Fewer Canadians are searching for homes online amid pandemic

Searches were down 38 percent over an 18-day period this month

TRD New York TRD WEEKEND EDITION /
Mar.March 28, 2020 12:00 PM
Web searches for terms including “homes for sale” are way down up north. (Credit: Pixabay)

Web searches for terms including “homes for sale” are way down up north. (Credit: Pixabay)

Canadians are not only done with open houses, it seems many aren’t even looking for new homes anymore.

There were 38 percent fewer web searches for homes on March 23 than there was on March 5, less than 20 days earlier, according to data from property mark aetplace Point2 Homes first reported by Bloomberg.

Point2 Homes also found Google searches down for terms including “homes for sale” and “houses for sale,” among others.

The decline is of course attributable to the coronavirus pandemic. Point2 Homes found that home searches declined more rapidly after the World Health Organization declared a pandemic on March 12, according to Bloomberg. Point2 Homes found a similar decline in searches in the U.S. starting around March 11.

Most local governments in the country have ordered or advised brokerages to stop holding open houses. The same has happened in parts of U.S. hit hard by the pandemic, including Los Angeles and New York, which is expected to significantly impede homebuying.

Some Canadian markets were already shaky, including Vancouver and Toronto. Booms in both markets raised concerns that they were headed for corrections. Last year saw a rise in short sell bets against large Canadian banks.

Still, it was shaping up to be a strong spring up north. Sales across the country were up in February by 25 percent compared to February 2019. Resales in both Toronto and Vancouver were up around 44 percent year-over-year. Montreal resales were also up. [Bloomberg] — Dennis Lynch


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