The Dawson Creek real estate market is in flux. This is a fact. It is not business as usual.
What is interesting to me is the gap between how much fluctuation buyers are expecting versus what sellers believe. The gap between what a buyer wants to pay and what a seller wants to receive is larger than I’ve ever seen it.
Here are the facts since Jan. 1. We currently have 224 properties on the market. That is up 17 per cent since the beginning of March. This is not unusual for this time of year. Spring is upon us. We have had 37 sales with a median sale price of $275,000. This is going to be our slowest first quarter since the fall out from the financial crisis in 2009.
While this is the case, it is worth noting that there is, in fact, homes being bought and sold. They are being sold across price ranges. Pointing to that fact is that the median sale price is the highest it’s been since last year in the first quarter.
Here’s what needs to happen for the transaction level to increase: Buyers need to realize that the sky has not fallen and sellers need to realize that the market is extremely competitive.
Let’s talk about buyers first. Hey, you home buyers out there; there are deals to be had in Dawson Creek right now, they’re just not as good a deal as you expect it to be. We have not seen prices fall 20 per cent from the peak. People are not selling houses for less than they paid for them (Note: I think we’re going to see some of that soon, but it’s not going to be for houses, it’s going to be for attached investment properties. I’ll address that situation in a later column). When you find the house you want, you can be a bit aggressive. The playing field is tilted in your favor, but it’s not the economic carnage that you would need to see to get the deal that you seem to be expecting. If we were seeing that kind of carnage, you would be out of a job too.
Now, if I can speak to you sellers. I understand that you want/need a certain amount of revenue from the sale of your property to move onto your next chapter. The key word in that sentence is revenue. If you don’t have a sale, you don’t have any revenue, so your next chapter remains closed. You don’t need to “give it away” as almost every seller tells me they’re not going to do when we’re discussing price. The market will determine what you’re home is worth, you will determine if you want to sell at that price. If you actually want to sell your property, you need to pay attention to what the market tells you and make your decisions from there. Not to say that it’s impossible for your get exactly what you expect. It’s also possible to win the lottery, the odds just aren’t in your favor.
In conclusion, both you, Mr. Buyer and Mrs. Seller, have to temper your expectations. There are transactions to be done that work for everyone at the table. With a little bit of cooperation from each of you, we should see transaction levels improve along with the weather.
Kevin Kurjata is a Dawson Creek Real Estate Specialist with Century 21 Energy Realty. He can be reached at 250.719.3538 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.