How is COVID-19 Impacting Real Estate in the GTA?

Market update 2020 Q1

2020 started with a near-record pace and The Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) continued its reign as Canada’s hottest market. Year-over-year, average price growth has been 12% at minimum and first quarter sales are up 22%.

TRREB reported the sale of 8,012 homes for the month of March, a 12.3% climb from 7,132 from the same time the year prior.

 

March 1-14

Pre-Covid-19: When Covid-19 first arrived in Toronto, we were moving into what would be considered a very normal busy spring market. With plenty of motivated buyers already in the process of buying a home and many reports of multiple offers on properties. There were 4,643 sales reported, accounting for 58 per cent of total transactions.

March 15-31

Post-Covid-19: We continued to see some sales activity during the second half of March. However, despite a strong increase in sales for March as a whole, there was a clear break in market activity between the pre-Covid-19 and post-Covid-19 periods. There were 3,369 sales reported, down by 15.9 per cent compared to the same period in March 2019. The average selling price for sales reported between March 15 and March 31, was $862,563 – down from the first half of March 2020, but still up by 10.5 per cent compared to the same period last year.

For March as a whole, new listings were up by three per cent year-over-year to 14,424. However, similar to sales, new listings dropped on a year-over-year basis during the second half of the month by 18.4 per cent.

TRREB’s President Michael Collins announced The MLS® Home Price Index Composite Benchmark price was up by 11.1 per cent year-over-year in March 2020 and the average selling price for March 2020 as a whole was $902,680 – up 14.5 per cent compared to March 2019.

Although the results of Q1 in the Toronto Real Estate Board were strong, we predict April’s forecast to be different.

Royal LePage in the media:

Canadian housing market crash still unlikely says leading brokerage (Wealth Professional – April 15, 2020)

Royal LePage forecasts ‘remarkably stable’ home prices during pandemic (Real Estate Magazine – April 15, 2020)