March 2020 Whistler Real Estate Update
It is an eerie time in Whistler right now with the resort almost completely shut down. However, there are always a little bit of good news. For avid skiers, Whistler Blackcomb has announced that they will open designated routes on the mountains for uphill skiing. Who knew, a week ago, that we were going to be excited about ‘uphill skiing’ today! However, anything to maintain a level of fitness and good mental health is a positive thing.
For the bad news, we are expecting a period of time of almost total inactivity. There have been 2 sales go through this week - but these were as a result of transactions that started a week or two ago.
This article that was published on-line this week by REP Editor paints a rather gloomy picture:
"Canadian consumer confidence takes unprecedented slump A measure of Canada’s consumer confidence has reported its biggest drop ever amid the COVID-19 pandemic.The Conference Board of Canada’s Index of Consumer Confidence slumped 32.0 points this month, an unprecedented decline. There were no positives, with every region posting double-digit decreases and each question garnered weaker responses.“COVID-19 is causing anxiety in Canadians and this has implications for Canada’s economy given that consumers have been the main engine of economic growth, said Pedro Antunes, Chief Economist for The Conference Board of Canada. “With many people self-isolating, large gatherings mostly cancelled and tourism activity drying up, many Canadians are staying home, which will have a profound impact on economic growth.”
Atlantic Canada and Quebec each saw their largest monthly declines ever. Ontario, British Columbia and Saskatchewan-Manitoba all saw their second largest, while Alberta saw its fourth largest.
Nationally, almost 21% of respondents expect their finances to be worse in six months, with less than 20% expecting improvement. This flips around from February when more than 24% were expecting finances to be better in six months while less than 15% were pessimistic."
So realistically, we have to expect a period of very low volume of sales. However, it is still business as usual with the marketing of the properties that we do have for sale. The toughest thing is finding the right balance and the right message to send out to potential buyers. We don’t want to sound as though nothing has changed, but there are some great opportunities to buy, particularly with a significant drop in interest rates.
We are taking all responsible measures possible - using photos and videos instead of in person meetings; maintaining social distancing and ensuring sterilized conditions in the properties that we show. The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver has recommended that agents do not hold Open Houses. “It’s important that all of us in the real estate professional do our part to help prevent the further spread of illness in our communities,” Ashley Smith, REBGV president said.
Please do not hesitate to call or email with questions.