Oh my, how things have changed in just a few short weeks. We wanted to give you an update on what we’re seeing in the real estate market, specifically for the Tri-Area including Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, & Parkland County in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
First & foremost, the Government of Alberta has deemed real estate to be an essential service. Basically, what that means is that they’ve put a priority on shelter and are allowing us to continue to provide the best service we can, while still ensuring we’re taking all the necessary precautions to keep our Buyers & Sellers safe.
What that means is that we are still working… but we’re doing it with restrictions. We’re calling it business as “un-usual” – we’re working, but it’s looks a lot different than what we’ve been accustomed to doing in the past. A detailed list of what we’re doing and our process can be found here, but in a nutshell, if it can be done virtually that’s our preference at this time. And we’re finding that that’s a lot of our clients’ preferences at this time as well.
We’ve been getting a lot of questions surrounding the market itself: Are prices dropping? What is the market going to look like when we’re out of this? Long & short of it, we have no idea. We have lots of theories and predictions, but nothing that we’re confident enough to place a bet on as we’re navigating unchartered waters here too. In saying that though, prices haven’t dropped yet. And we do think we’ll see our “spring market” land in July sometime. How long that part of the market will last for and the extent of the “busy-ness” is yet to be seen.
Here’s what we know for sure:
1) The number of available homes for sale in Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, & Parkland County is down about 120 properties from this exact same time period last year, and there are fewer sales as well. We suspect that trend is going to continue to trend downward until this pandemic is over.
2) So far, prices haven’t really been affected yet. Yes, they are down slightly from last year, but that was due to pre-COVID market conditions (related to the economy and our oil prices) – nothing related specifically to this pandemic has hit our market yet in terms of pricing. Again though, we know this is only a matter of time before we start seeing prices drop.
3) Shelter is necessary, and because of that there will always be movement in the market – whether you’re upsizing, downsizing, relocating, etc., you’re going to be moving! We still believe that real estate is one of the most secure investments you can make, and you WILL reap the benefits of it long term. You just have to be willing to ride out the good with the bad.
4) The importance of having a LOCAL REALTOR to help represent your interests is more important now than ever. With all the virtual showings and offers happening, you’re relying heavily on the expertise of your REALTOR to guide you here and make sure that the property you’ve chosen really fits your criteria. A local REALTOR knows the area (i.e. don’t buy a home here because the City wants to build a commercial space), knows the neighbourhoods (i.e. this subdivision historically has issues with flooding), knows the schools (i.e. a new school is zoned for this area in 2021), and knows the inventory in the market (i.e. this home was the scene of a tragic murder several years back). Our Group are local REALTORS – we live, work, & play in this area. Now more than ever, please lean on us and our experience to help find the RIGHT property for you.
As always, we’re available to answer any questions you have. If you’re looking to make a move, but aren’t comfortable given the current conditions, that’s ok! We’re here, and ready to provide you with a safe showing environment when you’re ready 😊.
In the meantime, should you find yourself looking for ways to help, please consider supporting our initiative. Our Group has pledged to match all donations made to the Parkland Food Bank (up to $5,000) by April 30th – to donate, please visit SpruceGroveHelps.ca to make your donation.