The pandemic brought some curious changes in the real estate market. Because travel is more restricted now, it led individuals to look for rural areas. The demand for cottages has increased in a way never seen before, making agents very surprised by the new trend.
Martin and Avery, a couple from London, Ontario, decided that they wanted to get a cottage during the pandemic, to get more in touch with nature. But they are not the only ones. According to Martin, there were a lot of people interested in the same area that they were looking. He also mentioned that the couple looked around 12 cottages in total, and they faced a bidding war for each one of them. In one of the cases, they lost by being outbid by only $1,500. Martin got really upset by it.
The good news is that Martin and Avery were successful in purchasing a cottage. They ended up buying one at a lake outside of Bancroft. While they also had to face a bidding war with this cottage, they were able to get it, even though they didn’t have the highest bid. Their secret, according to Martin, was developing a relationship with the cottage’s owner. The owner wanted to sell the cottage to someone that would take care of the place, and they decided that Martin and Avery would be the perfect couple to acquire their beloved cottage.
According to Jill Price, an agent from Re-Max All Stars that covers the Bancroft region, when the pandemic started, the market slowed down and that she got very concerned by it. But, when northern regions in Ontario started to reopen, Jill said things started to change quickly. She said that people started coming up there, specially retirees taking retirement early and moving to the cottages full-time. Jill also noticed more younger couples on their early 30s coming in, who are now working from home and decided to move to a cottage and make it their new home office.
Jill mentioned that back in 2017, there was a similar increase in the cottage real state market, but that now is really out of the norm. She mentioned that most cottages are selling with between 5 and 10 offers, which means they are selling around $50,000 to $100,000 over the selling price. For example, the cottages that are listed in the market for around $500,000, and with the bidding wars, they are expected to get a 10% increase.Even with the large influx of urban buyers, Jill believes that this trend can easily decline as time goes by. She adds that, some buyers might get bored and decide to move back to the city in a couple years.
The Toronto real estate market has also experienced some surprising trends. For example, homes with a pool are now receiving many offers and being sold much faster than before. Usually buyers are not interested in purchasing a property with a pool, since it is more expensive to maintain and also demands an extra insurance on the house. This trend is a result of a decrease of city amenities during the pandemic. If people can’t enjoy outside, they will find a way to enjoy the isolation period inside their properties.
Also, many people working from home are now looking for a more comfortable property with more space, and more bedrooms. Couples that used to work in offices, now need their own space to work from home and also, a private space for their families. This trend also made younger and first-time home buyers curious, so they started looking into the market for deals. It is not necessarily because the prices are lower, but because there’s this idea that new deals might be out there, so that encourages the new buyers to come out and start looking as well.
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