Pandemic continues to impact local real estate sales

For sale sign. Sarnia-Lambton. Photo by Melanie Irwin

Residential home sales and listings plummeted over 40 per cent in May.

Sarnia-Lambton Real Estate Board President Donna Mathewson said the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact the industry.

“We were facilitating essential sales, now we can deal with any purchases or sales, but still keeping in mind that we are under a state of emergency for the province and we have to follow proper COVID protocols,” said Mathewson.

She said the market drive from buyers is still present, but sellers have been hesitant.

“We are starting to see more listings come on the market. People are a little bit more comfortable that we do have their safety in mind. When we sit down with a seller and we go over the risks of putting their house on the market and what we’re going to do to mitigate those risks, they seem to be more comfortable now than they were before, so we’re proceeding.”

123 homes sold last month, down 40.87 per cent from May 2019 and there were 171 listings, down 40.83 per cent from the same month a year ago.

Mathewson said they’re doing what they can to get homes back on the market.

“All the agents are well versed in what to do, making sure that buyers have as few touch points as possible when entering a home and that we make sure to sanitize after we’re finished.”

Volume sales dropped to $42 million, down 41.54 percent compared to nearly $72 million recorded in May 2019.