Its been about 3 weeks since the terms social distancing, quarantine and self isolation are now main stays in our vocabulary. Hopefully the COVID19 era will be over sooner than later, however at this time we are living in it with no idea when it will be over. As families are told to stay at home, somewhere out there, maybe on your street there is a home for sale. Somewhere in your city a home is being SOLD at this moment or someone you may know if going to purchase a home. However, are people still coming to look at homes in person? The answer is yes just not as many. Virtual tours, videos and 3D animation house tours will be best friends to a home that wants to be sold. Everything changed so quickly, and the second half of March gave us a glimpse of what might come. Lets go over Mach stats, keeping in mind we are getting these stats from Brokerbay. This is a program used by many brokerages to book appointments for their listings and register offers among other things. Not all brokerages use this program so keep that in mind and these stats will not be 100% but a pretty good idea of what is happening.
Appointments per day Graph
This Graph shows how often homes were receiving showings during the Month of March. As you can see, COVID19 news got real locally around the 9th and 14th and scared a lot of buyers away from coming to view homes. Showings are way down now.
The start of the year saw a year estate boom. Home prices were soaring, due to high demand and low inventory. At the beginning of March there was a stat somewhere that home prices from last year actually jumped at one point to 49% more compared to March last year! Halfway though the month COVID19 fears jumped right into our backyard and Canadian families were told to stay home. At that time the Real Estate market did not change too much, yet. Homes were still selling like fresh out of the oven buns.
On Wednesday Wednesday March 18th the Kitchener Waterloo Real estate board reported one of their members, a real state agent was hospitalized with the Virus,. That agent also had a home for sale. With the board now in scramble mode, search for immediate questions such as who else was in contact with that person, who showed their home, who else might be sick. This snowballed and the idea that showing homes for sale just might not be safe anymore stuck. It was suggested on that day that agents no longer do in person showings, from the Kitchener Waterloo board, and OREA (Ontario Real Estate association) . That real estate agent who got sick was essentially the Rudy Gobert of out local Real estate market, who was the first NBA player to get sick causes the league to suspend the season imminently once he tested positive for the Coronavirus. Once an agent got sick they recommended shutting down viewing homes in person!
In saying that, people are “still” viewing homes. If the seller and buyers mutually agree then a showing is allowed, often brokerages leave it to them to not take any onus. There is still a strong interest to purchase homes as most listing shift to focus on top virtual tours and videos to make viewing online easier. Regardless sellers are more scared then ever to allow people into their home and buyers more then ever to leave home, let alone go into another persons home. April will become a very telling month with were the real estate market is heading during the COVID Pandemic. We will talk about that soon, in the meantime here are March states.
MARCH 2020 Real Estate Showing and Offer statistics!
March compared to February showings are down 22.7%
1st half of march compared to the 2nd half of March showings are down 66.1%
The final week of March compared to the final week of February showings are down 77.2
March compared to February showings are down 15.2%
1st half of march compared to the 2nd half of March showings are down 60.7%
The final week of March compared to the final week of February showings are down 75.1%
Here are the Numbers again from the CEO of Brokerbay
There is a lot we do not know, how this will end and where the market will go. At this time we do know that once Canadians started to take the threat of the Corona virus serious about 2 weeks ago, showings and offers are way way down. There is every indication that the market is slowing changing into a buyers market. If you are looking for a good deal, you can definitely find one in the next few months.
Stay safe friends and stay home. If you want to buy a home, view the virtual tour. Prices are coming down fast!