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‘This year is the record’: Okanagan real estate sales hit new high in 2020 – Global News

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Real estate sales in the Okanagan Valley hit an all-time high in 2020.

Despite a slowdown when the COVID-19 pandemic first hit, residential sales picked up again and surpassed previous years.

“We expected the opposite, just like everybody else,” Interior Real Estate Association president Kim Heizmann said.

“We had no idea that this pandemic would create this kind of a perfect storm in real estate.”

Read more:
Home values ‘moderately increase’ in Thompson, Okanagan region

According to the Interior Real Estate Association, the previous biggest year for the region stretching from Revelstoke to Peachland was 2016, which saw $4.7 billion in sales.

However, 2020 had reached that number by October and went on to surpass the annual record by $1.2 billion.

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The final tally for 2020 was $5.9 billion in sales, Heizmann said.

Read more:
BC Assessment: $10.7M waterfront home tops list of 10 most expensive Okanagan properties

“This valley is becoming a big draw. It’s a large magnet that is pulling so many people from other areas,” realtor John Deak said.

Deak believes COVID has changed people’s spending habits, helping them save for down payments.

Low interest rates are also fueling the market, he added.

Read more:
Demand for Okanagan residential sales still strong

“I’m seeing first-time buyers who are local. I’m seeing people who were renting in the Lower Mainland finally able to purchase a home and able to do it here in the Okanagan,” Deak said.

“I’m seeing see Calgary retirees purchase their dream home.”

In the South Okanagan, the average sales price for single family homes surged 37 per cent, according to the real estate board’s statistics.

Read more:
Coronavirus: Real estate agents say pandemic playing role in red-hot Okanagan market

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“Whenever we see any kind of double digit price increases, month over or year over year in any kind of stats, those are big numbers,” Heizmann said.

However, Deak noted that despite the big demand, there is still little supply.

“Inventory is frightful,” he said. “Typically, in the spring is when you see an increase in inventory, but you’ll also see an increase in buyers, so it’s a double-edged sword.”


Click to play video 'Real estate experts in the Okanagan believe COVID-19 is pushing home sales up as people re-examine the kinds of homes they want to live in'



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Real estate experts in the Okanagan believe COVID-19 is pushing home sales up as people re-examine the kinds of homes they want to live in


Real estate experts in the Okanagan believe COVID-19 is pushing home sales up as people re-examine the kinds of homes they want to live in – Nov 4, 2020

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Calgary's real estate rebound expected to continue in 2021: CREB – CTV Toronto

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CALGARY —
The Calgary Real Estate Board is predicting continued growth in Calgary’s housing market this year as result of low lending rates, but ongoing challenges are expected to prevent a substantial increase.

In its annual forecast released Tuesday, CREB predicted total sales in Calgary would increase in 2021 by nearly five per cent compared to last year’s sales.

The 2020 sales numbers exceeded initial expectations, bolstered by a rebound in the second half of the year as demand outpaced supply.

“It is expected some of the momentum recorded at the end of 2020 will continue into 2021, fueled by exceptionally low lending rates and pent-up demand,” said Ann-Marie Lurie, CREB chief economist, in a statement. “While sales are expected to rise by nearly five per cent on an annual basis in 2021, persistent economic challenges are expected to prevent stronger growth in our housing market.”

CREB is expecting an increase of listings in 2021 as homeowners facing economic challenges may need to sell during high unemployment, while other owners who were reluctant to list at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic begin to enter the market.

The board is predicting 2021 prices to be one per cent higher than 2020.

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Why Real Estate Professionals Are Turning To Virtual Property Tours – Forbes

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I’ve done virtual keynotes for many real estate conferences in the past year and one of the key trends I’ve noted has been the use of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR).

High-contact industries are among those that can benefit the most from VR and AR technology

 Prior to the pandemic, virtual property tours weren’t uncommon, but most individuals still preferred to see property in person. Today, that mindset has shifted, with countless buyers turning to virtual property tours first, before committing to see a home in person. Virtual tours have their roots in the computer gaming industry, providing the residential sector with the ability to use 3D and in some cases, VR headsets, to help bring spaces and surrounding areas to life.

