By: Teresa Eaton

Social Distancing to #FlattenTheCurve Does Not Appear to be Flattening Real Estate Sale Prices in Durham to Date.

Tags: 2020, home sales, covid19

Sitting down as a family again for dinner with our teenagers in one place at the same time: working on the moving parts of my business: finishing the good book I started: organizing a nightmare closet that has been calling my name for 6 months. These have been some of the ‘silver linings’ in my own life since the CoVid19 virus has had us social distancing so as not to overload our health system.  I am very proud to be a Canadian at this crucial time in Global History.  The timing of this critical public health step will hopefully not only flatten the curve, but plank it.  
What is the real estate market doing amidst these uncertain times?  Our past, present, and potential clients are looking to us right now to assess and keep them informed of everything ‘on the ground’ so to speak as economic forecasts paint a bleak picture on newscasts every night. I think to make hard and fast predictions amidst these times is irresponsible at worst and foolhardy at best.  Two things are certain:  The Ontario Real Estate industry has responded swiftly and responsibly to make selling and buying homes in Ontario as safe as possible.  From avoiding handshaking, using hand sanitizer and not touching anything in a property during buyer showings to asking our sellers to leave interior doors open, sanitize all handles after showings, and avoiding as much physical contact as possible using digital signatures and wire transfers, we are all doing our part to keep our clients and their families safe while distancing ourselves simultaneously. 
What do we know for certain?  Well, the real estate landscape starting point in 2020 has been fantastic.  In Durham Region, 44% of detached homes sold in 2020 have been above list price. Even since March 1, when the CoVid19 case numbers have been rising in most countries around the globe, Durham has seen an even higher 50.5% of properties sell above list price.  If we look at the condo market, we see the same trend:  44% of all condo products in Durham have sold above list price in 2020, and since March 1, that number has grown to 56%.
These numbers would look favourable in any market, never mind amidst a global pandemic!  Are we still listing properties for sale?  Yes.  Are we still showing our buyers these properties?  Yes.  Our ingrained social fabric is such that Canadians seem to be able to do what is necessary (social distancing) while still engaging in relatively confident consumer behaviour (purchasing and selling their homes).
The value of Realtors in Ontario (and Canada at large) is the degree to which we interpret sales data and guide our clients through the myriad of decisions that will affect their outcomes, and ultimately their financial positions with respect to their Real Property.  That has become even more important at this critical juncture in time.
Choose the right professional, keep your distance, and stay safe.