After the first full month with social distancing measures in place, the housing market is adjusting to the effects of COVID-19. While the number of unit sales has decreased substantially, residential prices are still holding their own and are up over last year’s figures, with properties often selling marginally above the asking price.
It is too early to predict the effects of COVID-19 on the real estate market. These are unprecedented times, Past recessions and recoveries do not necessarily provide the best guide as to how the housing market will recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. A key factor for the housing market recovery will be a broader reopening of the economy, which will result in an improving employment picture and a resurgence in consumer confidence.
Ontario - Real Estate Pivots in the Age of COVID-19
Toronto May 5, 2020 -- Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 2,975 residential transactions through TRREB’s MLS® System. This result was down by 67% compared to April 2019. Weekday sales remained within a relatively steady range during the month, averaging 130 per day.
New listings amounted to 6,174 in April 2020 – down on a year-over-year basis by a similar rate compared to sales (-64.1%).
The average selling price for April 2020 transactions was $821,392 – up by 0.1% compared to the average price of $820,373 reported for April 2019. The semi-detached and townhouse market segments experienced annual average price growth above the rate of inflation. The condominium apartment and detached segments experienced year-over-year price declines on average.
The trend for the MLS® Home Price Index Composite Benchmark, which had been on an upward trajectory since the beginning of 2019 flattened in April. On a year-over-year basis, the Benchmark was up by 10%.
The MLS® HPI indices represent prices for typical homes with consistent attributes from one period to the next. The fact that the MLS® HPI was up year-over-year by a greater rate than the average selling price suggests that the share of higher-end deals completed in April 2020 versus April 2019 was down.