While COVID has certainly been the most urgent and immediate factor influencing the rise in VR real estate tours, it’s not the only one. As Millennials and Gen Z become a larger percentage of home buyers, the demand for virtual and mobile real estate services is increasing. These generations have come to expect virtual options for nearly everything, and home buying is no exception.

The next evolution of virtual tours

One of the most advanced companies to bring virtual tours to the masses is Guided Virtual Tours, a rapidly-expanding Tampa-based startup.  

Guided Virtual Tours is different from other virtual tour platforms—unlike traditional virtual tours that require users to click through to different points, this solution guides the prospect through the tour, selling the property just like an agent would. There’s no clicking from point to point or dragging to see different perspectives.

Instead, the prospect sits back and looks around as the VR leasing agent takes them through the tour. 

In addition, this platform is also the first proactive touring solution in the industry. Because these virtual tours can be posted on a property manager’s YouTube or social profiles, it can automatically generate new leads while giving tours 24 hours a day. 

Founder Chris Vasilakis, an American Mensa member and Marine Corps combat vereran, has a deep background in VR, having implemented it in various scenarios—including hip-hop artist management.  

After founding multiple startups in different industries, he eventually went all in on virtual reality with Guided Virtual Tours. 

According to Vasilakis, tours on his platform can be created at an affordable price, which hasn’t always been the case. “This is the future of touring all properties, allowing thousands of prospects to tour each day while reducing the need for human leasing agents,” he says. “It’ll be global—and it’s going to change the industry.”

It’s safe to say that virtual reality has enormous benefits for the year to come as our real estate landscape recovers and adapts to what I believe will be a big business boom in the near future

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What $500,000 buys in today's Canadian real estate market – Vancouver Sun

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This home is located at 80 Jenkins Drive in Killarney Road, New Brunswick.
This home is located at 80 Jenkins Drive in Killarney Road, New Brunswick. Photo by Courtesy Rebecca Steeves /PNG

Killarney Road, New Brunswick

80 Jenkins Drive ($499,900)

Located a four-minute drive from Fredericton, this New Brunswick home is reminiscent of a New England farmhouse. The five-bedroom, 3.5 bathroom two-storey features red cedar shingles and tiled floors and, in the kitchen, red shaker cabinetry with accent glass doors, stone backsplash, porcelain floors and new appliances. The kitchen opens to a formal dining room with red pine plank floors. A spacious living room and den/potential bedroom complete the main level. The upper level offers a newly refinished bathroom with porcelain floors, tub/shower with white subway tile and three bedrooms. A large master comes with a private ensuite, complete with large vanity, soaker tub, tile shower and porcelain floors. The recently finished lower level includes a generous-sized family room, two more large bedrooms, and a third full bathroom, also with tub/shower with white subway tile. Outside, a back deck and two covered front porches look out on a landscaped yard.

This home is located at 2410 Rue Ste-Catherine E., in Montreal.
This home is located at 2410 Rue Ste-Catherine E., in Montreal. Photo by Courtesy César Balbin /PNG

Montreal

#202-2410 Rue Ste-Catherine E. ($499,700)

This two-bedroom, one-bath Montreal condo offers 1,232 square feet of open space with large bedrooms and a private 20′ x 8′ terrace. It’s located in the Ville Marie neighbourhood, home to Montreal’s central business district.

1420 Dupont St.
This home is located on 1420 Dupont St., in Toronto. Photo by Courtesy Cam Woolfrey /PNG

Toronto

#1112 -1420 Dupont St. ($499,900)

Located in the Junction Triangle in Toronto’s West End, this one-bedroom, one-bathroom condo features exposure to an abundance of natural light. Panoramic views of the city are on display from the bedroom and balcony. Freshly painted with upgraded bedroom storage and glass roller door, the unit is near shops and grocery stores as well as subway and transit. Parking included.

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