May 2020: Toronto & GTA MLS® home sales: A “Marked Improvement”

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May 2020: Toronto & GTA MLS® home sales: A “Marked Improvement”


Greater Toronto Area / GTA, Ontario - Tuesday June 3, 2020 –  With the real estate industry adapting to a “new normal” - including protocols for showing homes - May’s MarketWatch - the Toronto Real Estate Board’s Chart - 2020-05 Toronto & GTA Home Sales YoY Summarymonthly residential statistical report released this morning - reflected continued year-over-year price stability and a tepid bounce-back from April’s sales volume. There's cautious optimism as we look forward; as the economy begins to re-start; and as reflected in a new Ipsos survey which showed that over a quarter of households in Toronto and the GTA are “likely to purchase a new home over the next year”.

With showing volume down substantially - in part due to increased “vetting” of homes using on-line tools such as virtual tours, meeting apps, and so on in order to reduce the number of homes a buyer might physically visit before buying one - sales volume did bounce about ten percent from April’s figure. It was still, however, down more  than 53% from last May. [April’s volume was down 67% from the prior April. All figures herein are year-over-year comparisons unless noted otherwise.

Inventory: An ongoing issue

Tight inventory continues to be a major factor and the reason prices overall remained stable in the face of much lower sales volume. Prices, in fact, showed a 3% uptick to $863,599. That was a five percent gain versus the month earlier. The supply/demand dynamic has stayed incredibly resilient. 

Chart - 2020-05 Toronto & GTA Home Sales & Average Price by Major Home TypeTotal Active Listings stood at 11,448 which was 42.8% lower. Forward Inventory - calculated as Active Listings / Sales - was 2.49 months though that’s actually a significant improvement from just 2.01 months last May. The Absorption Rate - the rate at which the market is “absorbing” new listings in the form of sales and calculated as Sales / New Listings - was .506 versus .513.

TRREB’s overall sales volume - including all house & condo types reported through the TRREB MLS® System - was 4,606 units. That’s a 53.7% drop as noted above.
Sales of Detached homes in Metro Toronto totalled 432, down 63.1%, at an average of $1,422,273, up 2.7%. In “The 905” - the balance of the GTA - 1,853 Detched homes sold, down 46.4%, at an average of $942,668, up 1.8%.

Semi-Detached sales in Toronto proper numbered 164 on the month, down 59.7% and 651, down 50.9% in the rest of the GTA. Average sale prices were $1,143,322, up 8.8%, and a relative bargain $716,549, up 5.6%, respectively.

Bungalows for sale in Metro Toronto, The GTA, and South-Central Ontario in general are more popular than ever as Boomers age and a trend in general accelerates out of the more congested areas on top of the pre-existing trend of empty-nesters wanting to downsize to a Bungalow, often outside the city for any number of Chart - 2020-05 Toronto & GTA Home Sales Historic Annual & Monthly Stats?reasons: Get closer to kids and grandkids; take some tax-free equity dollars off the table to pad retirement accounts, and so on. Bungalows are also popular with younger singles and couples - not to mention investors  - for many reasons.

Sales of Condo Apartments had a difficult month: Not only were some buildings not allowing access to anyone except residents - thereby effectively not allowing physical showings to “outsiders”, there’s also some fear about “common areas” - particularly elevators - with a viral pandemic on. 727 units sole in “The Big Smoke”, down 58%, at an average of $674,028, up an even [and respectable] 5%. The rest of the GTA saw 275 units trade, down 65.7%, averaging $$497,010, up 3.9%.

Quoted in the Report...

John DiMichele, TREB CEO: “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. TRREB released updated Ipsos consumer intentions polling results in May that indicated that 27 per cent of GTA households were likely to purchase a home over the next year. Providing we continue to see a gradual re-opening of the economy, it is very possible that home sales will continue to improve in the coming months.”

Jason Mercer, Director, Market Analysis, TREB: “With home sales and new listings continuing to trend in unison in May, market conditions remained balanced. This balance was evidenced by year-over-year average price growth slightly above the Bank of Canada’s long-term target for inflation. If current market conditions are sustained during the gradual reopening of the GTA economy, a moderate pace of year-over-year price growth could continue as we move through the spring and summer months.”

Homes sold “26.3% slower” this May compared to last at 24 Days on the Market [DOM] versus 19 last May. “Property Days on Market” [PDOM] which reflect the total days a home was listed with the same Brokerage - including listings terminated & re-written - was “18.5% slower” at 32 days versus 27.

Thank-you very much for stopping by. We hope “you & yours” are staying safe. Don’t hesitate to use the “Contact” form or call to get in touch if we can help in any way with respect to your real estate questions and goals.

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