Market Watch

Real estate agents do not possess magic powers of being able to predict the future when it comes to knowing how the real estate market will rebound from the unpredicted economic decline in the past two months due to COVID-19.

I’ve promised to provide my clients with facts first – and not sugar-coat the situation. The numbers from the Saint John Real Estate Board tell the real story . Residential sales in April 2020 compared with April 2019, were down 29.3%, and new residential listings showed the largest decline in recent years, plunging to an all-time low of 58.9% on a year-over-year basis for this time of year.

How could it be otherwise as we are facing a global pandemic? This can be no surprise to anyone, as we spent some of March and all of April quarantined in our homes.
Let me tell you what I do know. The decline in housing sales in Saint John did not occur because of an economic down turn. It occurred because of a world-wide health crisis.

Having said that, I am optimistic that housing sales will gradually pick up speed throughout the third and fourth quarter of this year, because housing inventory in Saint John is still extremely low, and good houses that are being placed on the market are selling reasonably quickly.

I believe it’s still a good time to sell your home. There was only 6.7 months of inventory on the market at the end of April 2020, below the long-run average of 10.7 months for this time of year. That means at the current rate of sale activity, it will only take 6.7 months to sell current inventories. I’m betting the balance of the Spring and Summer market will continue to go up and I’m looking forward to watching Saint John and New Brunswick lead the way – thanks to our handling of the COVID-19 crisis.