Covid-19 Impact on Toronto Real Estate

September 22, 2020

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

In light of recent COVID-19 impact, we have seen the whole world turn topsy-turvy within the span of a few months. But apparently the Toronto Housing Market turned out to be much more resilient than the global pandemic as recent data reveals. Although initially due to lockdown measures and economic inertia, the Toronto housing market showed some lagging, the reopening phase have returned buyers to the real estate market with a vengeance as seen by record breaking sales and prices.

In the initial phase of COVID-19, the Toronto housing market experienced notable declines, with lack of sales, low inventory, and hesitant buyers in the spring season both on a month to month and year to year basis. However, in the past few months, overall real estate activity has continued to spring back, with July coming out stronger than ever having a record-breaking month for sales in Toronto, with 11,081 homes being sold.

As we enter into the final quarter of 2020, a new fall outlook of Toronto housing market suggests that it will continue to be a sellers’ market. Number of listings is still slow in most parts of Toronto, demand remains to exceed supply, and low-interest rates continue to attract home buyers to flock into the market.

While COVID-19 lockdowns did put a slump to Toronto real estate activity in the months of spring – which usually is a busy month, activity resurged in early summer in many regions including Toronto. According to recent report by Ontario Residential Real Estate Monitor, one-third of active homebuyers stated they have undergone change in preferences while house searching. More people now want a bigger home and access to outdoor space, and more people would prefer living in suburban areas to residing in big cities.

As COVID-19 restrictions gradually lifted, realtors within the region have seen an increase in buyers' interest and many of the buyers are interested in waterfront properties as majority of people have been working from home during COVID-19 pandemic.

Meanwhile, as we are entering fall, according to TREB latest reports home sales were up on a year-over-year basis for all major home types, both in the City of Toronto and surrounding GTA regions. Most sales were seen for detached and semi-detached houses, however, condominium sales also kept up with the pace with increase in number annually for the second month in a row.

“Increased demand for ownership housing has been based on improving economic conditions, in terms of monthly GDP growth and job creation, and the continuation of very low borrowing costs. In addition, fewer households have chosen to go on vacation as a result of COVID-19 and instead have remained in the GTA and been active in the housing market, satisfying pent-up demand from the spring,” stated TREB President, Ms Lisa Patel.

Currently, the average price for a residential home in Toronto is $951,404 which is 20% up compared to last year and 2.65 up compared to July 2020 selling price.

If we have learned anything from 2020- it is that change is constant. With COVID-19 still looming over us and an imminent second wave, it remains to be seen whether the Toronto housing market continues to be as resilient as it has been so far. However, with fall upon us, let us keep our hopes us towards a positive outlook that things will continue to improve.

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