March real estate sales ‘promising’ in Powell River, says realtor

Market in 2020 stronger than in 2019

Real estate sales in Powell River during March 2020 were more robust than in 2019.

During March 2020, there were 19 single-family homes sold for a total of $8,839,300. This compares to 16 homes in 2019, valued at $7,052,607.

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Powell River-Sunshine Coast Real Estate Board president Neil Frost said it is a challenging time to practice real estate. He said in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic, real estate sales for March were promising, but April has slowed down considerably.

“It was certainly an improvement,” said Frost of the March sales. “We saw some new listings come on and some sales happening. As you can well imagine now, it has slowed right down.”

He said however, there are still homes being listed and offers being written.

Frost said realtors are avoiding in-person showings of properties. He said that in BC, real estate services have been declared an essential service, but realtors are trying to operate within the framework of all of the recommended best practices from the public health officer.

“It’s interesting times,” said Frost.

Wherever possible, realtors are trying to use technology, but it isn’t always going to be sufficient for someone who is going to make such a large purchase, according to Frost.

In terms of single-family mobiles and manufactured homes, there were three sold in March 2020, valued at $631,000, compared to one sale valued at $57,000 in 2019.

For single-family condos, apartments and duplexes, in March 2020, there were two units sold for $468,250, compared to three units valued at $706,057 in March 2019.

In the non-residential category, there was one piece of vacant land sold in March 2020, valued at $15,000. In March 2019, there were two pieces valued at $167,500.

In total, sales for March 2020 were $9,953,550, compared to $7,983,164 in March 2019.

In March 2020, the average selling price was $465,226, compared to $440,788 in 2019. Average days on market in 2020 is 70, compared to 42 in 2019.

In March 2020, there were 53 new residential listings, compared to 52 in 2019. There were 181 active listings for residential properties in March 2020, and 74 non-residential, for a total of 215 active listings.

“It’s going to be an interesting few months,” said Frost. “It’s all going to depend on the health crisis and it’s going to depend on the economy’s recovery immediately following that. At this time, I’m hopeful our economy and market will bounce back after this crisis passes.”

According to a CBC report from April 9, Canada's real estate industry appears to be heading into a deep freeze despite the warming spring weather. Although sales figures started off relatively strong in March in many parts of the country, they fell swiftly as the COVID-19 pandemic grew and stricter protective measures were put in place, according to the report.

“It’s uncharted territory, a completely different ballgame, and we’re learning everything on the go,” stated Vancouver real estate agent David Hutchinson in the CBC report, as he prepared his cellphone to do a virtual showing from an empty condominium.

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