In March 2020 we were hit with the global pandemic of COVID-19 (aka the “Corona Virus”) and the first positive tests started to come back. In late March, the government forced the closure of all nonessential businesses, resulting in many people being out of work an laid off from their jobs. By May 1st 2020, we have seen approximately 600 positive cases in the Windsor/Essex region. Due to the closures, and fear of contacting the virus, the majority of people have been distancing themselves, staying home, and only venturing out for essential items such as groceries.
How has this impacted the real estate market? Well, it sure has changed the way we have been doing business. Virtual and live video tours of properties, video conference consultations, electronic signatures, and if showings are need in person they are done with sanitizer, gloves, and masks.
The April 2020 stats have just been released by the Windsor Essex County Association of Realtors and they are what we expected. Compared to April 2019, we saw a 53.6% decrease in the number of New Listings (Market Activity), and a 54.89% decrease in the number of Sales. Even with the restrictions and drop in volume, we are still seeing multiple offers on the majority of listings with sales prices over asking. We still saw an increase of 0.08% in the Average Residential Sales Price compared to April 2019 coming in at $352,463. The most popular style of home sold in March 2020 was the Ranch with an average price of $364,076.
What does all this mean for our market? These massive drops in the listings and sales have not impacted the sales prices, yet. The majority of sales we see posted are still at asking price or above. The people out there buying and selling, are those that NEED to make a move (already bought or sold before this all hit). The buyer/seller that is casually looking to make a move, has put their search on hold. If you check the average price chart, we had our highest January and February prices, and March and April is starting to trend downward. It’s my opinion that May and June we will see a drop in the average price statistic, but this doesn’t mean prices are actually dropping. We haven’t been seeing as many high dollar listings or sales which can slightly skew that stat. To determine if prices are actually dropping, the we would have to break down sales prices by neighbourhood, instead of using the broad statistic that covers all of Essex County.
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