Sales and new listings in the Powell River residential real estate market have continued to trickle downward into the Winter season with 27 sales and 28 new listings in November. Prices fell off in the spring by about 5%, but have levelled out since then. Homes are sitting on the market a bit longer, but there are still active buyers out there who have been scooping up good value quickly. We still see a few competing offers, but more often those buyers who have a home to sell are getting their offers accepted conditionally. This was rare prior to this year as sellers didn’t need to even consider such an offer with the number of other buyers with more attractive offers in the market. Short supply of listings has kept the pressure on for buyers and continues to do so but without quite the frenzy that we’ve seen. Interest rate changes have had an impact, but those rates haven’t been moving up quickly so I believe we can expect steady sales by February after the slower winter season.
Signing contracts in the ‘modern age’ has changed dramatically. You no longer have to sit in my office to get an offer or other document signed. Now people are signing online from their phone in a ferry line-up, at an airport or from a vacation home as long as there is cell or internet access. This doesn’t mean that the discussion, advice and conversation have been left out! Often I work with out-of-town buyers for example over a weekend viewing the home, reviewing documents and discussing an offer. They catch a ferry while I’m getting the documents drawn up according to their wishes and they can either sign en-route on their phones or at their computer at home when they arrive. Federal and provincial law now allows “authenticated electronic signatures” for legal contracts. It’s not necessary to scan, print and sign the contracts. It’s as simple (and legal) as reading over the documents online and ‘clicking’ on the appropriate places to place a legal signature or initial on the document. Nothing replaces face-to-face conversation, but with the availability of connectivity and online ‘apps’, signing can be done conveniently from almost anywhere.
We’re seeing mobile homes on pads in a park becoming a more popular option as prices on single family homes has risen. There have been quite a few 20ish year old mobiles sold for around $100,000 this past year. My mortgage calculator suggests that the monthly mortgage/taxes/utilities could be around $580/mo with the roughly $350/mo pad fees giving a total monthly payment of under $1000/mo. Each park has a different look, but the pad provides a small yard for gardening. It’s not quite as densely packed as apartment living and it gives you something you can call your own. I’ve seen several renters looking at mobiles as an option. If maintained, the value of the investment will appreciate as prices in the market rise. It can provide a good entry for new buyers as well as “mortgage experience” for the future.
DIGITAL CURB APPEAL
The importance of Digital Curb Appeal in today’s Real Estate market cannot be understated. Powell River has seen an increasingly large number of out of town buyers. According to the Powell River Sunshine Coast Real Estate Board statistics, in 2017 almost half of all transactions have involved an out of town purchaser. That’s why it’s crucial to display your biggest asset in its best light online. Prospective buyers are browsing and making purchasing decisions on property in Powell River based on the impression that your home makes online. While most listings consist of a dozen or so quick photos with a cell phone or point-and-shoot camera, I go farther and ensure that every residential listing comes with the best possible digital curb appeal.
Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
From Bill Bailey, Josh Statham, and Dustin Villeneuve