As we have all watched the market activity intensify, it created a new layer of strain for many people trying to move from point A to point B. In general, we are hearing the same 3 questions from people these days:

1) "Yes, but what do we buy?"


2) "How do you sell a home during a pandemic?"


3) "What is happening with these crazy prices!?"

Now let's have a look at all 3 questions. 
"Yes, but what do we buy?"
This will depend on what you're looking for. In general, in a very active seller's market, the recommendation is to buy a property first if in fact you are looking to buy. Are you looking to move to a condo apartment or a townhome? Are you moving out of the area to another city? Are you moving into a rental or into a multi-generational home? 
The key for anyone looking to move from their current home to another is to get a plan together. The plan will factor in the supply and demand of both your current home and the home you're looking to move to. 
What are the reasonable expectations that you can have? Is the supply of what you're looking for in abundance or tough to find? 
Here is the good news. One thing we can reasonably expect to happen in the coming weeks is that the spring market will start to arrive which will provide more selection for someone looking to move. 
For example, when looking back over the last decade, the number of new listings have increased 29% on average from February to March. 
Looking at the pent-up nature of supply, our expectation is that March 2021 will provide more than the 10-year average in new listings which will help answer the "Yes, but what do we buy?" question. 
The key to that is having a plan in place beforehand will allow you to work within the market conditions rather than playing catch-up. 
"How do you sell a home during a pandemic?"  
The short answer is with a plan. The key to realize is that 2020 produced the 2nd highest number of homes sold in the history of Niagara, all taking place during a pandemic. 
Some of the safety protocols and changes we've seen in our industry this year include:
  • Increased use of video and virtual tours have helped filter out unqualified buyers. 
  • Regulated control of who is looking at your home through our booking system. 
  • All visitors to your home will be required to verify they are healthy and not experiencing any COVID symptoms prior to entering your home. 
  • Strictly schedule appointments with spacing inbetween visitors. 
  • Maximum 2 buyers plus the agent
  • Minimized contact inside with no bathroom use and limited physical contact
  • Masks and hand sanitizer required
And most importantly, our Realtor will sit down with you and create a plan that you are comfortable with. Communication, organization and follow-up are all part of the process. 
"What is happening with these crazy prices!?"  
It is no secret that the market has escalated. Here are a few facts & figures for you to consider. 
  • The average price of a detached home in St.Catharines has doubled in 5 years. 
  • 2021 year-to-date, when compared to the same time periods over the last decade, has produced the lowest number of new listings at the same time as the highest number of sales. That imbalance in supply and demand has produced significant pricing gains. 
  • All detached homes year-to-date so far this year sold for an average of $647,000
  • There have been 15 sales over $1 million so far in 2021. 
  • Detached homes north of the QEW have sold on average for $689,000 so far in 2021. 
Whether you live in Grapeview, Vansickle, Western Hills, Secord Woods, Glenridge or downtown, it is quite likely that your home is worth more than you expect. And that applies to detached, semi-detached, townhome or condo apartment. The market in general is very active with consistent buyer demand and activity. As mentioned earlier, as the spring market brings new listing inventory, we expect to see the market data level off, if only marginally. 


What to do?

From here, we would recommend you reach out to us directly and we can connect you with one of our McGarr Realtors. They can talk to you and help craft a plan that provides you with the level of comfort you require to move forward. That is what we do every day! 

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