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Updated May 5, 2020
What We’re Seeing: GTA Real Estate in a COVID-19 World
Toronto Real Estate News: April 2020
The April TRREB statistics have been released and reflect what we were seeing as Toronto’s coronavirus cases peaked:
- Sales volume was down 67% vs April 2019, as Buyers heeded Public Health recommendations to stay home and pause non-essential activities
- New listings were down 64%, so we didn’t see any notable panic listing of homes by Sellers – they were on a pause too
- The average price in April 2020, $821,392, up 0.1% compared to April 2019, with detached homes and condos decreasing in price vs. last year. But don’t forget: prices pre-COVID were up significantly vs last year, so prices actually softened in April, from the crazed February market that saw some of the fiercest bidding wars we’ve witnessed since 2017.
- In the last 2 weeks of April, there were some notable bidding wars and sales. While the number of people who toured in-demand homes was lower than what we’re used to in Toronto, the Buyers were more motivated and qualified and there were plenty of sales at prices that we would have expected pre-coronavirus.
- What’s next for Toronto real estate in a coronavirus world? In the last 10 days, we’ve noticed many Buyers and some Sellers preparing to head back into the market, as the Ontario economy gradually reopens. While many people put their real estate plans on hold when the state of emergency was declared, most didn’t abandon them completely. Low-interest rates and less bidding war competition is an appealing combination for many frustrated Toronto Buyers. Smart REALTORS have been re-tooling their businesses to cope with the ‘new normal’ and deliver safe buying and selling experiences and I expect we’ll see much higher real estate activity in May. I expect prices will be relatively flat, given we’re still dealing with a lot of market uncertainties (jobs, immigration, a second wave of COVID-19). But these days, everybody’s crystal balls are broken, so our best advice is the same as it’s always been: time your real estate moves when they make sense for you vs. trying to ‘time’ the market.
Scroll down to see how daily sales and listings were impacted in April 2020 and how they correlate to the number of COVID cases in Ontario.
Toronto Real Estate News: April 1-7, 2020
- The negative impact of COVID on the GTA real estate market became increasingly evident as Ontario’s social distancing and virus mitigation and containment efforts expanded.
- Toronto Buyers, Sellers and REALTORS smartly heeded the advice of Public Health officials and stayed home. Home searches were put on hold and listing dates rescheduled. Unless people NEEDED to buy or sell right away, it was almost like someone hit a giant ‘PAUSE’ button on the Toronto real estate market. It’s no surprise that the volume of sales is down 75-85%.
- We’re regularly being contacted by Buyers who want to be ready to buy in a post-COVID world. While some are optimistic bargain hunters hoping prices have fallen (they haven’t), most are simply taking this time to get educated and prepare.
- We aren’t seeing panicked Sellers yet – something we saw within hours of the foreign buyer tax and stress test announcements in 2017. I’m cautiously taking that as a good sign that we won’t see a sudden supply of homes on the market while the crisis continues.
Toronto Real Estate News: March 15-31, 2020
- When COVID-19 first arrived in Toronto, we were in the midst of one of the most active spring real estate markets in memory. With plenty of motivated Buyers already in the process of buying a home and others who NEEDED to buy or sell, we continued to see some sales activity during the second half of March.
- But: things were changing fast. REALTORS worked to re-invent how we sell homes by embracing virtual showings, digital marketing and electronic signatures. You can read more about buying a home during the first few weeks of COVID here and click here to read about selling a home during the initial COVID crisis.
- Real estate agents were identified as part of the ‘Essential’ list in Ontario to help ensure that sales agreements that already been entered into would be able to close, and ownership transfers could occur. But it was far from ‘business as usual’.
We’ve put together some charts to help you understand how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting Toronto real estate. Our charts are updated daily and will help you see:
- The weekly volume of sales compared to 2019
- Trends in sales and new listings, measured on a daily basis
- The relationship between home sales, the number of COVID-19 cases in Ontario and major milestones in the fight against COVID
Daily Home Sales & Listings Trends: 2020
Note: Conditional sales are not included in the sales statistics below. As deals firm up, we are revising the previously reported sales stats to ensure they are accounted for.
Sales, COVID Cases & Milestone Moments