Well folks, I was going to write about something other than COVID-19, but as it still dominates our lives I gave in. Sorry if you have all had too much of it, but I have been looking at the statistics for real estate, and for the first time since this began, we have some glimmers of positive news - and who doesn't want to hear about that!?

May 1st saw some of the first upward trends since the beginning of this pandemic. We now have enough data to look at some month-over-month statistics. This past week versus the same week in March showed that the number of people going to see houses was up 63%. While this number seems high, we have to remember that it is measured against the first week of April, and at that time showings were at an all time low of 85% less than the beginning of March. So while we are seeing an upward trend, overall the market is still down.

Interestingly, exclusive listings are down for the first time in weeks. Exclusive listings are listings in a much smaller database that only a few brokerages have access to; they are not posted on the MLS or realtor.ca. Since COVID-19, hit we have seen many more listings coming out here, possibly because it allows tighter control of access to listed properties, and quite frankly people have been scared about strangers in their homes.

Not to toot our own horns, but I do think we realtors have responded with some speed and thoughtfulness to this situation by trying to move sellers out and list houses that are empty, by providing protective gear, by not having overlapping appointments, and by offering many different variations on live streaming open houses, so people can get a real feel for a house without having to set foot in it.

But I digress. The downturn in exclusive listings has not yet been matched by an uptick in MLS listings. I think that sellers are doing a bit of "wait and see.” However, in the past week showings and offers on currently listed properties have increased. This should lead to an increase in sold properties, and that should lead to sellers feeling more confident about putting their properties on the market.

Predictions for the weeks to come are cautiously optimistic. As we begin to see COVID-19 restrictions lifting, what is typically our "spring" market - in March, April, and May, could become a late summer market. However if we have a boom in July and August, what will that look like for the historically busy "fall" market of September, October, and November? Only time will tell, and in the meantime, frustrating as it has become, stay home and stay safe.

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