A look at the chart below can tell that the Canada Real Estate market has gone through lots of ups and downs. With a pandemic in 2020, let’s see what all changes have happened in the last 3 years.
It was a slow start in 2019 but the market caught up by April 2019. The year-over-year rate of price growth edged up in April relative to the first three months of 2019. The MLS® HPI Composite benchmark was up by 3.2% – the highest rate of growth in more than a year. The average selling price was up by 1.9% to $820,148, representing the strongest annual rate of growth so far in 2019. On a preliminary seasonally adjusted basis, the average selling price was also up by 1.1% compared to March 2019.
By December 2019 the MLS® Home Price Index Composite Benchmark was up by 7.3% on a year-over-year basis. From June 2019 onward, the annual growth rate in the MLS® HPI Composite Benchmark accelerated. The average selling price in December 2019 was $837,788 – up almost 12 % year-over-year. For calendar year 2019, the average selling price was $819,319 – up by 4% compared to $787,856 in 2018.
February 2020 just before the COVID 19 wave started its impact, Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 7,256 residential transactions through TRREB’s MLS® System, representing a 45.6% increase compared to a 10-year sales low in February 2019.
Despite a strong increase in sales for March 2020 as a whole, there was a clear break in market activity between the pre-COVID-19 and post-COVID-19 periods. The start of the post-COVID-19 period was the week beginning Sunday, March 15.
- The overall March sales result was clearly driven by the first two weeks of the month. There were 4,643 sales reported in the pre-COVID-19 period, accounting for 58% of total transactions and representing a 49% increase compared to the first 14 days of March 2019.
- There were 3,369 sales reported during the post-COVID-period – down by 15.9% compared to the same period in March 2019.
For March as a whole, new listings were up by three per cent year-over-year to 14,424. However, similar to sales, new listings dropped on a year-over-year basis during the second half of the month (beginning March 15) by 18.4%.
During the peak COVID period of April 2020, Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 2,975 residential transactions through TRREB’s MLS® System. This result was down by 67% compared to April 2019. The trend for the MLS® Home Price Index Composite Benchmark, which had been on an upward trajectory since the beginning of 2019 flattened in April.
While the number of sales was down substantially in May 2020 on a year-over-year basis due to the continued impact of COVID-19, the decline was less than the 67.1% year-over-year decline reported for April 2020.
The recovery from the COVID impact happened around July 2020. Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 11,081 sales through TRREB’s MLS® System in July 2020 – a 29.5% increase over July 2019 and a new record for the month of July.
Sales activity was extremely strong for the first full month of summer. Normally there will be a sales dip in July relative to June as more households take vacation, especially with children out of school. This year, however, was different with pent-up demand from the COVID-19-related lull in April and May being satisfied in the summer, as economic recovery takes a firmer hold, including the Stage 3 re-opening. In addition, fewer people are travelling, which has likely translated into more transactions and listings.
The strong rebound in Greater Toronto Area (GTA) home sales continued with a record result for the month of August 2020. GTA REALTORS® reported 10,775 residential sales through TRREB’s MLS® System in August 2020 – up by 40.3% compared to August 2019.
Sales were up on a year-over-year basis for all major home types, both in the City of Toronto and surrounding GTA regions.
It should be noted that the low-rise market segments, including detached and semi-detached houses and townhouses, were the drivers of sales growth. Condominium apartment sales were up on an annual basis for the second straight month but to a lesser degree.
Despite an unprecedented year due to COVID-19, including necessary public health restrictions and uncertainty surrounding the economy, Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported over 95,000 home sales in 2020 – the third-best result on record. The average selling price reached a new record of almost $930,000.
Highlights from 2020 include,
- 95,151 sales were reported through TRREB’s MLS® System – up by 8.4% compared to 2019. This included a record result for the month of December, with 7,180 sales – a year-over-year increase of 64.5%.
- Year-over-year sales growth was strongest in the GTA regions surrounding Toronto, particularly for single-family home types.
- The average selling price reached a new record of $929,699 – up by 13.5% compared to 2019. This included an average price of $932,222 in December – a year-over-year increase of 11.2% The strongest average price growth was experienced for single-family home types in the suburban regions of the GTA.
- After a pronounced dip in market activity between mid-March and the end of May, market conditions improved dramatically in the second half of the year, with multiple consecutive months of record sales and average selling prices.
In March 2021, GTA REALTORS® reported 15,652 sales– close to double that of March 2020. While sales were strong, it is important to remember that for the second half of March we are comparing against the initial impact of COVID-19 in the second half of March 2020 when sales activity dropped off dramatically with this in mind, it is important to consider annual sales growth for the pre-COVID period (March 1 to 14, 2020) and COVID period (March 15 to 31, 2020):
- There were 6,504 sales reported during the first 14 days of March 2021 – up 41% compared to the pre-COVID period in March 2020.
- There were 9,148 sales reported between March 15th and March 31st 2021, an increase of 174% compared to the COVID period of March 2020.
This is a stark reminder of the initial impact COVID-19 had on the housing market and overall economy a year ago. Home sales in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) set a new record for April 2021 and amounted to more than quadruple that from April 2020 – the first full month of the pandemic. “Despite a modest slowing in market activity in April compared to March, selling prices for all major home types remained very high. Low borrowing costs during COVID-19 clearly had an impact on the demand for and price of ownership housing.
While the pace of price growth could moderate in the coming months, home prices will likely continue on the upward trend. Renewed population growth over the next year coupled with a persistent lack of new inventory will underpin home price appreciation,” said TRREB Chief Market Analyst Jason Mercer
As per the latest market update on October 2021,the home sales in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) reached the second-highest level on record. However, the inventory of homes for sale did not keep up with demand. The number of new listings was down by approximately one-third compared to October 2020. Market conditions tightened across all major home types compared to last year, and the annual rate of average price growth remained in the double digits, including for the resurgent condominium apartment segment.
“The tight market conditions across all market segments and areas of the GTA is testament to the broadening scope of economic recovery in the region and household confidence that this recovery will continue. A key part of future economic development in the GTA will be the ability to provide adequate ownership and rental housing supply so that people can continue to move to the region to live, work and spend money in the local economy,” said TRREB Chief Market Analyst Jason Mercer.
With so many uncertainties in the past 3 years and with the ever-growing demand for affordable housing, we look forward for a better housing market in 2022.