COVID-19 – Clarification on the Provincial Restart Plan to Safely Bring People Back Together
  • Clarification on the Provincial Restart Plan to Safely Bring People Back Together Announced on Tuesday, May 25, 2021

As many of you may be aware, Tuesday, May 25 was a big day for the citizens of BC. Premier John Horgan, together with Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and BC’s Minister of Health, Adrian Dix announced BC’s Restart Plan, involving four steps with projected timelines. Each step is expected to bring a gradual easing of restrictions over the coming months. 

Regarding the lifting of any sector-specific restrictions, consultation is expected to begin after June 15, with the Board anticipating new real estate guidelines after July 1. For the time being, orders by the Public Health Office regarding the number of people who may attend showings remain unchanged and Realtors must continue to follow BCREA guidelines for Safer Showings During the COVID-19 Pandemic, as well as BCREA protocols set out in the COVID-19 Safe Practices Checklist for Managing Brokers.

It is our shared duty and obligation to continue to practice all COVID-19 safety protocols. In summary, and as a reminder, private showings must only take place following these strict safety measures:

  • Showings are restricted to a maximum of six people, subject to each person present being able to keep two metres away from every other person present at all times;
  • Masks and gloves must be worn by the visitors including the buyers, sellers and agents attending;
  • No visitor is permitted to touch any object or surface of the home;
  • Any opening of doors, windows or cupboards must be done by the seller or the seller’s agent; and
  • Sellers are advised to carry out thorough cleaning and sanitizing prior to and following a showing of the home.

Furthermore, on the overall issue of in-person open houses, our guidance to you remains consistent with our eMemo of November 6, 2020 as well as our eMemo of November 7, our eMemo of November 9 and our eMemo of January 22. In these memos, we stated that members should refrain from holding in-person open houses and instead, implement virtual tours/showings as much as possible.

We each have an important role to play, and what we do now as a collective at this critical stage, will give us the best chance at reaching the milestones as set out in the Provincial Restart Plan. Now is the time to stay the course as we look ahead with hope towards a new normal, bringing greater freedoms to serve our members and clients, and to expand our social circles. 

On behalf of the FVREB Board of Directors, the staff and management team, I would like to express my gratitude to our members for your enduring and unwavering commitment to guiding, advising and protecting your clients and their interests – including their health and safety – during these immensely challenging times.

Should you need further guidance, please contact your managing broker or the Board office.

Have a good weekend and stay safe.


How to prove to your sellers the market is changing

You know, but how do you convince your sellers?

We’re hearing anecdotally from REALTORS® that the market is shifting. Demand remains very high for certain property types in a number of locations, but as more supply comes on stream, it is helping to soften the frenzy.

Members are telling us that they’re seeing fewer inquires and multiple offers, and subjects are back on the table. One recent Fraser Valley transaction at the beginning of May is an example. A Surrey buyer who had previously tried for multiple homes finally won out because their offer was the only one.

For buyers collectively, this is a welcome development, but as you well know, sellers want yesterday’s prices.

So, how can you use your MLS® data to help prove to your sellers that the market is changing, and they may need to adjust their expectations?

By using one of the best little measurements around, the Sales-to-Active-Listings ratio.
Head to the FVREB Stats Centre, select your sub-area and property type. At the bottom, click on the Sales-to-Active-Listings ratio (SALR) button.

A reminder (because we’ve talked a lot about this multipurpose stat in the past) that the SALR is a single number that tells you if the market is favouring buyers, sellers, or is balanced.

For the Lower Mainland, an SALR higher than 20 per cent indicates a sellers’ market, under 12 per cent a buyers’ market, and in between –- 12 to 20 per cent – is considered a balanced market.

Next week, we’ll have May’s numbers, but even looking at April’s numbers, the trend is clear. Yes, still a strong seller’s market for all three of our main, residential property types in the Fraser Valley, but you can see the trajectory. All three SALRs have dropped three months in a row.  

The sales-to-active-listings ratio for detached in West Newton is teetering on a balanced market
Because real estate is local, you’ll of course select your client’s sub-area and property type, which may or may not reflect board-wide trends.  Here’s a SALR graph, as of April, for single family detached for four sub-areas in Surrey – West Newton, East Newton, Panorama Ridge and Sullivan Station. 

In Sullivan (orange line), the SALR went from 147% to 60% in one month. Will be interesting to see what May’s numbers indicate. West Newton is down to 28%, from a high of 79% in February, teetering on a balanced market. 

You have many data tools in your client education toolbox – you have your CMAs, evidence of a huge influx of new listings to show your clients and as mentioned above, fewer inquiries and offers – but don’t forget about the power of visuals of actual MLS® data, the most trusted resale housing data in Canada.

Emailing your sellers a graph of a three-month trendline heading south fast, may help support your recommendation that they lower their expectations and accept a reasonable and fair offer.

Haven’t used the Stats Centre before? In March, almost 700 Fraser Valley members logged 3,000 hours using the tool and shared over 1,000 charts with clients. Check it out! http://stats.fvreb.bc.ca and to reward you for reading this article, a final tip: in the tool itself, under the User Manual & FAQ tab at the top, there’s a handy seven minute how-to video, to help you get the most out of the tool.


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