Canadian Real Estate Association reports sharp drop in home sales, listings in March due to COVID-19

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      Home sales and listings across Canada dropped sharply in March 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

      According to the Canadian Real Estate Association, sales plummeted 14.3 percent last month compared to February of this year.

      Listings of homes for sale plunged 12.5 percent in March compared to February.

      The CREA stated in a news release Wednesday (April 15) that the “economic turmoil and physical distancing rules surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic caused both buyers and sellers to increasingly retreat to the sidelines over the second half of the month”.

      CREA president Jason Stephen noted that Canadian home sales and listings were initially increasing, and “heading into what was expected to be a busy spring”.

      “After Friday the 13th, everything went sideways,” Stephen said in the media release.

      According to CREA figures, home transactions fell 2.9 percent in the Greater Vancouver area in the month of March compared to February.

      The drop was more pronounced at negative 13.6 percent in the Fraser Valley.

      CREA senior economist Shaun Cathcart indicated that things on a national scale have gone worse.

      “Preliminary data from the first week of April suggest both sales and new listings were only about half of what would be normal for that time of year,” Cathcart said in the release.