The first half of March showed a surge in sales activity which suggested a very strong spring market was underway. That of course all changed as the scale of the Covid 19 crisis became clear. Sales activity dipped dramatically, due to safety concerns and general economic uncertainty. However unlike in 2008 and other market slowdowns, the number of buyers and sellers reduced by similar percentages, so the balance between supply and demand is relatively unchanged. What happens next will depend on how long it takes for the most severe part of this crisis to pass. If conditions allow people to feel safe restarting much of their daily lives within the next few months, I would expect the market to bounce back quickly and emphatically, due to pent up demand. If the crisis continues into next year, then the wider scale of the economic impact may mean a much longer slower period of recovery.
As you may have read, Real Estate was deemed an essential service in British Columbia. This has allowed previously agreed sales to complete and those in critical transitions in their lives to do what they need to do to protect their families. However, it has been left down to the individual buyers, sellers, real estate brokerages and agents to make their own decisions around what really is essential. I am personally very uncomfortable with any language suggesting ” business as usual” or “take precautions but carry on”. I am always 100% available to all my clients to advise them by phone, FaceTime, email etc, and will continue to monitor the market closely. However, the safety of individuals, their friends and family, front line workers, and the wider community, has to come first. I am attempting to ensure that nothing that I do prompts myself or others into leaving our homes, unless the situation is absolutely crictical (which it very rarely is), and certainly not to make any face to face contact with others. I am not listing any homes on MLS right now and am focusing my professional energy on staying in touch with clients and preparing myself and my business for what might come next.
Now more than ever, I would love to hear from you, whether you are a client from 20 years ago or a referral connection thousands of miles away! The more we can learn from each other’s experience/perspective, the easier it will be to get through these unprecedented times.