Greater Toronto Area REALTORS reported 2,975 residential transactions through TRREB’s MLS System in April 2020. This result was down by 67 per cent 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.
The necessary social distancing and economic impacts associated with COVID-19 clearly impacted home sales and listings throughout April 2020. However, REALTORS® have been able to facilitate some transactions on behalf of buyers and sellers through the use of innovative techniques including virtual open houses.
The average selling price for April 2020 transactions was $821,392 – up by 0.1 per cent 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.
When thinking about home prices, it is important to remember that the pace of price growth is dictated by the relationship between sales and listings. So, while the onset of COVID-19 has understandably shifted market conditions and resulted in average selling prices coming off their March peak, there has continued to be enough active buyers relative to available listings to keep prices in line with last year’s levels.
Conditions in the GTA rental market have also changed since the first quarter of 2020. Rental transactions reported through TRREB’s MLS® System were down on a year-over-year basis in April for both one-bedroom and two-bedroom condominium apartments. One-bedroom condominium apartment rental transactions were down by 57.9 per cent to 754; two-bedroom rental transactions were down by 54.4 per cent to 489. Average rents for one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments were down on a year-over-year basis in April 2020 as well. The average one-bedroom rent was $2,107 – down 2.7 per cent compared to April 2019. The average two-bedroom rent was $2,705 – down 4.1 per cent compared to April 2019.
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. To this end, it is reassuring that the province is taking measured and carefully monitored steps towards safely opening up some parts of the economy. I believe once the economy and business's start to open back up the housing market will bounce back with a vengeance. Seller's who were waiting will list their homes and buyers who were waiting will run out to start house hunting again.
For questions on the real estate market or if you are planning a move and would like to discuss your goals. Feel welcome to call or email me anytime. Stay Safe!