Real estate - The new market reality
As stability returns to residential real estate markets across the country, realtors and their customers are breathing a sigh of relief. The carnage south of the border has failed to materialize in Canada and all indicators - economic and otherwise -- point to a housing market on the upswing.
These have been trying times for our industry. Realtors that bought into the negativity in the marketplace from September 2008 to March 2009 now find themselves in a precarious position. No listings, no clients, no money. The 'paralysis by analysis' approach of letting fear limit progress has few benefits.
Those that stayed the course over the period-pressing forward despite obvious challenges, adjusting to conditions, employing new strategies, creating solid business plans, farming entire neighbourhoods, and aggressively listing properties--are now ideally positioned. Realtors, who stepped up, instead of standing back, are now reaping the rewards.
The same held true for purchasers. Buyers who moved in the midst of uncertainty, ignoring warnings from doom and gloom forecasters, economists and naysayers, snapped up some of the best real estate deals this market has seen in years. By contrast, those who panicked and chose to sit it out on the sidelines are now facing rising interest rates and-in some markets-limited inventory levels.
With national resale housing market activity returning to pre-recession levels in May, it would seem that we've come through the worst of the financial meltdown, with the real estate correction nearing an end. The number of positive indicators is very encouraging. However, recovery is still underway, and there may still be some bumps along the road.
Nevertheless, the buoyancy in the marketplace took economists by surprise. Just over half of all major markets reported an increase in unit sales in May over year-ago levels.
Consumer confidence continues to strengthen across the board. While the summer months are approaching, it is important to remember that there is still much work to be done. This is not the time to take your eye off the ball.
Ours is a market-a business-that must, by necessity, continually evolve. We know by experience that the real estate climate can change quickly, as evidenced by events such as 9-11 and the current financial crisis.
However, a smart realtor is one that is always prepared-never taking a good market for granted, always employing strong business fundamentals to ensure that, while markets may suffer, his/her career will not. To that end, going forward, we may all have to go a bit further, work a bit harder, and persevere to maintain a competitive edge. While some may view this a time to survive, there's no question that, for those who are savvy, it can very well be a time to thrive.
I hope this finds you Happy and Healthy!
All the Best!
A. Mark Argentino
P. Eng. Broker
Specializing in Residential & Investment Real Estate
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