Open houses of homes for sale or rent in B.C. are coming to an end.
This comes after a group of agencies overseeing real estate professionals in B.C. called for all open houses, across the province to come to a standstill.
This recommendation was made Thursday (Nov. 5) by the Real Estate Council of BC, the BC Real Estate Association and the Office of the Superintendent of Real Estate , in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the announcement, they referenced the recent surge of COVID-19 cases in B.C.
This recommendation follows an order last week by provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry to limit the number of people at an event in a private residence to six.
The board explained that real estate professionals must continue to follow this guidance when conducting any in-person showings and to recommend their clients instead use virtual tools to show and view properties.
In July, the council released a set of recommendations that B.C. realtors have been using ever since – to stay safe and keep others safe while showing homes.
From the outset of the pandemic, the real estate board has been asking realtors to cease hosting open houses in the interest of public health and safety. However, it’s not until today that they insisted it should stop.
This comes at a time when, in some parts of the province, the real estate market is booming. In the Okanagan-Shuswap region, 70 per cent more homes sold in October of this year, compared to 2019. This is just slightly down compared to September, where 78 per cent more homes sold in September 2020, compared to 2019.
Additionally, the time it takes for homes to fly off the shelves is decreasing.
In the Fraser Valley, October was a record-breaking month for sales.
A total of 2,370 sales were recorded by the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board, a 48.9 per cent increase since last year.
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