Despite being a fan of Depeche Mode, I didn’t see their recent concert in Toronto.
But this particular song title reminds me of something that I believe pretty profoundly – that a truly healthy real estate market is one in which there is a certain degree of balance. In the 10 years I’ve spent in the business, I’ve come to understand ‘balance’ in terms of shared degree of disappointment – where sellers are mildly disappointed with the sale price of their property, and buyers are mildly disappointed that they paid a bit too much.
This of course seems a tad ridiculous, given that ultimately both parties to a transaction should be overjoyed, correct? If we work on this principal, then the past couple of years have been utterly devastating to the spirits of buyers, whereas sellers have almost universally been overjoyed with their results. Some of the sale prices we have witnessed have been devastating to the spirits and budgets of buyers. While the press was interesting – “housing soars 50%”, “Sellers get 80% over asking” – there was an indulgence of richness that defied a sane and healthy market.
Is it possible that today – as a result of a vast decrease in transactional activity, a rise in interest rates and some trepidation on the market – that we are returning to a more normalized condition where the balance between buyer and seller is more in check? Where a little bit of disappointment gets sprinkled around equally?
Frankly, I’d like to think so. While it makes for less compelling press, it makes for a much healthier market.
It’s the right balance.