As home buyers, sellers and the real estate industry at-large adjust to new market conditions and health and safety measures under the COVID-19 emergency, new data from the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) for May shows that sales activity improved substantially across the region since the previous month. Sales across the Toronto Region increased 55% month-over-month (m-o-m) in May, with 4,606 transactions taking place. Despite the m-o-m improvement, May sales remained subdued on an annual basis; marking a 54% drop since May 2019.
Average home prices across the Toronto Region increased 3% annually to $863,599 since May 2019. Compared to February 2020, the last full month before COVID-19 measures were implemented, the average home price dropped slightly by 5%.
Home Sales Recovered in Double Digits Across Toronto Region From April, But Down Over 50% Annually
“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,” noted Michael Collins, TRREB President. Sales improved on a m-o-m basis in the strong double digits in every region. While still substantially lower compared to the same period in 2019, the monthly improvement provides some signal with respect to the direction of market activity.
In the City of Toronto, sales across all housing types were up 44% m-o-m, but down a striking 60% annually. The strongest m-o-m improvement was noted in condominium property types, with the condo townhouse sales up 70% from April, followed by condo apartments that noted a 51% monthly increase with 727 sales taking place in May 2020. On an annual basis, condo townhouse sales were least impacted, with a 53% annual decline, followed by the condo apartment segment that noted a 58% year-over-year (y-o-y) decline from May 2019.
Toronto Region Housing Market Remains in Balanced Territory, Apart from Durham Region
New listings followed a similar annual decrease as sales with 9,104 new listings hitting the market in May. This marked a 51% annual drop, but an increase of 48% m-o-m.
As such, the housing market maintained steady and balanced market conditions for the second month in a row, with a sales-to-new-listings (SNLR) ratio of 51%. An SNLR figure between 40% – 60% indicates that market competition is balanced, while above and below that threshold reflect sellers’ and buyers’ markets, respectively.
These balanced market conditions were consistent across specific regions, with the exception of Durham Region. The City of Toronto (45%) York Region (43%), Peel Region (53%), and Halton Region (59%) all maintained balanced market competition conditions in May. Durham Region on the other hand inched back into sellers’ market territory with an SNLR of 68%. There were 770 sales in Durham Region in May compared to 1,138 new listings that month. In May 2019, all these were in balanced market territories.
Average Toronto Region Home Price Dropped 5%, or $46,491, From February 2020
Across the Toronto Region, average prices remain lower than February 2020, which was the last full month before COVID-19 health and safety measures were introduced.
As noted, while the average home price across the Toronto Region of $863,599 was up 3% annually, it marked a 5% decrease from February’s value of $910,290. Condo townhouse prices were most affected, with average prices declining 8% since February to $618,532. This was followed by detached houses and condo apartments where average prices declined 7% and 6% respectively. Semi-detached houses noted a slight 1% decline in average prices since February to $867,717.
For the City of Toronto, average sold home prices across all home types improved on an annual basis by 2%, but declined by 3% since February 2020 to $955,273. Within the city, the condo segment led the declines since February; average home prices for condo townhouses dropped 8% to $715,572 followed by condo apartments by 7% to $674,028. Both segments noted annual average price increases of 3% and 5% respectively.
The average City of Toronto detached house price rose 3% annually but declined 4% since February to $1,422,273. Semi-detached properties noted a 5% decline since February, but climbed 9% y-o-y to $1,143,322.
Check out the infographics below to see how sales and average prices have changed by home type for TRREB and the City of Toronto in May.
Note: Comments and stats highlighting the Toronto Region as a whole are a reference to the areas covered by TRREB, which include: Durham Region, Halton Region, Peel Region, York Region, Toronto, Dufferin County and Simcoe County.
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