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Real estate: The potential impacts of a second wave

Summer 2020 will go down in DuProprio’s history as having been the busiest in terms of sales, new listings and web traffic. Now that the upswing is over and the delays caused by lockdown have been caught up, everyone is wondering: How will a second wave of COVID-19 affect the real estate industry?

First, let's back up a bit. The decisions that affected the real estate market during the first wave this spring were the lockdown and the Government of Quebec’s recommendation that no property visits be held during this period. With this in mind, the risk of the real estate market experiencing a similar sudden slowdown is very low. Here’s why.

Move to avoid widespread lockdown

Prime Minister Legault is currently reiterating that he does not want to send the entire population back into lockdown. The fourth and final step (red) of the government’s regional alert system involves “prohibiting non-essential activities in situations where risk cannot be sufficiently contained, while avoiding the generalized [lockdown] that was experienced during the first wave of the pandemic as much as possible.”1

DuProprio real estate coach Martin Desfossés said, "Since real estate was one of the last activities to be targeted by the restrictions and among the first to have them lifted, it would be surprising if a second wave triggered measures as strict as in the spring, especially province-wide."

Housing remains an essential need

As we saw this summer, even a nearly two-month lockdown period did not keep buyers who needed to relocate from flooding the market when it started back up, triggering an avalanche of transactions in the months that followed and causing bidding wars in 11%2 of cases.

According to Desfossées, "Buyers never really stopped looking for properties, nor will they stop if a second wave occurs. With online listings, photos and 3D virtual tours available on DuProprio.com, they can continue searching remotely. And sellers have no reason to wait to put their property up for sale.”

Activity continues into September

Finally, the return to school with its associated risks does not appear to have slowed down the real estate market. "Sales are still up compared to September of 2019. The same is true for traffic on our website and requests for assistance received by our notaries," revealed the real estate coach.

As in June and July, when we recorded a 48%3 increase in the number of properties declared sold on DuProprio.com (compared to the same period last year), the current activity is expected to turn into sales in the coming weeks.

COVID-19: The rules to follow when visiting a property

1. Excerpt from the Progressive 4-Level Alert and Intervention System document published by the Government of Quebec. 2. DuProprio, from May 1 to July 31, 2020. 3. DuProprio, from June 1 to July 31, 2020, compared to the same period in 2019.