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


 

@newspaperphil
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

CoronavirusReal estate

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Ahousaht First Nation confirmed its first case of COVID-19 on Nov. 26, 2020. (Westerly file photo)
Ahousaht First Nation on lockdown over COVID-19

“Emotions are high. The anxiety is high. We want our community to pull through.”

Overlooking Ucluelet’s Main Street shopping district, Ucluelet Chamber of Commerce executive director Laurie Filgiano cozies up with ‘Snowy’, the beloved decorating contest trophy. (Nora O’Malley photo)
Ucluelet’s Midnight Madness shopping spree gets a stiff shot of madness this weekend

“As a community, I think we will come out of this stronger.”

Josie Osborne was sworn into the Legislature virtually on Nov. 24. (FACEBOOK PHOTO)
Mid Island-Pacific Rim MLA Josie Osborne named minister of municipal affairs

The position was previously held by Selina Robinson, who is the province’s new finance minister

A sign at the entrance to Ty-Histanis asks visitors to stay out of the community during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Westerly file photo)
Leaders from Tofino-Ucluelet region urge tourists to stay away for two weeks

The West Coast is pausing its winter tourist season temporarily due to rising COVID-19 numbers

This large Spruce was one of several trees that came crashing down around CARE’s animal shelter during Nov. 17’s windstorm. (CARE Network photo)
Funding and fosters needed after storm destroys fencing at Tofino-Ucluelet animal shelter

The damage forced an evacuation of the facility, which was sheltering five animals at the time.

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as she walks along the seawall in North Vancouver Wednesday, November 25, 2020.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
911 new COVID-19 cases, 11 deaths as B.C. sees deadliest week since pandemic began

Hospitalizations reach more than 300 across the province

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

A photo from 2017, of Nuchatlaht First Nation members outside court after filing a land title case in B.C. ( Submitted photo/Nuchatlaht First Nation).
Vancouver Island First Nation calls on B.C. to honour UNDRIP in historic title case

Nuchatlaht First Nation says Crown counsel continues to stall the case using the ‘distasteful’ argument that the Nation ‘abandoned’ their land

West Vancouver Island’s Ehattesaht First Nation continues lock down after 9 active cases were reported today after a visitor tested positive last week. (Ehattesaht First Nation/Facebook)
Ehattesaht First Nation’s COVID-19 nightmare: nine active cases, a storm and a power outage

The Vancouver Island First Nation in a lockdown since the first case was reported last week

Screenshot of Pastor James Butler giving a sermon at Free Grace Baptist Church in Chilliwack on Nov. 22, 2020. The church has decided to continue in-person services despite a public health order banning worship services that was issued on Nov. 19, 2020. (YouTube)
2 Lower Mainland churches continue in-person services despite public health orders

Pastors say faith groups are unfairly targeted and that charter rights protect their decisions

A big job: Former forests minister Doug Donaldson stands before a 500-year-old Douglas fir in Saanich to announce preservation of some of B.C.’s oldest trees, July 2019. (B.C. government)
B.C. returning to ‘stand-alone’ forests, rural development ministry

Horgan says Gordon Campbell’s super-ministry doesn’t work

Peter Wilson, left, and Micah Rankin, right, formed the Special Prosecutor team that was tasked with reviewing and litigating charges stemming from the Bountiful investigation. Trevor Crawley photo.
End of Bountiful prosecution wraps up decades of legal battles

Constitutional questions had to be settled before a polygamy prosecution could move forward

Most Read