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 29-year-old man pleaded guilty to one count of dangerous driving at Grand Forks Provincial Court Tuesday, Nov. 17. File photo
Grand Forks man gets 3-months curfew for role in Highway 3 chase

Guilty man thanked Judge Robert Brown, said he is committed to recovering from addiction

Two men got into a fight over a Grand Forks’ flower display last summer. One of the men resolved an assault charge by entering into a peace bond at Provincial Court Tuesday, Nov. 17. File photo
Grand Forks man takes peace bond after flower fisticuffs

Harsh words over a downtown flower display led to violent confrontation, said Crown attorney

A man wears a mask while walking down Canyon Street in Creston on Nov. 13. Photo: Aaron Hemens
Creston resident living with COVID-19 reflects on experience

Contracting and living with the virus, she said, has led to a “major reset” in her life

The man was charged with multiple counts of impersonation with intent to avoid arrest. File photo
Grand Forks man pleads guilty to impersonating brother in city traffic stops

The man told a city court he and his brother have since reconciled

The Crown said the man became upset after he saw a couple having sex in public view last July. File photo
Midway man takes peace bond after hitting man for having sex on beach

The accused appeared at the Grand Forks Courthouse Tuesday, Nov. 17

People wearing face masks to help curb the spread of COVID-19 cross a street in downtown Vancouver, on Sunday, November 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. reports 17 COVID deaths, 1,933 new cases as hospitalizations surge over the weekend

There are 277 people in hospital, of whom 59 are in ICU or critical care

An aerial shot of Cedar Valley Lodge this past August, LNG Canada’s newest accommodation for workers at the project site in Kitimat. This is where several employees are isolating after a COVID-19 outbreak was declared last Thursday (Nov. 19). (Photo courtesy of LNG Canada)
Forty-one positive COVID-19 cases associated with the LNG Canada site outbreak in Kitimat

Thirty-four of the 41 cases remain active, according to Northern Health

7-year-old Mackenzie Hodge from Penticton sent a hand-written letter to premiere John Horgan asking if she’d be able to see her elf, Ralph under the new coronavirus restrictions. (John Horgan / Twitter)
Elf on the shelf an acceptable house guest, B.C. premier tells Penticton girl

A 7-year-old from Penticton penned a letter asking if she’d be allowed to see her elf this year

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Workers arrive at the Lynn Valley Care Centre seniors home, in North Vancouver, B.C., on Saturday, March 14, 2020. It was the site of Canada’s first COVID-19 outbreak in a long-term care facility. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Rapid tests ‘not a panacea’ for care homes, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

B.C. lacks capacity for daily tests of thousands of workers

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

(Delta Police Department photo)
Cannabis edibles found in Halloween bag lead B.C. police to illegal lab

Delta police arrested a man and a woman while executing a warrant at a residential property Nov. 20

A woman being arrested at a Kelowna Value Village after refusing to wear a mask on Nov. 22.(@Jules50278750/Twitter)
VIDEO: Woman arrested for refusing to wear mask at Kelowna Value Village

RCMP claims the woman was uncooperative with officers, striking them a number of times and screaming

B.C. Liberal MLA Shirley Bond questions NDP government ministers in the B.C. legislature, Feb. 19, 2020. (Hansard TV)
Cabinet veteran Shirley Bond chosen interim leader of B.C. Liberals

28-member opposition prepares for December legislature session

Most Read