TORONTO, ONTARIO, June 3, 2020 – Toronto Regional Real Estate Board President Michael Collins
announced that Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 4,606 sales through TRREB’s MLS® System in May 2020. This result was down by 53.7 per cent compared to May 2019. While the number of sales was down substantially on a year-over-year basis due to the continued impact of COVID-19, the decline was less than the 67.1 per cent year-over-year decline reported for April 2020.
On a month-over-month basis, actual and seasonally adjusted May sales were up substantially compared to April. Actual May 2020 sales increased by 55.2 per cent compared to April 2020. After accounting for the regular seasonal increase that is experienced each year between April and May, seasonally adjusted sales were up by 53.2 per cent month-over-month.
The number of new listings entered into TRREB’s MLS® System in May was down by a similar annual rate to that of sales, dipping by 53.1 per cent to 9,104. On a month-over-month basis, actual new listings were up by 47.5 per cent.
The MLS® Home Price Index Composite Benchmark price was virtually unchanged in May 2020 compared to April 2020. On a year-over-year basis, the composite benchmark was up by 9.4 per cent. The average selling price for all home types combined was up by three per cent compared to May 2019 to $863,599. On a seasonally adjusted basis, the average selling price was up by 4.6 per cent month-over-month compared April 2020.
The difference in year-over-year growth between the MLS® HPI Composite Benchmark and the average selling price was related to the fact that home sales in the City of Toronto, particularly in the detached segment, were down by a greater annual rate than overall sales in the GTA. This resulted in a compositional impact on the overall average selling price.
Home Sales and Listings
• Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 2,975 residential transactions through TRREB’s MLS® System. This result was down by 67 per cent compared to April 2019. Weekday sales remained within a relatively steady range during the month, averaging 130 per day.
• New listings amounted to 6,174 in April 2020 – down on a year-over-year basis by a similar rate compared to sales (-64.1 per cent).
• The average selling price for April 2020 transactions was $821,392 – up by 0.1 per cent compared to the average price of $820,373 reported for April 2019. The semi-detached and townhouse market segments experienced annual average price growth above the rate of inflation. The condominium apartment and detached segments experienced year-over-year price declines on average.
• 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. On a year-over-year basis, the Benchmark was up by 10 per cent.
• The MLS® HPI indices represent prices for typical homes with consistent attributes from one period to the next. The fact that the MLS® HPI was up year-over-year by a greater rate than the average selling price suggests that the share of higher end deals completed in April 2020 versus April 2019 was down.
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. For the purposes of this release, 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 per cent of total transactions and representing a 49 per cent 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 per cent 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 per cent.
The MLS® Home Price Index Composite Benchmark price was up by 11.1 per cent year-over-year in March 2020. The average selling price for March 2020 as a whole was $902,680 – up 14.5 per cent compared to March 2019. The average selling price for sales reported between March 15 and March 31, was $862,563 – down from the first half of March 2020, but still up by 10.5 per cent compared to the same period last year.