Real Estate News Spring 2023

Hello again,

I Didn’t See That One Coming...Just when I thought I’d seen it all, Who would’a guessed it?, That was not in the cards....
I hope the spring weather is agreeing with you. The ever lengthening and slightly warmer days are certainly a tonic for my soul. Tonic is also very agreeable with the kind spirit of gin; I’ll get to that later.  Spring is the time to rid the cloak of cabin fever from our shoulders, to get outside, get into our ‘light’ wet weather clothing and get our hands dirty in the pure, glorious lifeblood of mother earth – soil. Or, you can hire a reputable yard maintenance company and work on your piano, perfecting your B flat scale. Baking cookies, in a nice sunny kitchen, is also a nice reprieve from the long, gloomy winter months. I’ve discovered that landscaping personnel are generally very receptive to any baked good that contains a good measure of chocolate chips. And of course, cookie dough and chocolate wash out easily from underneath the fingernails. Soiled hands, I’ve heard, can sometimes require three or four washings
(sometimes even requiring the use of a scrub brush) before being totally clean. Why all that work and fuss, hire out, that’s the gig! > What you just read was a dream sequence from a Stephen King novel. Naturally, I’m not going to write what the protagonist actually woke up to. No, no! Anyone who knows how the Virginia/Glenn household works, knows that For example, where we live you only use
the word ‘soil’ if it’s followed by a question mark (?). As in, ‘Soil, what soil?’ People ask me, “Glenn, you’re in real estate, why do you drive a truck?” I can tell you this, with my stature it’s not because it’s easy to get in and out of. It’s because Virginia we love gardening. And because Virginia we love gardening, the truck is required for various kinds of yard waste removal duties, aggregate collection and dispersion (Glenn shoveling soil/gravel from truck), or megalithic landscaping projects. All of you
that know me, in the context of your realtor, know that I preach, maybe even a little too much, the value of real estate. And not only value in the spectrum of wealth building, but value in the holistic sense. Real estate, in this case the personal residence, is the cradle for the multi-layered structure of family, and the many and varied dynamics that are established within it. The family home is one of the few bastions of solidarity that can be nurtured by any couple – something that is exquisitely and purely their own. Your home and garden is something akin to a breathing, sentient being. So, why did we I insist we buy a house on a rock? Tune in to the Summer edition of REN for the explanation. For realtors, spring is that season where we ‘kick it up a notch’, knowing the history of past and proven, real estate cycles. Spring is that time of year when we put in the extra hours helping our clients shake off the doldrums of winter and then prepare them for the busy ‘spring fever’ market. Spring is that time of year when a seemingly overabundance of ‘FOR SALE’ lawn signs pop up faster than daffodils. Okay, that’s how it’s SUPPOSED to work. Take away Covid 19 from our lives, and that’s how it ALWAYS worked in the past. We saw - from a public health perspective – what we thought, was the end of Covid. But with the lingering effects of the pandemic, and the meteoric rise in interest rates, we are witnessing yet another anomaly in the world of real estate. The long and short of it is that we are WOEFULLY short of residential listings. As of April 21st the Oceanside area has 296 listings. We should be well over 500 for this time of year. Miranda will have to do the heavy lifting and explain why this has happened. If it’s impossible for her to put her section together in less than a thousand words, she may opt out and share a wonderful cinnamon bun recipe she just discovered. Done. Wow, can I use a gin and tonic. Done. Wow, can I use a gin and tonic. Done. Wow, can I use a gin and tonic. Done. Wow, can I use a gin and tonic......

Glenn isn't wrong; we seem to be in a perpetual state of eyebrow-raising surprise as our market pivots, once again, in a direction we certainly didn't see coming! Although I lack the robust loquacity of my dear friend Glenn, he's correct: I will be hard-pressed to explain why the market is the way it is in under 1000 words, simply because there are so many factors involved. But, I'm certainly not known for my baking skills, and I can guarantee that you DO NOT want my cinnamon bun recipe, so I'll just give this explanation a go: The short answer is, supply and demand. On the demand side we have our buyers. They've been sitting tight for about a year now, waiting for interest rates to stabilize. But, life
goes on. Babies are born, jobs change, marriages dissolve, people pass away, children fly the nest, and
populations continue to grow (BC acquired a net total of 100,000 immigrants- foreign and national- in 2021). Real estate is based on the ever-evolving needs of life so, while everyone was sitting on their hands and holding their breath regarding interest rates, buyer's needs- demand- was building. Now spring has sprung and, traditionally, everyone goes shopping and finds their new home. Except this year, we find ourselves lacking supply. Why? Inflation has made life expensive: groceries, gas, variable rate mortgage increases, etc. It all adds up. And real estate transactions cost money: Property Transfer Tax, moving costs, legal and realtor fees, and potential mortgage prepayment penalty fees. Sellers aren't seeing the financial feasibility of selling if they don't absolutely have to, and they may even risk losing their locked-in lower interest rate. So, we aren't seeing the inventory given to us from the "Let's just move for the sake of it" crowd. Plus, sellers usually become buyers, and the know it's tough out there, so they're choosing to wait it out until absolutely necessary. It's like a snake eating its own tail. But, what about all that population growth? Surely the province is doing something to increase supply and house its citizens? This is where new construction comes in. Our premiere, Mr. Eby, has made sweeping changes in order to streamline the building process at the local level and expedite private projects, but many projects have been put on hold or completely cancelled due to lack of staff, high interest rates, strict new environmental building codes, and increased building costs. Developers and, let's be honest, almost everyone else, do what they do to make money, and right now the math just doesn't make sense to them. The province has dedicated money for publicly funded housing projects but critics feel that these sums are woefully inadequate and the timelines lack a sense of urgency. Mr. Eby's government has made many changes in the way of zoning, density, and Official Community Plans, with the aim of increasing rental supply and, in turn, softening buyer demand. Properties previously zoned as single-family are now allowed, and encouraged, to have carriage suites or multifamilydwellings built on them. Owners now have the option to increase the value of their property by building homes for renters, but considering the previously mentioned financial strains most people are feeling, are many in a position to actually do so? And, should the responsibility of housing others even be placed on the shoulders of private citizens? Oy vey! See what I mean? It's a complicated subject and the deeper we dig looking for answers, the more questions arise. These are huge questions, best pondered in person over a hot cup of tea (or gin and tonic, as Glenn suggested), and without the limitation of 1000 words.

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