The West Kootenay real estate market has seen a dip since COVID-19 hit the province, but things are already looking up.
“Things were slower than a typical spring market,” said Castlegar Realty agent Flo Padilla. “But things are starting to pick up more and more.”
British Columbia Real Estate Association stats show that 2020 started out well for the real estate market with both January and February seeing sales increases of more that 23 per cent over the same months of 2019.
March also started out well before the state of emergency for the province was declared mid-month, so it still showed a sales increase of 17 per cent over 2019.
“We are pretty fortunate,” added Padilla. “We are in a good area and things seem to be stabilizing already.”
Padilla says the market is still limited and favours sellers.
In the last 14 days there have been 46 new listings in the West Kootenay and 24 of those have already sold. Some of those properties received multiple offers.
Statistics show prices have remained relatively stable through the COVID-19 pandemic, but that prices are still trending upward in the long term.
Some aspects of buying and selling houses have been affected by COVID restrictions. Open houses are not allowed and buyers are asked to refrain from touching anything in the homes they view. Agents also offer virtual viewings, but Padilla says they haven’t been very popular with buyers.
Padilla says it’s always important for buyers to get pre-approved for mortgages, but it’s even more important now.
“Just make sure you are looking at the right houses you are qualified for,” explained Padilla. “We just need to make sure we are not letting more people through homes than we need to.”
If you are considering selling your house, Padilla recommends you talk with a real estate agent about any concerns you may have with having your home open to others.