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Market Conditions and Consumer Intentions Are Beginning to Shift

The Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) has released their latest market report for May 2020, and the results continue to reflect the upheaval caused by COVID-19. TRREB’s MLS System reported a total of 4,606 sales for the month, a staggering 53.7 percent year-over-year decrease on May 2019’s sales.

However, this decline came in at less than April 2020’s 61.7 percent decrease and may indicate that the market conditions are slowly turning around.

A month-over-month comparison shows that May 2020 actual sales were indeed showing substantial positive growth compared to April 2020, clocking in at a 55.2 percent increase. After the regular seasonal increase is taken into account, May’s seasonally adjusted sales were up by 53.2 percent.

Similarly, the number of new listings recorded on the MLS system in May dipped by 53.1 percent compared to May of last year, coming in at a total of 9,104. But again, on a month-over-month basis, new listings were up by 47.5 percent.

“As we move toward recovery, the housing sector will be a key driver of growth as consumer confidence increases and more households look to take advantage of very low borrowing costs,” said TRREB CEO John DiMichele.

This shifting of consumer intentions is supported by the board’s release of an updated Ipsos poll. Results indicate that 27 percent of GTA households intend to buy a new home in the next year.

The Condo Market Falters in the Face of COVID-19
The Toronto Regional Real Estate Board’s (TRREB) May 2020 market report is out. TRREB’s MLS System reported a total of 4,606 sales, a disconcerting 53.7 year-over-year decrease.

However, this marks a 55.3 percent month-over-month increase in actual sales and a 53.2 percent month-over-month increase in seasonally adjusted sales, compared to April 2020. But how did the condominium market factor in?

Condominium sales in the 416 and 905 areas totalled 1002 for May, a 60.4 percent year-over-decrease that puts the condo apartment market behind detached, semi-detached and townhouse markets. While condos had the lowest average price ($625,445) compared to other markets, it still reflected a 6 percent year-over-year increase that may account as to why it is not currently the popular choice. It is also worth noting that there were 335 more sales in May compared to April 2020 and that the average condo selling price in April was $578,283.

“TRREB released updated Ipsos consumer intentions polling results in May that indicated that 27 percent of GTA households were likely to purchase a home over the next year. Providing we continue to see a gradual re-opening of the economy, it is very possible that home sales will continue to improve in the coming months,” said TRREB president Michael Collins.

It is now of paramount importance that policymakers continue to prioritize a diversity of ownership and rental housing supply, thereby avoiding price pace growth acceleration.

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