Certainly no one could have imagined such a circumstance. If not for spending more time with loved ones, reconnecting with friends and clients, or just slowing your life down and reflecting, I don’t know how many of us would get through this. This reflection has allowed us to once again improve in so many aspects of our business. Take this newsletter for example, now more informative with the introduction of many featured industry guest experts just like Dr. Sherry Cooper found in this edition. Speaking about improvements, I am equally proud of how my team has adopted new technologies like 3D virtual “walkthrough” tours, virtual enhancement staging, buyer and seller consultations over Zoom, impressive digital advertising, virtual open houses, unleashed social media, and the list goes on and on.
Over my 35+ years in the business, I’ve had the privilege of meeting some of the most interesting, intelligent, successful, and kind hearted families. To that point I’m proud to announce that on May 6th at 4pm over Zoom I will be hosting Dr. Sherry Cooper (Chief Economist of Dominion Lending Centres, formerly of BMO) for a discussion on COVID-19’s impact on the financial and housing markets. You can click the link at the bottom of this letter if you would like to register, it should be an interesting discussion. Stay tuned for other featured guest speakers and events.
Now to get into the market. I don’t want to give away too much of my thoughts and predictions that I will be sharing in my discussion with Dr. Cooper, so I thought to bring everyone up to speed the rest of this letter would be themed Before Covid, During Covid, and After Covid.
Before COVID. The market was showing obvious signs that this spring market would have likely been nothing less than stellar. The first quarter of 2020 was up 22% in sales and 15% in price over Q1 2019. Within a matter of months, we were approaching a one month of inventory level, which represents the amount of time it would take for all the homes to be sold in the centre of the city if no new properties came to the market. That was almost identical to the peak of the market in April 2017. We even saw the return of foreign buyers, and certainly many more were starting to plan their purchase. Some houses were selling with multiple offers due to a dramatic shortage of homes for sale.
During COVID. Things were still moving along until the week the government announced heightened precautions, which resulted in showings and offers coming to almost a stand still. Following that initial week, things slowly started back up again. The showings and transactions that took place during this time were attributed to changes in life and cases where buyers or sellers had only completed the first leg of their move. Most sellers remained on the market and a small percentage took their property off the market but are now planning their return. Many of the sellers that stayed on the market should benefit from the large volumes of buyer inquiries received from the current unprecedented heightened internet traffic, which in our case has gone through the roof! Since Doug Ford announced that the government is engaged in a plan to reopen Ontario, there has been a noticeable uptick in activity and sales.
After COVID. Well, this letter is already too long, so why not zoom in to my discussion with Sherry and see where we agree and disagree and rate our predictions! So if you are available to attend, please click the link below or watch for our blogs and clips on social media from our event.
In closing, my sincere thank you to all and my condolences to the few that have suffered pain or loss from this terrible pandemic. We are now starting to see some light and look forward to sunnier days ahead. Naturally, if there is anything my team or I can do for you, please don’t hesitate to let us know. Nothing is too big or too small to ask of us.
Stay safe, Barry