KTW spoke with the Association of Interior Realtors about issues impacting the industry.
Q. Does the Association of Interior REALTORS® have a primary suggestion as to how to help first-time homebuyers enter a housing market in which prices continue to rise?
A: While we're certainly facing challenging times for first time homebuyers, there are ways to position oneself to be in the best position possible to realize the dream of home ownership. Speaking with a qualified mortgage/financial advisor is the most important first step. They can guide you through the things you can do to improve your credit and take advantage of the various incentives available to first time buyers. They can also advise on ways to use rental income to help increase buying power. Your next line of defence is your trusted Realtor who can help you find the perfect home for your budget and lifestyle while making sure you're protected throughout the buying process.
Q: Our magazine’s theme this year is Connect, Innovate and Grow. With that in mind, how have member REALTORS® managed to keep connected with each other and with clients during these past two years of varying gathering restrictions?
A: If there’s one thing we as REALTORS® do well, it’s adapt; and that’s what we did. By embracing the power of technology, social media and digital tools we were able to stay connected, while helping clients looking to buy or sell their home through Virtual showings / virtual open houses and other technology-based solutions.
Q: And how did they (and how do they continue to) innovate amid the sudden change in how their business had to be conducted amid the pandemic?
A: REALTORS® continue to learn and embrace new digital tools at their disposal, as well as really honing their digital skills across many platforms.
Q: Are there any notable challenges facing the real estate industry that you feel senior levels of government can address?
A: A mismatch between supply and demand is the root of the challenges consumers are facing. Instead of looking for quick fixes to dampen housing demand, government policies should focus on measures that could bring more housing to the market, as outlined in BCREA’s recent white paper – A Better Way Home. Providing more options for buyers can help soften competitive market conditions and provide much needed inventory after months of supply drought.”
Q: What is the outlook in 2022 and 2023 for the industry in the Kamloops area with respect to sales, starts and prices?
A: If the pandemic has taught us anything, it is that we cannot predict the future. The only thing we do know for sure is that a lack of housing supply continues to be the key driver of real estate market performance. For now, sales continue to hold strong in the area.