Lack of inventory availability only hold back in hot Fall River, Beaver Bank real estate market, say realtors

FALL RIVER/BEAVER BANK: The real estate market in Fall River/Beaver Bank will remain hot through 2022, with the only downside being the lack of inventory available, say three realtors to whom we spoke.

The Laker News reached to Jerry and Annette Murphy’s Team at KW Realty; Jessica Plamondon at The Pike Group; and Exit Realty’s Jeremy Cowan to discuss the market in the area. All three are either advertisers or have supported projects we have done here at The Laker News.

Melissa Geddes, with Jerry Murphy of Jerry and Annette Murphy’s team at Keller Williams Realty, said inventory—listings of homes for sale–is at historic low and sale prices are at a historic high. Murphy has been living and selling real estate in Fall River for 40 years and he and Geddes, his daughter, are long time Fall River.

“If demand continues to outpace supply, we will continue to see homes selling in competing offers over list price,” said Geddes.

Geddes provided the following stats for Area 30- Fall River, Waverley, Wellington, Grand Lake Oakfield & Windsor Junction (source: infosparks Nova Scotia Association of Realtors last 12 months January 2021 to January 2022):

Closed sales price average $594,135 increase of 26.7%

Total sales 256 decrease -12.6% 

Average days on market 23 

Percentage of list price 110.4% 

January stats:

Homes for sale 20 (-70.1%) 

Months Supply (of inventory) 0.8 (-77.1) 

So simply put, it’s a sellers market.

“It’s a great time to be a seller but a very difficult time to be a buyer,” she said.

What does the easing of COVID-19 restrictions mean for the real estate market?

“Signs are indicating that the market will remain strong with the restrictions easing,” said Geddes and Murphy.

She said the housing market is directly affected by the Canadian economy. So, if the current economic forecasts remain, we will continue to see a strong housing market in the area for the next year.

She said the best thing the federal government could do for sellers and buyers is not to raise interest rates.

Jessica Plamondon, with The Pike Group, Royal LePage Atlantic, said in a nut shell 2022 looks to be another great year.

“It’ll be tricky for first time home buyers to purchase in established neighbourhoods, and I believe we will be seeing a transfer of wealth,” she said. People wishing to downsize will be motivated by the sizeable offers and freeing of their investment/ cash for travel etc.”

She feels the COVID-19 pandemic made people reassess their priorities: family, travel etc.

“I believe we will see a big shift of boomers wanting to move out of the city and allowing young families to purchase,” said Plamondon.

Does she see a slow down for the real estate market in the near future?

“I don’t see it slowing down as I believe what is truly driving our industry at the moment is low supply and high demand,” she said. “These prices are here to stay.

“There will likely be change in interest rates as our federal government tries to stop the financial bleeding from the pandemic but that’s not for me to comment.”

Jeremy Cowan, a long-time Fall River resident and realtor with Exit Metro Realty, said the big issue in his community is exactly what Plamondon and Geddes said lack of inventory that is available.

He said as of March 1, there are a total of just two homes for sale in the area and one is a new home to be built.

“When homes do get listed, they generate huge interest with dozens of showings and multiple offers from eager buyers,” said Cowan.

He pointed to a recent sale in Fall River for a $750,000 home that generated 22 showings and multiple offers that were all well over the asking price. 

Cowan said homes are being sold in just a few days compared to 10 – 15 years ago when the average days on the market was closer to three months versus three 3 days.

“If you think about 22 buyers all looking at the same house; that means 21 buyers are still looking,’ he said.

He said unfortunately affordability for buyers entering the market for the first time has proven to be extremely difficult, discouraging, and left an almost hopeless feeling in some cases as prices have soared sharply in the last 24 months.

Cowan was asked how 2022 looks for real estate in the Fall River area.

“Listings will remain low, and this will drive sales volume down,” he said of what he expects. “Prices will continue to climb, and sellers will be tempted to cash out to try and time their exit strategy.”

He said Fall River home prices were somewhat flat 10 years ago with modest annual increases and sellers that built larger homes had been discouraged with their property resale values. 

“Those days are well in the rear-view mirror as lack of available building lots and the higher prices of building materials have had a significant impact on resale prices,” he said.

Cowan said talk of interest rate increases will always be present when money is so cheaply accessible, and pressures will be on the government to increase rates to slow down inflation. 

“History will tell us that an overheated real estate market will not last forever so if you are a seller enjoy the next 18-24 months,” he said.