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As mentioned in my last post (“Year End Review”), 2020 was a busy year in the Yellowknife real estate market. Fewer people listed their homes for sale than the year prior and more people were looking to buy. The result was a rise in prices – the average home price grew by 5%.
We could very well see the opposite happen this year. If COVID-19 vaccinations progress well and travel restrictions show signs of being lifted, we may see a lot more residents listing their homes for sale in 2021. The reason for this is that Yellowknife is a transient city. In a normal year, when people are able to come and go as they please, a pretty high number of people move south, whether to seek warmer climes for their retirement, to pursue job opportunities, or – as someone at the GNWT Bureau of Statistics recently put it to me over the phone – to be closer to free babysitting.
But 2020 was not a normal year – people could not come and go as they pleased – and a lot of people who would otherwise have “rotated out” were unable to do so. This could mean there is a backlog of people waiting to sell their homes and head south. Once they do succeed in selling and moving south, they will be replaced by new residents, but not all of these new residents will be home buyers. Some of them will be renters. As a result, we may see a bump in listings and a small drop in demand. Not the end of the world, but certainly something for sellers to be aware of.
Of course, if vaccinations proceed slower than expected across the country and travel restrictions don’t look like they are going to be lifted, then the result could be fewer buyers, fewer sellers and a pretty slow year in the real estate sector. But I think that’s unlikely to happen.
So if there is going are going to be more listings and more competition for buyers this year, what is a seller to do? The key is to get your home on the market earlier than the competition. There is very little inventory on the market right now (see our December sales graphic to the right) and demand is still very strong, so as a result, the market is pretty hot. We’ve already had several multi-offer situations in 2021, which is very unusual for this time of year. But this state of affairs won’t last. Eventually, people will complete their pre-listing preparations (decluttering, minor cosmetic touch-ups, etc.) and the number of listings will catch up with and then overtake demand. The key is to get out in front of the wave before it crests.
One other minor consideration this year is summer vacation. If self-isolation requirements are lifted prior to the end of the school year, or even if they look like they are going to be lifted by the end of August, come the last week of June Yellowknife is going to empty out with a speed and vigour that will make your head spin. In most years we advise our clients that if they are not on the market by the first week of June, it is often better to wait until September to list their homes. This year I think we can move that deadline up by at least a couple of weeks. And yes, that means buyers will not be able to see your lawn and landscaping at their best, but that’s usually the case regardless. July just isn’t a good time to list a Yellowknife home if you can help it.
If you’re thinking of selling in 2021, don’t hesitate to reach out to a member of our team right away and ask them to provide you with a free home evaluation and advice (touch-ups and timelines) for getting your home on the market. You can read their bio pages and review testimonials from past clients by following this link: https://www.century21yk.ca/the-team.
If you are selling in 2021, as a proud Yellowknifer, I sincerely hope it is to move to another home here in town. But if that’s not the case, if you are making “the move,” then we are here to help, and to make sure that your last real estate transaction in Yellowknife is a great one.
Educating buyers and sellers about our real estate market is very important to all of us here at Century 21 Prospect Realty. If you have found this article useful, we would really appreciate a Google Review, if you’re up for it. Just follow this link: https://g.page/C21ProspectRealty/review?rc