MAKEITHAPPEN E-Newsletter Volume 12 - Quarantine Addition
Real Estate Pivots in the Age of Covid-19
May 5, 2020
Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 913 residential properties in April through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® System, compared with 2,025 in April 2019, a decrease of 55 per cent. April’s sales included 700 in the residential-property class, down 56 per cent from a year ago, and 213 in the condominium-property category, a decrease of 51 per cent from April 2019. The five-year average for April unit sales is 1,692.
“While the Ottawa real estate market statistics for April come as no surprise, they are a stark contrast to the previous month and the year-over-year figures for April 2019,” states Ottawa Real Estate Board President Deb Burgoyne. “I am proud to say, our Members have rapidly adapted to following the “State of Emergency” guidelines and are limiting work activity to assisting those who must sell and/or buy during this pivotal time – while keeping the health risk to all parties to a minimum.”
April’s average sale price for a condominium-class property was $327,813, an increase of 6.3 per cent from this time last year while the average sale price of a residential-class property was $521,694, an increase of 6.8 per cent from a year ago. Year to date figures show a 15.1 per cent and an 18.5 per cent increase in average sale prices for residential and condominiums, respectively.*
“While the number of unit sales has decreased substantially, residential prices are still holding their own and are up over last year’s figures, with properties often selling above the asking price,” Burgoyne reports. “There is still a holdover of pent-up demand in our marketplace. We believe that when the market opens up again, although it won’t be business as usual, sales will rebound and make up for the decline the spring market has experienced,” she adds.
“Our Members have been adjusting and retooling the way real estate is conducted. They are finding new ways to market properties and provide options for viewings using technology such as live streaming open houses, posting virtual tours, and holding virtual showings, etc. These adaptations are key in mitigating risk for all parties and will certainly continue to be necessary as things normalize in the city and our working environment.”
“If you are a potential home buyer or seller, and in a situation where it is essential that you buy or sell a property right now, there are means to do this in a safe and prudent manner. Do not hesitate to contact a REALTOR® to discuss, plan and protect you through this unique period,” recommends Burgoyne.
In addition to residential and condominium sales, OREB Members assisted clients with renting 947 properties since the beginning of the year compared to 778 at this time last year.
Source: Ottawa Real Estate Board
April 3, 2020
Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 1,525 residential properties in March through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® System, compared with 1,507 in March 2019, an increase of only 1.2 per cent. March’s sales included 1,170 in the residential-property class, up 3.3 per cent from a year ago, and 355 in the condominium-property category, a decrease of 5.1 per cent from March 2019. The five-year average for March unit sales is 1,465.
“Our results show that the Ottawa real estate market seems to have withstood the pressure of a worldwide economic event in March, however in context with our market’s performance up to this point, we can see the underlying effect. Before the pandemic, monthly unit sales were increasing between 10-16% from 2019, while March’s sales were just on par with a year ago. This is an indicator that there has been a slowdown in the real estate market due to Covid-19.” reports Deborah Burgoyne, Ottawa Real Estate Board President.
“Much of March’s activity likely began in the first two weeks of the month before the State of Emergency order was put into place. In fact, we had a head start on the spring market that was heating up earlier than expected, but activity seemed to fall off as physical distancing measures took effect,” she adds.
“Once the Ontario State of Emergency began, our Members and Brokerages rightly began to make all adjustments necessary for the health and wellbeing of our clients and customers. We welcomed the government’s declaration of real estate as an essential service so that transactions in progress could be completed. However, it was not and is not business as usual for our Members. They are heeding government and public health authority warnings and advice and are being diligent in taking extra safety precautions. All this, while still doing their best to help their clients successfully conclude or close real estate transactions that were already in progress,” Burgoyne acknowledges.
March’s average sale price for a condominium-class property was $369,311, an increase of 27.3 per cent from this time last year while the average sale price of a residential-class property was $559,739, an increase of 16.5 per cent from a year ago. Year to date figures show an 18.8 per cent and a 23.2 per cent increase in average sale prices for residential and condominiums, respectively.*
“Our Members are evolving and adapting their business practices by leveraging the use of technology with virtual tours, live streaming, social media, and becoming more creative in their methods to facilitate the needs of their clients who may need to buy or sell right now because of their circumstances.”
“However, for those buyers and sellers who are not in that urgent position, our Members recognize the health and safety of our community is paramount. They are consulting with these clients on a case by case basis and may advise that they should delay the listing of their home or a purchase. They are doing what’s best for their clients in the context of government advisories,” affirms Burgoyne.
When asked about the impact of Covid-19 on the number of new listings on the market, Burgoyne speculates, “The shortage of inventory has driven down the number of new listings for the past several years, so we cannot accurately state that the decrease in March was due to Covid-19 where we saw 1,579 new residential listings and 469 for condos. The 5-year average is 2,217 and 665, respectively. I believe that April’s number will provide a truer and more legitimate reflection of the impact of Covid-19 on our local real estate market.”
“In closing, I would like to say that we are grateful to have been granted the essential service designation and are working closely with all levels of government and our provincial and national associations to ensure that we implement the necessary steps and protocols to flatten the curve and remain the trusted advisors that the public have come to expect from the REALTOR® profession.”
In addition to residential and condominium sales, OREB Members assisted clients with renting 746 properties since the beginning of the year compared to 550 at this time last year.
* The Board cautions that the average sale price can be useful in establishing trends over time but should not be used as an indicator that specific properties have increased or decreased in value. The calculation of the average sale price is based on the total dollar volume of all properties sold. Price and conditions will vary from neighbourhood to neighbourhood.
Source: Ottawa Real Estate Board