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Winter real estate market stays hot

Winter real estate market stays hot

People looking to buy are “clamouring for properties” on the Sunshine Coast in what could be the busiest January and February ever for local real estate, agents say.

“There are a lot of buyers out there right now and there’s not much for sale,” Gary Little of Royal LePage Sussex told the Local. “Sellers are getting closer to asking price, or multiple offers, and people are clamouring for properties.

“February has been just crazy. We’ve had 108 sales so far this month,” Little said on Feb. 24. “The biggest month we’ve seen in the last several years was 110 sales, and that was last June. We’re going to wipe out the best month in years—and in February. Unbelievable,” he said

Little’s colleague at Royal LePage Sussex, Kate McQuaid, said properties that are well-priced “are lasting less than a week” on the market before being scooped up.

“I’ve never seen a January and February like this. Our sales board is double what it normally would be for this time of year,” McQuaid said.

A relatively low inventory of listed properties, especially detached homes, is helping drive the frenzy. The number of detached properties for sale dipped to just over 300 at the end of February, a little more than half the inventory in February 2014.

More properties are expected to come up for sale soon, if past seasonal patterns repeat.

“You get more listings in March and April, typically, than you do in January and February,” Little noted. But it’s hard to predict if that will cool things down, given the high number of people on the hunt.

Statistics aren’t currently kept on the where buyers are from, but most seem to be Lower Mainlanders, the agents said.

Prices have not gone up sharply, but have been steadily rising for detached homes in the past 18 months, and are now, on average, nearly 15 per cent higher than they were in August, 2014.

To call it “a seller’s market” is putting it mildly.

“People do not have any time to sit on the fence right now,” said McQuaid. “If they see something they have to get a pen out and be prepared to write an offer. If it’s good, it’s not going to last.”

Rik Jespersen

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