The Wall Street Journal reported today that the median home price across the United States rose 8% year-over-year in March to $280,600. One explanation for this is that while, yes, demand did drop off, so too did supply and that has led to a shortage of available housing. The other possible explanation is that these March deals were papered earlier in the year (or late last year) when most of us were blissfully unaware of what was about to happen and so the real impact of this pandemic isn’t yet showing up in these numbers.
Let’s drill down.
The Toronto Regional Real Estate Board also released numbers today, but for the month of April. Not surprisingly, residential resales across the region are down by 67% compared to April 2019. The number of listings is also down by a similar amount (-64.1%). Overall though, pricing remained relatively flat (0.1% increase). And by overall I mean for all housing types and for all areas of the region. There are larger variances within specific areas and for certain types. See below.
Drilling down even further, my friend and agent Christopher Bibby noted in his monthly newsletter over the weekend that transaction volumes in the central (resale) condominium market are down some 85-90%. So the market is effectively at a standstill. Those who do not need to sell or move are justifiably deciding not to right now. But just as Warren Buffet got on stage over the weekend — with some great flowy hair, I might add — and told us in Times New Roman never to bet against America, I am not about to bet against Toronto. This too shall pass.