Sales Growth Falls In The Face of COVID
According to the latest report from the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB), the Greater Toronto Area real estate market reflected the sudden onset of COVID-19, which influenced sales and selling prices.
The good news: the board’s MLS System recorded 8,012 home sales for the month, a 12.3 percent year-over-year increase on last March’s sales. Average selling prices were also up; a recorded 14.5 percent increase on the same period last year. The average selling price for March 2020 was $902,680.
The not-so-good-news: TRREB recorded a clear break in market activity before and after the week beginning Sunday, March 15th, or the pre-COVID-19 and post-COVID-19 periods.
The first half of March accounted for 58 percent of total sales. These two weeks saw a recorded 4,634 sales, marking a 49 percent year-over-year for the same two-week period in March 2019.
The post-COVID-19 fortnight showed a slowdown of 3,369 sales, a 15.9 percent decrease compared to the latter half of March 2019. Similarly, new sales listings dropped by 18.4 percent and the average selling price dropped to $862,536 in this period.
TRREB continues to be a beacon of guidance, strongly advocating the stopping of in-person open houses, as well as holding educational webinars on innovative ways to conduct business virtually.
The Condo Market Stalls Due to COVID Arrival
Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) announced a steady year-over-year increase in sales and selling prices in the Greater Toronto Area this March. However, this was due to a high demand in ownership housing before COVID-19 became an international and local concern.
In the first two weeks of March, labelled as the pre-COVID-19 period, a total of 4,643 sales were recorded, meaning a 49 percent year on the same period last year. The post-COVID-19 period or latter half of the month only accounted for 42 percent of sales with a recorded 3,369 sales, a decrease of 15.9 percent compared to the last weeks in March 2020. Similarly, new listings dropped during the second half of the month by 18.4%, although were up by 3% year-over-year as a whole.
So how did the Condo market fare given these unstable conditions? Condominium sales totalled 2,014, a 2.9 percent year-over-year change that indicated the sector had grown the least compared to the Detached, Semi-Detached and Townhouse markets. This is perhaps due to the sudden sharp drop in demand across all housing types, coupled with a continuing rise in the condo market’s average selling price, which totalled $658,791, a 17.7 percent year-over-year increase.
“As we move through April, we will have a clearer view on how social distancing measures and broader economic conditions will influence sales and ultimately the pace of price growth,” said TRREB chief executive officer John DiMichele.