September Survey Results on Economic Impacts of COVID-19
In mid-September, over 1,200 REALTORS® took BCREA's third survey on the economic impacts of COVID-19.
Many Realtors are still experiencing financial difficulties, with 16 per cent reporting no income from transactions in August and September. This number is down from 26 per cent of respondents who reported receiving no income from transactions from May to July. The primary reasons for not receiving any income from transactions are economic uncertainty and medical concerns about COVID-19. 35 per cent of Realtors are expecting either a decrease in income or no income in the next two months, while 64 per cent expect either an increase or no change in income.
Government assistance programs have been important for many Realtors, most notably the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) and the Canada Emergency Business Account. One respondent who's been licensed for 30 years said, "the financial support for realtors through CERB has been my lifeline." The CERB benefit recently ended on October 3; however, there are several new federal programs that eligible Realtors can transition to. The Canada Recovery Benefit will replace CERB and will be available until September 25, 2021. Employment Insurance (EI) benefits were temporarily expanded to include more Canadians, with eligible Canadians on CERB receiving the same payments, $500 per week, through EI.
Realtors are continuing to stay informed on health and real estate practice COVID-19 changes. Many Realtors found the briefings by Dr. Bonnie Henry and Minister of Health Adrian Dix to be important (63 per cent) as well as BCREA emails and online information (53 per cent).
Thank you to all those who participated in our three surveys COVID-19 surveys since May. Understanding the impacts allows BCREA to educate Realtors on how to access programs, return to work safely and continue advocating for effective government intervention. As we reach the end of the provincial election campaign, be sure to stay informed about the different party's promises to ensure housing affordability and safe economic recovery remain top priorities. To learn more about BCREA's election advocacy, visit bchousingaffordability.ca.
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