Windsor

Windsor real estate market 'on pause' as pandemic grows

The spring real estate market in Windsor was setting up to be a busy one until the coronavirus hit. Having been deemed an essential service, however, it hasn’t ground to a halt completely.

There are still bidding wars on some properties in the Windsor market

What was supposed to be a hot spring real estate market in Windsor is now on hold because of COVID-19 (Jonathan Hayward/Canadian Press)

Spring is one of the busiest times for the real estate market, but because of COVID-19, the wind was taken out of the sails of the market this year — just as things were picking up.

"We're trying to limit listings if they're not necessary," said Lorraine Clark, president of the Windsor-Essex County Association of Realtors. "We're trying to hold off, but we can't tell them not to list the house."

A ReMax forecast from December 2019 said there was no shortage of buyers that would be looking to get into the Windsor market in 2020.

"The 2020 market looks very optimistic," the forecast read.

Lorraine Clark is president of the Windsor-Essex County Association of Realtosrs. (windsorrealestate.com)

As spring approached, that very much seemed to be the case as houses began showing up on the market, many being greeted by multiple bids. 

"Some waited and waited and waited for the spring market to show up, because they knew once the spring market hits, their house will be sold in a matter of days or a week," real estate broker Goran Todorovic said.

That has changed and Clark said she's suggesting that people that want to list their houses for sale should only do so if absolutely necessary. But not everybody can wait — even at a time like this.

"There are sellers that need to sell homes, either because of financial reasons, maybe their financial status has changed [or] maybe they're being transferred," Todorovic said.

Not business as usual

But for those working to make sales happen, it's not business as usual. 

In most cases, virtual showings have taken the place of visiting open houses on the market. 

In-person showings are only being done if absolutely necessary, Todorovic explained.

"When the buyer wants to come into the home ... the buyer and the seller and the agents involved have to sign a disclosure," he said.

We realtors, in my opinion should stay home, tell our clients to stay home, tell the real estate industry, stay home, be safe.- Goran Todorovic, Winsdor Real Estate Broker

"Then we ask the seller to put on all the lights, then we ask them to leave the house. We ask the agent to wear gloves and leave shoes on [and] not to touch anything."

There hasn't been any noticeable dip in prices and offers are still coming in on houses.

"There are still a lot of people out there that need to buy something," Clark said. "We're still getting multiple bidding wars believe it or not."

Listings have continued to go up and Todorovic said he has seen some firm and conditional sales go through. Still, he said things have slowed down.

"What I think is happening in the real estate business if you're asking me is pause, the pause button has been hit," he said.

Any sellers coming into Todorovic's office asking to list a property are being asked if it's essential.

Goran Todorovic is a real estate broker in Windsor-Essex County. (teamgoran.com)

"We realtors, in my opinion, should stay home, tell our clients to stay home, tell the real estate industry to stay home, be safe," he said.

"There's no need to put anybody's life in danger. This is not the time."

Todorovic​​​​​​​ said once things open back up, there will be a large amount of pent up energy waiting to reinvigorate the market.

"When this blows over, there's going to be a lot of buyers waiting to get in to buy homes [and] there's going to be a lot of sellers," he said.

About the Author

Jacob Barker

Videojournalist

Jacob Barker is a videojournalist for CBC Windsor.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.