As the Covid 19 pandemic sweeps across the economy, the yardstick of real estate activity has not been affected in a major way in Swift Current, according to statistics released from the Saskatchewan Realtors® Association for the first half of 2020.
“We were interested to see what the first half numbers would indicate,” stated Kelsey Adam, a 22-year veteran real estate agent in the city, “because it didn’t feel a lot slower.”
And the figures compiled by Trenlii Analytics confirms that.
Sales from January to the end of June ended up at 109, which included homes, mobile homes, vacant lots and multi-family dwellings within the city boundaries. That number is down just 6% from last year’s 116 sales. “However last year’s numbers were already quite low,” Adam explained. “In fact, you would have to go back to the early 2000’s to see first half sales at this level.”
The trade-off of the slower activity means that there are also fewer houses coming on the market. The first 6 months saw 259 new listings as opposed to 354 last year, 292 in 2018 and 274 in 2017. Because of that, the average sale price is only down 5% to $246,000.
“June sales really helped push us up,” according to Adam, with Century 21 Accord Realty. “June sales were up 65% over last year. That really cleared out a lot of inventory, some of which had been sitting for a while.” Indeed, the average days on the market did go up to almost 110 days, which Adam attributes to many houses sitting patiently through the initial phase of the pandemic.
As far as how real estate is conducted, Adam confirmed that things were a little different due to Covid 19. “Some people refrained from having their homes shown, others we could show wearing disposable gloves and a mask, but most we would show normally, with some modifications.” He added that sellers would leave lights on, cupboard and closet doors open and similar ideas that allowed for minimal touching. Video tours have become more prevalent, he added, so that people can get a better idea of a home’s features before they would do an in-person walk through.
“Throughout this situation, we want to make sure our sellers can sell their home, buyers can proceed with purchasing their home, but at the same time ensure everyone stays safe,” Adam concluded.