LETHBRIDGE -- Several industries have taken a beating during the COVID-19 pandemic but there is at least one that is thriving.
"We were really worried in March, obviously, when the news came out with COVID, but back in May. we started to see some really good signs and by June it was gangbusters," said owner of Atkinson Team Realty, Courtney Atkinson. "We had, I think our best June ever."
The market in Lethbridge was up approximately 11 per cent compared to last June. Atkinson Team Realty sells homes all over southern Alberta.
"Medicine Hat was similar – it was up 23 per cent," said Atkinson.
Atkinson has been helping a lot of homebuyers who fit the typical price range for southern Albertans.
"We've seen a tremendous amount of activity in the $200, $325 and $350,000 range."
However, those looking at more extravagant properties aren't shying away either.
"In the last week, we’ve sold two properties over a million dollars and these are properties that would have lasted a year to two years on the open market," said Atkinson.
From the clients, Atkinson has been interacting with he thinks he understands why so many people are looking at new homes.
"I think all of us we’re experiencing some anxiety around COVID-19. Assessing our mortality, assessing our relationship, we’re assessing how we like to spend time, where we like to spend time," he says. "(People want to) potentially enhance the space that they have or completely move into a space that they think they deserve. Without as much consideration for maybe financial awareness as they would have in the past."
The Bank of Canada recently stated it would hold interest rates low at 0.25 per cent. Low-interest rates could continue to push the real estate market upwards.
"We’re going to see people that have an at least a reasonably sound foundation economically want to make changes in their life and be able to afford to do it."