COVID-19 Toronto Real Estate Report
UPDATED APRIL 22, 2020
I am have been crunching the data from the Toronto Real Estate Board® MLS Listing System (MLS) every day for the last five weeks and will update this report weekly to help my clients and community better understand the impact of COVID-19 on my local Toronto market. Mid-April TRREB Results (all data from TRREB)
Impact #1 - decrease in sales: Year-over-year sales declines, in percentage terms, were greatest for the detached and
condominium apartment market segments. In the detached segment, the higher end of the
market was particularly impacted in the City of Toronto. The condominium apartment segment
has traditionally attracted a high share of first-time buyers, who in times of uncertainty can put
their decision to purchase on hold.
Impact #2 - new sales listings contracts: The number of new listings was down on a year-over-year basis by a similar annual rate, declining by 63.7 per cent to 3,843. The fact that new listings trended in a similar fashion to sales during the first half of April means that market conditions remained tight enough to provide support for the average selling price in line with 2019 levels.
Impact #3 - average selling price: The average selling price for sales reported during the first 17 days of April 2020 was $819,665 – down
by 1.5 per cent compared to the same period in 2019. Uncertainty about market conditions due to COVID-19 certainly played a role in moderating the
pace of year-over-year price growth during the first half of April. The changing composition of
home sales also played a role. In the City of Toronto, for example, the number of homes sold for more than two-million dollars declined more than overall sales. This also had an impact on the average selling prices. It should also be noted that selling prices have also followed listing prices, with average listing prices down by a similar amount. Average selling prices have not been noticeably lower than listing prices compared to last year. This is further evidence that the mix of homes listed has changed compared to last year.
- Impact #4 - property listings: the number of new listings from April 1, 2020, to April 22, 2020, is 1,422. There are a total of 3,843 new listings in the GTA representing a decline of -63.7%.
Impact #5 - increase in off-market (exclusive listings): the number of exclusive listings, those properties that are not entered into the MLS has increased. These listings are an alternative way if offered by a licensed realtor to market and list a property for sale. I myself belong to a private network of exclusive realtors and receiving numerous emails daily on new exclusive listings for both condominiums and freehold properties. If you would like to discuss how to access these listings please contact me.
Impact #6 - average price change: the average price (all home types across the GTA) reported between April 1, 2020, and April 17, 2020, was 819,665 and represented a margin decline of -1.5%. Toronto reported a decline of -69.7% in sales and with an average price declined by -3.7% for this same time period. See charts below by home type for a complete breakdown.
Looking forward, the decline in home sales will be likely strongest in Q2 2020, as strong social distancing
measures remain in place for most of the spring. However, if public health forecasts assuming strong social
distancing measures play out as expected, expect to see improvement in market activity in the
summer. Recovery will accelerate through the fall, as social distancing measures are substantially relaxed, a
large number of people return to work from furlough and home buyers take advantage of very low borrowing
costs that will remain in place to spur economic recovery.
The calendar year average price for 2020 will likely remain near the 2019 level and will be buoyed by the 15
per cent year-over-year growth experienced in Q1 2020 and resumed growth in Q4. Year-over-year
declines in home prices could be reported during some months in the second and third quarters, but these
declines will have less of an effect on the overall price for 2020 because the annual share of sales will also
be much lower than normal.
I am here to be that trusted advisor: while there is a lot of uncertainty and fear, the real estate market and the economy overall are experiencing an acute shock. We will get through this together and come out stronger on the other end. I am are here for you and ready to answer any questions you specifically are concerned about or to help you find solutions and possibilities during this challenging time. Please do not hesitate to contact me at [email protected] or call/text 416-347-9383.