Calgary’s normally strong housing market has been in a bit of a lull since the last economic downturn began in 2014, and the last few months of the COVID-19 pandemic have not helped. Anyone who is trying to sell their home right now is more than likely holding far fewer viewings than they would have anticipated, and potentially even having to lower the price.
The days of selling a home fast for a tidy profit in Calgary are over, and are not likely to come back soon – if ever. This may seem to be disheartening news for those not in the housing market as of yet, but it also means that things are trending towards more balanced conditions. All experts agree that the Calgary housing market has been overinflated for some time. As prices come down, the chance that many who could not afford to enter the market will now be able to will increase.
The beginning of 2020 actually started out surprisingly well for the housing market in Calgary. Sales were trending towards an upswing in January, February, and even March, with apartment-style homes shooting up 24%, which was excellent news for a niche market that had been struggling for years. Townhome sales were up 4%, attached homes 2%, and detached homes 1%, according to the Calgary Real Estate Board (CERB).
In April, however, when the city moved into full lockdown mode, there were only 573 total sales of attached, detached, and apartment-style homes, down from 1,544 (or 63%) from 2019. Additional statistics provided by the CREB show that up until the end of April there had been 3,804 home sales in the city for the year, down about 18% altogether. New listings are down about 20%. This massive drop is not expected to remain the norm, but could indicate that those wanting to sell could be in for a difficult time. Homes for sale are spending an average of 55 days on the market now.
On May 1, CTV News reported the average price of a detached home in Calgary had fallen to $422,655 in April, down from $460,953 a year ago. This is good news for buyers, however, as mentioned, sales are slow. Even though prices are down, people just aren’t buying, something that could be attributed to uncertainty caused by both the pandemic and the province’s economic situation.
Tips for Selling Your Home
One option for handling the downturn in the housing market is to simply take your home off the market for the time being. But this may not be a choice some can make. For those who must keep trying to sell their home, there are a few things you can do to potentially help make it more attractive to buyers.
- Capitalize on your location. In your listing, be sure to mention the amenities and services available nearby, as well as anything special about your community. Location, as we all know, is the number one factor people consider when trying to choose a property.
- Price it right. Do your research and find out what comparable home have been selling for and price yours from 15% to 20% below that – especially if you have to sell fast. This is not ideal, of course, but a good deal will always drum up a lot of interest.
- Make it light and bright. Do what you can to increase the light in your home by cleaning your windows, improving lighting, taking down heavy curtains, and just generally letting in the sunshine.
- Remove items from cabinets and closets. People like homes that provide a lot of storage, but they won’t be able to see what’s there if your closets and cabinets are stuffed full. Empty out enough items and tidy what is there so that potential buyers will be able to visualize what they can do with the space.
- Perform some quick fixes. A fresh coat of paint does wonders, as does a home where everything works. You don’t know what people are going to check while viewing your home, so make sure doorknobs and hardware are shiny and new, all your windows open properly, your closet doors are on track, and your appliances are fully operational. It’s a small expense to fix all of these things, and it will pay off.
- Consider a home stager. This is not ideal for those who are living in their home while they are trying to sell it, as a home stager will more than likely suggest putting personal items that may seem like clutter in storage. But, the more a person can actually picture themselves living in your home, the better, which means you have to give them the opportunity of viewing a “clean slate,” so to speak.
- Keep everything as clean as possible. This should go without saying, but your home should be ready to view at any given time while on the market.
Keep Your Insurance Company up to Date
It is essential to keep your insurance company up to date on anything happening with your property, including plans to sell. Perform annual reviews of your house, land, outbuildings and belongings to guarantee your coverage accurately reflects your situation.
At Lane’s, you will be partnered with a specialist who will be your personal contact for all things insurance. Even though we may not be your provider, we are always your source for good information, and no obligation quotes, or call us at 403.264.8171.