The ongoing coronavirus outbreak has impacted the lives of Canadians and disrupted countless industries, with some businesses being told to close their doors until further notice, while it's still business as usual for others.
One industry that has yet to experience any major disruptions, yet, is Canada's real estate market, with brokers seeing "little to no disruption" to market activity and steady year-over-year growth being reported. All this despite the unprecedented measures being implemented both regionally and nationally.
However, given that Premier Doug Ford has declared a State of Emergency for Ontario, as the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases steadily increasing day by day, RE/MAX says it "strongly" advises that open houses should be put on hold.
On Tuesday, the real estate company announced it recommends its brokers and agents in Ontario, the Atlantic provinces, and Western Canada suspend all client open houses until the COVID-19 virus pandemic is brought under control.
“Nothing is more important right now than the health and safety of our colleagues, clients, and fellow citizens across Canada,” said Christopher Alexander, VP and Regional Director, RE/MAX Ontario-Atlantic.
The announcement comes as national and provincial officers of health have raised the risk level of COVID-19 to serious, coupled with the country's collective responsibility to “social distance,” in order to flatten the contagion curve, RE/MAX says it felt it was critical to ask brokers to shift business practices, including moving to virtual channels for internal and client meetings, as well as fielding offers.
Elton Ash, Regional Executive Vice President, RE/MAX Western Canada added, “despite these short-term changes to how we practice, as well as to the housing market generally, the sector is proving to be very resilient.”
Only time will show how long coronavirus manages to keep open houses closed.