If we’ve learned one thing about Ontario’s COVID ‘recovery’ period, it’s that the resiliency of the Toronto housing market cannot be questioned. After months of notable downturn in activity brought on my the pandemic as a result of both lockdown measures and economic hesitancy, buyers have returned to the market in the past few months with a vengeance, with sales and prices setting all-time records.
As a result of COVID-19, the Toronto housing market experienced overall declines, with sales, new listings, and demand down monthly and annually in the spring, as buyers remained on the sidelines waiting for the uncertainty of the pandemic to pass.
But in the past few months, overall activity has continued to improve, with July becoming the aforementioned record-breaking month for sales in Toronto, as 11,081 homes changed hands.
Turning to the final months of 2020, a new fall outlook from RE/MAX suggests that Toronto will continue to be a sellers’ market, as there are still low listings in most areas, demand continues to exceed supply, and low-interest rates continue to entice more buyers into the market.
“While COVID-19 lockdowns slowed the Canadian housing market at the start of a typically busy spring market, activity bounced back by early summer in many regions, including Vancouver and Toronto,” says Elton Ash, Regional Executive Vice President, RE/MAX of Western Canada.
“Despite the tragic impacts of the pandemic, our optimism in the strength of Canada’s housing market has always remained, and current market activity further exemplifies this. Many homebuyers are now exploring different neighbourhoods that better suit their new lifestyles, and real estate agents are getting busier and working more with buyers from different major cities. According to our brokers and agents across the RE/MAX network, Canada’s fall market is expected to see spring market-like activity.”
According to the RE/MAX Fall Market Outlook Report, buyer preferences have shifted, as more potential homeowners are turning toward homes near green space, yard space, and those with separate entrances.
Now that COVID-19 restrictions have lifted and the province remains in Stage 3, RE/MAX agents in the region have noted an increased buyer interest in properties near Lake Ontario or other bodies of water, with many people shifting to work-from-home models and ongoing travel restrictions.
What’s more, according to the report, the Toronto housing market is expected to see more listings in the fall, and average home prices are expected to remain stable. Based on these factors, a 5% increase in the average residential sale price is expected in the Toronto housing market for the remainder of 2020.
Currently, the average price for a single-detached home in Toronto proper is $1,541,003, already a 6.67% increase from Q2, while a condominium/townhome has reached an average of $713,617, up 3.36% from Q2.
If 2020 has taught us anything so far, it’s that a lot can change in a short matter of time. Will there end up being a second wave of COVID-19 this fall, further impacting the housing market and creating further complications for the economy? Only time will tell, but for now, let’s ease into fall with the expectations that things will continue to look up.