I have to admit that I love the Coast and have come to learn that while we may all not agree on the way the Sunshine Coast has developed, it offers more amenities and opportunities than it ever has before. In the past, the Sunshine Coast was an outdoor recreational mecca based on the pristine wilderness and natural abundance in wildlife and in particular fishing. As these resources have become scarcer and scarcer, the Sunshine Coast has evolved from an area with a narrow base of interests to one which encompasses a broad range of lifestyles and pursuits. The communities on the coast are proud and active and recently have been accomplishing some great things. Change comes with pros and cons and that is always a concern.
Change. The Sunshine Coast is very young, and as a small young set of communities, we see the change occurring all around us. It is satisfying to some and unsettling to others. One thing that is a guarantee is that change will continue at a rapid pace. I hang a picture of my father and his brother from 1936 when the two were standing all alone on Cowrie St. and when I say alone, I mean the only house on the street was Rockwood Lodge. So we know that change and growth are happening at all times and hopefully, through the positive efforts of our many community groups and associations, we will continue to have a healthy and happy place to call home.
Real Estate. Sorry, for getting off track, but if this blog is going to work it will be because people are paying attention and interested in a reasonable dialogue about the local real estate market and the forces that are affecting it.
I have had quite a number of buyers take to sitting on the fence over the last several weeks and they seem content to do so while the markets try to make sense of things. In only a few weeks the market has gone from softening to falling about 10% from asking prices only three months ago. To make it more difficult for sellers, each week that the buyers remain on the sideline, inventory has been growing, which of course drives prices further down as the sellers compete for the few buyers that are motivated to make a purchase.
I contend that for buyers, we know prices have fallen, and that sellers are concerned. Ask any real estate agent or an appraiser and the idea of putting a “sell tomorrow” value on a property would risk hearing a surprising number. The market is neither exclusively driven by buyers or sellers, but rather that point where the two come together. When one considers the stock market meltdown of 30 – 40% in a few months, real estate prices backing off 10-20% still make for a great investment. So I believe that we have seen some of the worst, in terms of conditions and once the buyers start to make decisions again, the market will firm up pretty quickly.
Believe it or not, uncertainty continues to mean good opportunities for both buyers and sellers. It will be interesting when we see a return to a more active buyers market – because it is theirs to take advantage of. Until then, the value of properties will be driven by the financial needs of the sellers, which may get tougher with the economic news continuing to be “challenged”.
What are your thoughts? How soon is the market going to turn around and start a slow rise again? How has your day to day lives been effected by the economic turmoil? Are you changing plans to buy or sell?
I am looking forward to hearing from a few interested participants. Hopefully, this will be a helpful exercise and a point of interest for first time homebuyers through to the savvy investors.