Toronto area home sales plummet by 69% in first half of April

Apr 22 2020, 1:43 pm

Home sales in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) have dropped by 69% in the first 17 days of April, compared to the same period last year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB), the average selling price for a home was $819,665, down by 1.5% compared to the same period in 2019.

The price has remained relatively stable as the home sales and listings both declined at a similar rate.

The report shows that the GTA had 1,654 home sales in the first 17 days of the month, meaning a 69% decline, and new listings declined by a similar trend at 63.7% to 3,843 listings.

The decline in sales was greatest for detached and condominium apartments. For detached properties, the higher end of the market was impacted most in Toronto and the condominiums which usually attract first-time buyers, put their decision to purchase on hold due to the climate of uncertainty with the pandemic.

Specifically, in Toronto there was a 9.1% decline in detached home pricing, making the average $1,257,916. Condo apartments also saw a 2.9% decline in home sale prices at $616,246 and a decrease in sales by 71.7%.

TRREB

According to TRREB, uncertainty about market conditions due to COVID-19 “certainly played a role in moderating the pace of year-over-year price growth during the first half of April.”

“The state of emergency measures currently in place, including the necessary enforcement of social distancing, has impacted the real estate market in many ways. Home buyers and sellers have concerns about the economy and indeed their own employment situations,” Michael Collins, President of TRREB said.

“On top of this, many buyers and sellers are avoiding any type of in-person interaction.  In the condo market in particular, individual condo corporations have curtailed entry for non-residents.”

TRREB projects that home sales will be likely strongest in second quarter of 2020, as physical distancing measures remain in place for most of the spring.

However, if physical distancing measures are lifted there will likely be an improvement by the summer.

“Recovery will accelerate through the fall, as social distancing measures are substantially relaxed, a large number of people return to work from furlough and home buyers take advantage of very low borrowing costs that will remain in place to spur economic recovery,” the report said.

While the housing market is seeing a significant impact from the pandemic, once physical distancing measures are lifted, realtors believe there will be growth again, as the GTA has some of the most in-demand property in Canada.

Clarrie FeinsteinClarrie Feinstein

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