During these uncertain times, I am often asked how the global pandemic has impacted the residential real estate market. To answer that it is necessary to understand what is required on a practical basis to be a buyer or seller of real property.
Buying a home affords you a significant amount of control over the process, i.e. you choose which homes to see, how long your visits are and what precautions you take during a visit. For sellers, however, there is less control. Sellers may fear strangers going through their homes touching things. When I list a property, I have a strict set of Covid-19 protocols that we strive to fully enforce. These protocols are not uniform throughout the industry, though my experience has been that other agents and their clients are respectful of and comply with our Covid-19 safeguards.
So, because buyers generally feel safer than sellers, during the initial weeks of the pandemic the data showed a sharp decrease in new listings from the same time last year. Sellers were hunkering down instead of listing their homes. There was, however, a far less dramatic decline in homes going under contract. This means that buyers were less timid, resulting in an unusually high demand for homes. The end result was even more of a sellers’ market than had existed prior to the pandemic.
Where do we stand now? At the start of summer last month, there was an uptick in new listings meaning sellers are beginning to feel a bit more secure as we move through the re-opening process. I will continue to monitor the data in order to comprehend shifting market trends so that my clients are fully informed.

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