By Melanie Robitaille, Senior Staff Writer & Graphic Designer
Supply and demand; sounds straight forward, right? Unfortunately, it’s an oversimplification of a serious and complex housing issue facing much of North America right now.
The truth is we’ve been facing a shortage of new, single-family, entry-level housing for decades now, and a recent Habitat for Humanity article points out, these “record housing shortages are a fundamental driver of our affordability challenges.”
Building more seems like the obvious answer but with concerns over urban sprawl, stereotyping of low-income housing, lengthy permitting processes, not to mention skilled labor and building material shortages it’s not proving easy. However, there’s light at the end, even if the tunnel is long with millions of new single and multi-family housing permits being approved across the U.S. in 2022, and a jump in permits for both types of dwellings since mid-2020 in Canada as well.
“The last two and a half years have shown us that we still very much have a need for new inventory. The only way to get an increase to our supply is new home construction. In the last year, new construction made up approximately 28% of our new listings,” Chantal explained.
They work with two major builders in different market segments and Chantal sees these as less complex transactions compared to their resale counterparts saying, “[Resale homes] come with a history and it’s important for us to get to know this history before listing. There may also be some unexpected surprises during a buyer inspection or buyer requests for inclusions. New construction is generally more straight-forward; no history, and inclusions are pre-determined. Depending on the timing of the sale of the new construction home, you have to guide the clients into making choices and respecting the builder’s deadlines.”
They’ve built a rapport over six years, and builders now often look to them for valuable data and trends, right down to the type of home finishings popular with clients. This gives them an edge when selling projects they’re involved with from the start.
“Developers who are looking for real estate agents are looking for a professional they can trust to get the job done. Builders want to rid themselves of the stress of sale,” she explained. “When a builder decides to start a new project, we discuss in the early phases the best type of housing for the subdivision and the best target market. After the city and permit approvals, we come up with a strategy, discussing the type of homes, price point, and timeframe, etc…Once ready for sale, whether pre-sale or post-construction, we finalize our price and strategy, and get our marketing ready.”
To read more about this niche market, or to learn about Rob and Shannon Malcom who are breathing new life into revitalizations in the Birmingham, Alabama area check out Vol 11 Iss 2 of The EXIT Achiever, or text ACHIEVER to 85377.