Loading articles...

Demand for virtual open houses despite decline in home sales

Last Updated May 7, 2020 at 5:59 pm PDT

FILE - A real estate sold sign hangs in front of a west-end Toronto property Friday, Nov. 4, 2016. Home sales in the Greater Toronto Area plunged 67 per cent in April as the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic put a chill on the housing market, according to the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
Summary

Despite a drop in home sales, people are still house hunting

Realtor.ca traffic is up 14 percent in the first quarter of the year despite the pandemic

Chair of the Canadian Real Estate Association says there has been a big interest in virtual showings

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — Home sales are way down due to the pandemic, but that isn’t slowing down interest in house hunting.

Realtor.ca traffic is up 14 percent in the first quarter of the year despite the pandemic.

Costa Poulopoulous, Chair of the Canadian Real Estate Association, says there has been a big interest in virtual showings.

“Since the launch of our virtual tours, which was April 7th, more than 1,200 realtors have actually conducted over 5,000 virtual tours,” he says.

Open houses are not recommended in B.C., but limited in-person showings are still allowed by the regulator.

“And if we can minimize that in-person showing, it’s not going to work all the time, but that’s our goal. Let’s look at these other technologies this will allow us to, perhaps, narrow down the search, and go from there,” Poulopoulous says.

He says live-streaming an open house has been a great means to help people “get a good feel for a property.”

Economists and credit rating agency expect home sales to be impacted by the pandemic for a while bringing the prices down as much as 15 per cent in the Vancouver area, according to some modelling.