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Fog begins to lift on how COVID-19 has affected Barrie's condo market

In April, there were only 13 condo units sold, eight of which were condo apartments and five condo townhouses
USED 2020-03-29 Condo fog RB 1
A downtown Barrie condo through the fog. Raymond Bowe/BarrieToday

Since the end of March, many people have been wondering what impact COVID-19 will have on the real estate market.

With just over two months behind us, we finally have some numbers to work with to start trying to interpret the market conditions.

As buyer uncertainty grew as we moved further into the pandemic, condominium sales in Barrie dropped substantially. In April, there were only 13 condo units sold, eight of which were condo apartments and five condo townhouses.

This was a 73 per cent drop in condo sales compared to April 2019 and a 67 per cent drop from March of this year.

With social-distancing and self-isolation measures in place, there was no surprise that we saw such a large decrease in sales activity.

Consumer confidence slowly rose as we moved into May with more condo units selling in the first two weeks than in all of April. There were 19 condominiums sold; 13 condo apartments and six townhouses, with most selling for 98 per cent of the list price.

Although sales activity has increased, the average sale price for a condo has decreased. In April the average sale price for the total condominium market was $429,923 and in May it was $349,326; an 18.75 per cent decrease in average sale price.

Real estate was declared an essential service at the beginning of the pandemic, as it continues to be, but it is not business as usual. One is only supposed to inquire about real estate services if they desperately need to move. This major restriction along with both market and employment uncertainties has caused buyer demand to decrease and sellers to hold off on listing.

If it is a complete necessity for a seller to list, most Realtors have implemented safety measures into their daily business practice to help sellers feel more comfortable with opening their homes up for viewings. Buyers are required to sign a COVID-19 disclosure form before entering a property and sanitizing along with gloves and masks are encouraged while viewing.

Society has adapted to a new way of feeling safe outside their home and many have started back at work. As we continue into the early stages of reopening the economy, there is no doubt that we could see more activity in the Barrie condo market.

There are currently 63 condominium units for sale in Barrie: 52 condo apartments and 11 condo townhouses. Last May, there were 105 condominiums for sale in Barrie.

* All stats are based on listings sold with the Barrie & District Association of Realtors


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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