With the Release of the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board‘s March sales data, we can already begin to see how COVID-19 is impacting the market.

March saw strong sales numbers in its first half. However, as governments urged residents to stay home, the market began to cool. Sales Activity reported by TRREB showed 8,012 sales in March 2020, up by 12.3 per cent compared to March 2019. Of these sales, 4,643 (or 58 per cent) occurred within the first two weeks of March, up 49 per cent compared to the first two weeks of March 2019.

Toronto Real Estate March 2020 Sales Activity

However, the second two weeks of March were less favorable, with only 3,369 sales reported. This is a sharp decline of 15.9 per cent, compared to the same two-week period in March 2019. As Canadians were urged to stay home and essential businesses closed, new listings dropped by 18.4 per cent in the second half of the month, finishing slightly above the previous year’s by 3 per cent. Active Listings took a dive, down to 10,676 – 31.5 per cent less year-over-year.

Toronto Real Estate Sales Volume March 2020 Compared with March 2019

Average sale price of homes within the GTA dropped slightly to $902,680. Although this number is up by 14.5 per cent compared with March 2019, it is down from February’s average by 0.8 per cent.

Toronto Real Estate Average Sale Price March 2020

Will this Continue?

March’s numbers serve as a grim prediction for sales activity for the remainder of the “Spring Market”. As residents continue to shelter in place, we can expect the rest of February’s early gains to slip away during the month of April and possibly into May. In these situations, it might be expected that average sale price would continue to see a decline. However, much of the drop in average sale price could be attributed to the financial uncertainty caused by the pandemic. Families who may have found themselves caught in the middle of a move likely used a price drop to offload their excess inventory. As sales volume continues to decline into May, however, the disappearance in new listings should act as a buffer against a sharp price drop.

View ReaLawState’s full Monthly Market Snapshot below, or access the PDF version by clicking here.