REALTORS® Continue to Be Hit Hard by Economic Slowdown from COVID-19
BCREA conducted a follow-up survey on the impacts of COVID-19 faced by REALTORS®. The survey was completed by 1,950 Realtors from all boards between July 13 and July 20.
A quarter of Realtors (26 per cent) continue to report no income from transactions since the end of May. Respondents’ most common reason for not receiving income was that “clients are holding out on purchasing or selling at the moment due to fear of the unknown.” Others noted that “many buyers are reluctant to look at properties due to economic consequences and fear of being laid off.”
The majority of Realtors are continuing to access government aid programs, including a majority who applied for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (69 per cent). Many others applied for other programs since the end of May, including the BC Hydro COVID-19 Relief Fund (14 per cent), the Canada Emergency Business Account (13 per cent), and the BC Emergency Benefit for Workers (12 per cent).
A majority of Realtors (54 per cent) are no longer conducting in-person open houses during the pandemic, with many conducting video tours instead. Realtors are also following resources about COVID-19 to stay informed, with a majority of Realtors listening to briefings by Dr. Bonnie Henry and Minister of Health Adrian Dix (69 per cent) and reading BCREA and board emails and online information (62 per cent and 61 per cent, respectively). BCREA’s resources and supports that have been the most helpful for Realtors are the COVID-19: Resources for Realtors webpage and BCREA’s open house guidance published in partnership with the Real Estate Council of BC.
The survey found some signs of improvement in the real estate sector, with 30 per cent of respondents reporting an increase in income compared to May. Realtors themselves are mixed on whether they expect market conditions to improve, with 55 per cent anticipating an increase in income over the next two months. BCREA’s Economics department is also cautiously optimistic, with sales increasing across the province in June.
You can read about our May Realtor survey results here.
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