Canada’s priciest housing markets saw sales in free-fall and prices under pressure in the first full month of anti-coronavirus lockdown measures.
The Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) reports home sales in the Greater Toronto Area plunged 67 per cent in April as the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic put a chill on the housing market.
TRREB says there were 2,975 residential transactions in the GTA in April compared with 9,005 transactions in April 2019.
Watch: What’s happening to Canada’s housing market in the pandemic? Story continues below.
The average sales price in the City of Toronto fell fell 2.5 per cent, to $881,424 in April 2020 from $904,199 a year earlier. On a seasonally-adjusted basis, TRREB said April home prices in the GTA fell 11.8 per cent from March.
Meanwhile, the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reported sales dropped nearly 40 per cent in April, compared to the same month a year earlier ― already a weak month for sales.
The 1,109 properties that changed hands marked the lowest April sales number for Greater Vancouver since 1982.
Despite a large drop in newly-listed homes, the ratio of listings to sales suggests Vancouver’s market is just inside “buyer’s market” territory. Nonetheless, prices are still u. The benchmark price of a detached home was up 2.7 per cent from a year earlier, at $1.46 million. The benchmark condo price was up 2.7 per cent in a year, to $685,000.
Toronto condo rentals were down on a year-over-year basis in April, falling 57.9 per cent for one-bedroom units and 54.4 per cent for two-bedroom units, TRREB reported.
Prices for renters were also down for the month, with the average one-bedroom rent falling 2.7 per cent to $2,107, and the average two-bedroom rent falling 4.1 per cent to $2,705.
“These are unprecedented times,″ said TRREB CEO John DiMichele in a statement. “Past recessions and recoveries do not necessarily provide the best guide as to how the housing market will recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. A key factor for the housing market recovery will be a broader reopening of the economy, which will result in an improving employment picture and a resurgence in consumer confidence.”
― HuffPost Canada, with files from The Canadian Press