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Real estate agents urged to do virtual walk-throughs, open houses – BarrieToday

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Real estate has been considered an essential service, but it is not business as usual.

Realtors have a duty to follow the direction of health officials to minimize direct physical interaction by only listing properties if it is absolutely necessary for the seller to move and show properties if buyers are in a situation where they need to purchase in order to put a roof over their family’s heads.

This is definitely not a time where people should be testing out the market or scrambling to sell before we go into a recession.

It was announced earlier this month that physical public open houses are absolutely prohibited and sales people are encouraged to follow the direction of the health officials by declining to facilitate or participate in physical public open houses, even if the seller’s request. Sales people are also recommened to limit showings to only those buyers who need to find a place to live, not to those who are testing out the market.

Many agents are embracing digital technology to reduce risk of COVID-19 transmission, but also be able to provide service to their sellers and buyers if absolutely necessary.

It has been encouraged that agents do virtual walk-throughs and virtual open houses to limit the number of people going through properties and to use any pre-existing virtual tours to assist buyers with narrowing down their searches.

Most listing agents are only allowing showings to be booked if the buyers have seen all photos, videos and done a drive by the property prior to any showing requests. Brokerages are sending out forms to be signed by all buyers and their agent before confirming appointments, screening all individuals on current state of health and so forth.

Lastly, to minimize risk in your home if you do need to sell, it is recommended to leave hand sanitizer and gloves at the front door and wipe all door knobs, light switches and surfaces when you get home.

Ashley Lamb is a columnist for BarrieToday who reports monthly on the local condo market.

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Toronto and Vancouver Real Estate Inventory May Get A Boost From AirBNB Slowdown – Better Dwelling

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Canadian real estate markets may be getting another inventory headwind soon. National Bank of Canada (NBC) research estimates AirBNB hosts may contribute to oversupply later this year. As the slowdown impacts hosts, many may be incentivized to sell. By their estimates, just a quarter of hosts selling would cause inventory in cities like Toronto and Vancouver to swell.

AirBNB and Housing Inventory

AirBNB helps homeowners take existing housing stock and convert it to short-term rentals. Rather than staying in hotels, travelers can now stay in existing non-hotel stock. At first, it wasn’t a big issue when just a few people were doing it. As the platform expanded, people began buying additional housing just to operate short-term rentals. By repurposing housing that would otherwise be long-term units, cities now need additional housing. Basically, short-term rentals lead to an inventory squeeze, pushing rents and prices higher. Temporarily at least, for as long as the squeeze persists. That squeeze could end as quickly as travel did.

The Travel Industry Expects A Big Slowdown

The travel industry doesn’t expect travel to recover quickly from the pandemic. The US has approved some routes cutting plane traffic up to 90% until September. The IATA, the trade association for international airlines, also doesn’t see traffic returning to 2019 levels until at least 2023 – at the earliest. What does this mean? Fewer users of short-term rentals, and more competition from hotels for those travelers. All of this can have a big impact on real estate inventory, according to NBC numbers.

Canada’s Biggest Real Estate Markets May See Inventory Spike

If just a quarter of AirBNB inventory is sold off, NBC sees a lot more real estate listings on the market. In Vancouver, the bank estimates real estate listings would rise 12%. Montreal would see an increase of 27% in resale listings. Toronto is another story though, with inventory forecasted to rise a whopping 34%. That’s with just 25% of AirBNB exiting as hosts.

AirBNB Boost To Canadian Real Estate Inventory

The potential increase in real estate listings if 25% of AirBNB properties were listed for sale.

Source: National Bank of Canada, Better Dwelling.

The boost is another headwind for inventory rising later in the year. Inventory was already expected to rise in the coming few months. NBC economists believe this would be “exacerbating oversupply in the coming months.”

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How Is The Real Estate Market In Muskoka Post COVID19 – Hunters Bay Radio

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In a brand new video podcast series, Gerry Lantaigne with Sutton Group – Muskoka Realty discuses the world of real estate in Muskoka during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Join Gerry every month as he updates you on The State of Real Estate

Watch the inaugural episode here:

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May real estate sales in Powell River promising, says board president – My Powell River Now

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Powell River’s real estate market is warming up.

Powell River/Sunshine Coast Real Estate Board president, Neil Frost, said May sales were “surprisingly good.”

“We were up significantly from April,” Frost said. “April was very poor, but of course that was obviously due to the pandemic and state of emergency declared in B.C.”

Frost said there were 23 residential sales plus two vacant land sales in the city last month, which is up from 11 total sales in April.

He added that those numbers are promising, especially in these uncertain times.

“March started out great and in the last half (of the month) really trailed off, and then April is where we’ve really felt the effects,” Frost said. 

“May and June have already been very busy. Year-over-year, we’re looking at 41 sales for May 2019 and we had 23 for May 2020, and those are residential sales. Total sales for May 2020 was 25 total sales compared to 46 total sales for 2019.

While down from last year, Frost said 25 sales in a month is “pretty strong for our market.”

Affordability is helping to drive the market locally. Frost said the average home price is roughly $390,000. 

“We’ve even seen some competing offers and property selling for over-list price,” Frost said.

The pandemic has changed the way realtors do their job, Frost said: “Worksafe BC has released a series of protocols and each office has also developed their protocols and basically, we’re trying to avoid in-person showings as much as possible.”

That said, serious buyers want to see a home in person before making the biggest purchase of their lives.

“We do take precautions, depending on the seller’s threshold,” Frost said. “Definitely sanitizing, and gloves, and facemasks if requested, (physical) distancing at all times, buyers are asked to keep their hands in their pockets and not touch anything in the homes, limit the number of people inside a home at a time. Really trying to restrict it to the serious buyers or the people that are going to be on title.”

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