Real estate “absolutely insane” in 2020

By Gordon Lambie
Real estate “absolutely insane” in 2020
(Photo : Gordon Lambie)

Stephane Faucher told The Record that when his business shut down for six weeks last March, he fully expected it to be a sign of a terrible year to come.
“We were all expecting a bad year,” reflected Faucher, an agent with the Sutton real-estate agency, “but as soon as they told us we were allowed to work again, the phones started ringing.”
Faucher, as well as RE/MAX agents Danielle St. Vincent and Todd Chabot all said the same thing when looking back on the year so far: 2020 has been full of the unexpected.
Oh, and it has also been really busy.
“It has been absolutely insane pretty much seven days a week for the last four months,” said Chabot, who helps sell houses in the Brome Lake area.
Although the three agents work either in different parts of the townships or for different agencies, they all identified the demand as the same: people looking to get out of larger cities and either settle or acquire a second home in the country.
“Pretty much the first question that’s asked when they step out of the car to visit a house is ‘how’s the internet here?’” Chabot said, pointing out that with the growing use of teleconferencing in work environments, people no longer feel tied to particular places when it comes to doing their jobs.
“Now they all know that they can work from home, so people are saying they want some space instead of living in the big towns,” Faucher said.
“It you want to sell, it’s the time,” St. Vincent added, pointing out that there are properties in the townships that have been on the market for years in some cases that have been bought up this year, almost no questions asked.
Particularly in the early days of the pandemic, St. Vincent said that she saw some houses sold even without a visit or inspections.
“The market went flying up, even though there was COVID,” she said, noting that although there are now more procedures in place to safely visit a property, she is still seeing some buyers drop inspection requirements in order to make competitive offers in a busy sellers’ market.
“We’re seeing multiple offers for houses that would normally take three to six months to sell, and then they are going in two to three weeks,” she said, adding that this is particularly the case for waterfront or cottage properties.
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