Island realtor urges those needing to sell their houses to act fast

Market conditions changing rapidly with interest rate hikes

Debbie Simmons of exp Realty in her Chemainus office. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Debbie Simmons of exp Realty in her Chemainus office. (Photo by Don Bodger)

An Island realtor has an urgent message for anyone expecting a job transfer or needing to sell their house for other mandatory reasons: put it on the market as soon as possible.

“The local real estate market has taken a strong and definitive turn,” explained Debbie Simmonds of exp Realty in Chemainus. “It is now evident that prices and volume of sales peaked in 2021, with the peak ending in February.”

Year-to-date Vancouver prices have fallen 11 per cent and the volume of sales has dropped by 36 per cent, she pointed out.

“This mirrors what I’ve been experiencing, especially in the past month. There are very few multiple offers occurring locally, and very few sales going over ask.

“My last two deals have collapsed over financing.”

It’s all due to the recent government interest rate increases, Simmonds added, that were designed to fight inflation.

“They’ve caused an immediate reaction and it’s only going to get worse. It’s going to collapse the housing market and the economy.”

More interest rate increases are coming June 1 and Sept. 1, possibly another 0.5 per cent to 0.75 per cent to further slow the market.

As for the exact amounts, “we won’t know until an hour before it happens,” said Simmonds.

“Higher interest rates have already knocked 12 per cent of buyers out of the market.”

Simmonds noted she’s already had to change pricing strategies and strategies on handling offers in the suddenly different market environment.

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