Regulatory agencies overseeing real estate professionals in B.C. have called for a halt to all open houses, across the province. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick)

Regulatory agencies overseeing real estate professionals in B.C. have called for a halt to all open houses, across the province. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick)

B.C. realtors asked to halt open houses due to spike in COVID cases

The Real Estate Council of BC says as COVID-19 cases surge, open houses should stop

Open houses of homes for sale or rent in B.C. are coming to an end.

This comes after a group of agencies overseeing real estate professionals in B.C. called for all open houses, across the province to come to a standstill.

This recommendation was made Thursday (Nov. 5) by the Real Estate Council of BC, the BC Real Estate Association and the Office of the Superintendent of Real Estate , in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the announcement, they referenced the recent surge of COVID-19 cases in B.C.

READ MORE: 335 new cases in B.C.’s COVID-19 infection surge

This recommendation follows an order last week by provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry to limit the number of people at an event in a private residence to six.

The board explained that real estate professionals must continue to follow this guidance when conducting any in-person showings and to recommend their clients instead use virtual tools to show and view properties.

In July, the council released a set of recommendations that B.C. realtors have been using ever since – to stay safe and keep others safe while showing homes.

From the outset of the pandemic, the real estate board has been asking realtors to cease hosting open houses in the interest of public health and safety. However, it’s not until today that they insisted it should stop.

This comes at a time when, in some parts of the province, the real estate market is booming. In the Okanagan-Shuswap region, 70 per cent more homes sold in October of this year, compared to 2019. This is just slightly down compared to September, where 78 per cent more homes sold in September 2020, compared to 2019.

Additionally, the time it takes for homes to fly off the shelves is decreasing.

READ MORE: Demand continues to drive Okanagan real estate markets

READ MORE: Okanagan-Shuswap real estate market continues to rebound

In the Fraser Valley, October was a record-breaking month for sales.

A total of 2,370 sales were recorded by the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board, a 48.9 per cent increase since last year.

READ MORE: Property sales hit an all-time record for October, says Fraser Valley Real Estate Board

More information for real estate professionals and consumers on the use of virtual tools and on how to safely conduct in-person showings is available at recbc.ca and bcrea.bc.ca.

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email: phil.mclachlan@kelownacapnews.com


 

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