Social distancing measures, state of emergency declarations by both the City of Toronto and the Province of Ontario, and notices from real estate bodies such as the Ontario Real Estate Association to cease in-person interactions over the previous two weeks due to COVID-19 have thrown cold water on what was gearing up to be a particularly hot spring market in the GTA.
Despite real estate being deemed an essential service by the provincial government and two Bank of Canada emergency rate cuts in a two-week period, the uncertain environment created by COVID-19 can be seen over the past week. During the week of March 25-31, sales for both condos and houses dropped over 50% year-over-year across Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area.
In the City of Toronto, just 71 detached and semi-detached house sales were sold and entered in the MLS system, compared to 176 last year, representing a drop of 60% y-o-y. In the GTA, sales numbers follow a similar trend – detached and semi-detached house sales were down 56% to 268 from 610 in 2019. Month-over-month detached and semi-detached sales fell by 58% in the City of Toronto and 59% in the GTA.
The change in demand within the condo apartment and condo townhouse market followed a similar story. In the City of Toronto, sales plummeted 65% y-o-y to 89 from 252; in the GTA, sales decreased 58% y-o-y to 168 from 403. Compared to the same period last month, City of Toronto sales fell 58% and GTA sales were down 48%.
With the significant drop in home sales across all property types, it’ll be interesting to see what the impact on sold home prices in Toronto will be in both the short- and long-term.