COVID-19 Impact on Sales Softens

Prices trending upwards

COVID-19 Impact on Sales Softens

Due to the continued impact of COVID-19, the GTA housing activity in May was down by 53.7 per cent in comparison to May 2019, but up from the previous month which saw a deeper decline of 67.1 per cent. Given the context of the coronavirus pandemic, this upward trend in sales is encouraging. “While the public health and economic concerns surrounding COVID-19 continue to impact the housing market, the May sales result represented a marked improvement over April. TRREB released updated Ipsos consumer intentions polling results in May that indicated that 27 per cent of GTA households were likely to purchase a home over the next year. Providing we continue to see a gradual reopening of the economy, it is very possible that home sales will continue to improve in the coming months,” said Toronto Region Real Estate Board President Michael Collins.

Although listings and sales volumes were down (by about the same percentage) versus May 2019, average prices actually ticked up. The average selling price for all home types combined was up by 3.0 per cent compared to May 2019, to $863,599. On a seasonally adjusted basis, the average selling price was up by 4.6 percent month over-month compared to April 2020. The average home price in Toronto registered at $955,273 versus $936,852 in May 2019, up by 2.0 per cent. In the 905 areas, the price reached $819,719 up by 5.1 per cent from $779,950.

After several months of hot activity and accelerated price growth, the Toronto housing market has shifted back into balanced market conditions. “With home sales and new listings continuing to trend in unison in May, market conditions remained balanced. This balance was evidenced by year-over-year average price growth slightly above the Bank of Canada’s long-term target for inflation. If current market conditions are sustained during the gradual reopening of the GTA economy, a moderate pace of year-over-year price growth could continue as we move through the spring and summer months,” said Jason Mercer, TRREB’s chief market analyst.

In the City of Toronto, purchasing intentions were above the GTA average, with 34 percent of respondents saying they would likely buy in the next 12 months. Younger buyers and households with children indicated the most motivation to buy, with 45 per cent and 37 per cent expressing interest, respectively.