COVID-19 Slams Ottawa Home Sales in April

Bruce BrownMarket Updates

I debated the headline for this article. The downturn in sales resulting from people’s wise decision to heed Government direction to stay at home as much as possible resulted in unprecedented decline in home sales in April. Just looking at the graphs, “slams” is an accurate description of the impact.

I hesitated to use this description not because it doesn’t accurately reflect the first-ever stunning deviation from the long-establish seasonal sales cycle in Ottawa, but because of the cause. Obviously we are in unusual times. I’m directly advising my clients to put their real estate sales and purchasing plans on hold in all but absolutely essential personal circumstances. We are “slamming” the market by choice. This is an artificial economic impact; not the result of organic supply and demand forces.

Nevertheless, the result in statistical terms is what it is: COVID-19 slams Ottawa home sales in April, 2020.

There are several major industries being hit much harder than real estate, with reasons to believe their recovery timelines are much longer. In fact, some may enjoy permanent restructuring. How much wake that will generate through the economy as a whole is impossible to predict. Ottawa real estate impact should lag almost everything else… but still… we aren’t an island.

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