Greater Toronto Area homes sales have dropped and are expected to further fall before the end of June.
State of emergency measures and social distancing have already caused sales to dive 69 per cent during the first 17 days of April compared to the same time last year, according to early statistics the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board has released.
“Home buyers and sellers have concerns about the economy and indeed their own employment situations,” says TRREB President Michael Collins. “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.”
Condos and high-end detached single-family homes in Toronto experienced the greatest decline. Realtors are reporting 1,654 home sales so far, while the number of listings has dropped 63.7 per cent to 3,843.
The average price for a home also dropped 1.5 per cent. It currently stands at $819,665. The changing composition of home sales played a role in price growth. In Toronto, for example, the number of homes sold for more than two-million dollars declined more than overall sales. This had an impact on the average selling prices.
Numbers could start improving in the summer if distancing measures are relaxed and people return to work from furlough.
TRREB says year-over-year declines in home prices could be reported during some months in the second and third quarters, but these declines will have less of an effect on the overall price for 2020 because the annual share of sales will also be much lower than normal.
As home buyers return to the market, Jason Mercer, TRREB’s chief market analyst predicts they will continue to face a lack of listings inventory that was already an issue pre-pandemic.
“As the different levels of government look toward recovery, it will be important for them to resume and build upon initiatives to bring a greater diversity of housing supply on line,” he says.