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Shelburne housing market remains strong despite pandemic

August 6, 2020   ·   0 Comments


The number of houses up for sale on the market might be low in Shelburne, as sellers still deal with listing fears stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, but the housing market, local realtors, say is quite healthy. 

Realtor Dave Launchbury from iPro Realty told the Free Press that he has seen the listing prices for homes in Shelburne go up through the easing of COVID-19, in some cases by 10 to 15 percent.

“A house that I was quoting at $500,000 in January, would be quoting at $550,000 right now,” said Launchbury. “It’s that significant.” 

While the current state of the housing market in Shelburne is looking, according to Launchbury, “extremely healthy” with only 17 listings on the market by print time, in March and April the state of the housing market was looking bleak.

At the beginning of 2020 the housing market in Shelburne was slow – a normal reaction realtors say, that comes with the colder weather of January and February. In the early parts of March though the market was looking up.

Dave Besley, a realtor with Royal LePage in Shelburne even related the early stages of the March housing market to those of 2017.

“It was starting to look somewhat like 2017, where we had a crazy year,” said Besley. “I mean prices were very, very strong with multiple offers and property was going way over listing (price).” 

Realtor Ken Bennington, also with Royal LePage told the Free Press that in early March he had a listing for a house that sold in 24 hours. 

By the end of March though, with the brunt of COVID-19 hitting Ontario, the housing market hit a pause with the closing of the economy, and there was some fear that the housing market would crash by summer or fall. 

“We went through a period of about two months, that the real estate market went pretty much flat, or at least the activity was very slow,” said Besley. “Then people started to come to terms with it and realized that the world wasn’t going to end and life had to carry on. It was just going to be different.” 

During April and May there were few houses listed on the market for sale. The current 17, Launchbury says is about a 50 percent increase from the lowest point in the pandemic. But, while the number of houses on the market was and still remains low, the prices for listed houses have remained strong and in even some cases have gone up. 

“Prices are remaining strong, especially in the entry level market,” said Bennington. “We’re seeing multiple offers and most starter type homes are selling well above asking price.” 

So, why have the prices for homes gone up during a global pandemic? Launchbury says it’s because of low inventory and the demand for first time home buyers. 

“Mid-April, houses were still selling and the prices started going up because inventory was low, it’s just a natural thing, inventory is low and it becomes a seller’s market,” said Launchbury. “The biggest issue for home sellers is there’s less inventory for houses they want to purchase, and then the prices went up too.” 

What is there to expect next from the housing market as it continues to recover from the year? 

Besley says that the days of buying a house for less than $400,000 in Shelburne are over and that the market is better off than they expected it to be. Bennington also said he expects the market to remain strong in Shelburne for quite some time. 

But while Besley and Bennington share similar thoughts on the strength of Shelburne’s housing market, Launchbury suggests doubts with the way the pandemic has affected the income of first time home buyers – the ones he says drastically affect the market. 

“If there is a significant amount of first time homebuyers out there who have had a significant reduction in their income, that lowers their approval ratings and that affects the market. Everything we hear about COVID-19 affecting the market drastically, I thought was going to be instantaneous, but it’s not going to fall out until 2021.” 



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