. I’ve talked to a lot of financial experts over the past couple of weeks and one of the causes for such a large pullback in the stock market was automated selling. They’ve automated the process so that large hedge funds and mutual funds can use computer algorithms to balance their funds. Sudden shocks to the system result in large selloffs. We don’t see that in the real estate market because our transactions are not instant. Yes, there will be less people looking right now, but once this event passes and people start to re-emerge, there will be buyers and sellers that need to make a move.
Additionally, inventory levels are at historic lows and have been part of the pricing problem. Coupled with lower mortgage rates and relaxed qualifications, I anticipate we will see the real estate market in Guelph rebound to traditional numbers soon enough. This event will take the steam out of this crazy market and should help prevent a massive and sudden correction – which was the path we were on up until a few weeks ago.
While we are taking a break from physical open houses and showings, we are here to support our clients and team. We’ll keep an eye on developments in the market and will make any information about government programmes and supports available on this site.
I’m part of the chorus: stay home unless you absolutely have to. Do things online and remotely and look after yourself and your neighbours. We’ll get through this and be stronger as a community as a result.
Be safe and well,
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