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COVID-19 takes the air out of condo market

New active listings were down the second half of March and the number of units sold last month was lower than in February 2020
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Real estate was quite a mixed bag in March. The first two weeks were completely booming!

The Barrie condo market was entering the spring market with a shortage of supply and properties were selling within days of being listed, many in multiple offers. The whole real estate market resembled that of 2017 where professionals were forecasting a record-breaking year.

As the government started to announce their plan to fight against COVID-19 mid-March, buyer uncertainty started to grow.

Layoffs and business closures were beginning to take place and society had to start adapting to a new way of life. Less showings were getting booked, agents started to refrain from hosting open houses and some sellers were pulling their properties off the market.

March 12 – Publicly funded schools to be closed for two weeks after March break.

March 17 – Premier Doug Ford declared a state of emergency for Ontario due to the novel coronavirus outbreak.

March 24 – Ontario essential service list was released. Real estate remained an essential service, but was not business as usual. All Realtors urged to stop holding open houses and face-to-face business.

April 4 – Ontario essential service list was revised and the Ontario government prohibited publicly held open houses.

In March, there were a total of 39 condominiums sold in Barrie, with no significant difference in average sale price between the first and second halves of the month. The average sale price for the total condominium market; condo townhouses and condo apartments included, was $376,685 where properties were selling in an average of 25 days for 99 per cent of their original asking price.

Although it is still unknown how COVID-19 is going to impact the local real estate market, the Barrie condo market has started to slow. New active listings were down the second half of March and the number of units sold last month was lower than in February 2020. With social distancing and self-isolation in place, buyer uncertainty has been growing and less real estate viewings are getting booked.

In what was supposed to be one of the busiest springs Barrie has seen, inventory and demand have both dropped. Between mid-March and mid-April of this year, there were 33 new condo listings hit the market, compared to 88 during the same time period in 2019.

Not only have many sellers decided to hold off on listing because of the decrease in buyer demand, they are also concerned about potential health risks with groups entering their home.

In the first two weeks of April, only eight condo units sold in Barrie, the average days on market grew to 41 days and properties have been selling for 96.5 per cent of their original list price. Barrie’s real estate market is starting to shift.

There are currently 58 condominium units for sale in Barrie; 48 condo apartments and 10 condo townhouses.

* All condominium statistics are from sales recorded on the Matrix System through the Barrie & District Association of REALTORS Inc. (BDAR).


Ashley Lamb

About the Author: Ashley Lamb

Ashley Lamb is a local condo expert who writes a monthly column about statistics and trends in the Barrie real estate market
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