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State of the Real Estate Market: April 2020

As we post this April market data, many provinces are still in a State of Emergency due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

In Ontario, we saw a similar story across all major markets – home sales and new listings dropped over 50%, but year-over-year average selling prices remained steady. Month-over-month price reductions are not as dramatic as one might expect, with many markets seeing less than 10% month-over-month price decreases. Homes are still selling, and many buyers can enjoy some month-over-month price reductions and less competition for homes. In  Manitoba, the market seems to be improving with a 30% decrease in sales and month-over-month average selling price increases.

If you need to sell or buy a home during the outbreak, rest assured that real estate is an essential service and a Purplebricks REALTOR® can help you navigate the market in this unprecedented time. We’ve also shared information on how to navigate the real estate market during this uncertain time. Stay healthy everyone and we will continue to keep you posted on market conditions as the data becomes available.

Ontario

Purplebricks Ontario Map

Toronto 

The Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) reports1 the GTA experiencing a decline in sales activity and new listings in April. Year-over-year sales were down 67% and new listings down 64.1%. Despite these sharp declines due to COVID-19, the listing days on market remained the same as April 2019 at 19 days on market. The average selling price for a home in Toronto is $821,392, a year-over-year increase of 0.1% and a month-over-month decrease of 9%.  

Ottawa 

The Ottawa Real Estate Board (OREB) reported2 a decrease in sales, with 55% less transactions taking place year-over-year. OREB President Deborah Burgoyne commented, “While the number of unit sales has decreased substantially, residential prices are still holding their own and are up over last year’s figures, with properties often selling above the asking price. There is still a holdover of pent-up demand in our marketplace. We believe that when the market opens up again, although it won’t be business as usual, sales will rebound and make up for the decline the spring market has experienced.” The average selling price for a condominium-class property is $327,813, which represents a year-over-year increase of 6.3% and a month-over-month decrease of 11.2%. The average selling price for a residential-class property is $559,739, a year-over-year increase of 6.8% and a month-over-month decrease of 6.8%.

Hamilton 

In the Hamilton-Burlington region3, sales were down 63.4% year-over-year. REALTORS® Association of Hamilton-Burlington (RAHB) President Kathy Della-Nebbia reports, “The beginning of the year was quite active and we were anticipating a busy spring; however, the number of new listings and sales within the RAHB market area for April were down compared to the previous month and year as a result of the measures that were taken by the province and my fellow REALTORS® to slow the spread of COVID-19.” In most of the markets that RAHB covers, selling prices were still up year-over-year, but exceptions included Flamborough, Waterdown, Glanbrook, Dunnville, and West Lincoln. The average selling price for a home in Hamilton-Burlington region is $614,412, a year-over-year increase of 4.3% and a month-over-month decrease of 6.6%.

Niagara 

The Niagara region4 saw a 62.2% year-over-year decrease in sales activity with a 50% decrease in listings. Terri McCallum, President of the Niagara Association of REALTORS®, comments, “The Home Price Index is still rising and days on market is falling indicating that when restrictions ease, our market should be as robust as ever and although the number of sales have fallen last month there is still pent-up demand which is having a stabilizing effect on the current sales prices.” Average days on market is 34 days compared to 43 days in April 2019. The average selling price for a home in the Niagara region is $452,300, a year-over-year increase of 19.6% and a month-over-month increase of 1%.

Kitchener-Waterloo

Home sales in Kitchener-Waterloo5 decreased by 63.6%, the lowest they have been since December 2008. The biggest hit was in condominium apartments, where sales dropped 71.1% compared to April 2019. Colleen Koehler, President of the Kitchener-Waterloo Association of REALTORS®, comments, “It has been a strong sellers’ market for the past few years with buyers competing for a scarce number of listings. We have witnessed some buyers expecting homes to sell at greatly reduced amounts, and frankly, that’s simply not the case. Home values have remained stable which we expect will continue.” The decrease in new listings by 36.6% has resulted in balanced market conditions in Kitchener-Waterloo, so there is some opportunity here for buyers to capitalize on less competition for homes. COVID-19 has not impacted average days on market for sellers, with average days on market at 19 days, compared to 21 days at the same time last year. The average selling price for a home in Kitchener-Waterloo is $568,738, a year-over-year increase of 7.3% and a month-over-month decrease of 2.6%.

London

The London and St. Thomas Association of REALTORS® (LSTAR) reported6 a decrease of 55.4% in sales and a 50.3% decrease in new listings, compared to April 2019. Blair Campbell, 2020 LSTAR President, commented, “When analyzing these figures, one has to take into account a few facts: at the beginning of April, the Government of Ontario prohibited open houses, many sellers decided to postpone putting their properties on the market and many REALTORS® stopped trading in order to protect their families and their clients. Now, with the provincial government planning to re-open the economy, we are expecting that, once that happens, the local markets will start to gradually recover.” All regions within the LSTAR market saw year-over-year increases in selling prices, and impressively, Middlesex County saw 18.8% year-over-year price gains. The average selling price for a home in the London region is $423,143, a year-over-year increase of 0.4% and a month-over-month decrease of 5.4%.

Windsor

Windsor-Essex County7 experienced a decrease in year-over-year market activity of 53.6% with sales down 54.9%. Year-to-date sales are also down 19.6%. For home sales in April, more than 50% occurred in the $300,000-$549,999 price range, which is consistent with previous months. The average selling price for a home in the Windsor region is $352,463, a year-over-year increase of 0.8% and a month-over-month decrease of 1.5%.

 

Manitoba

Purplebricks Manitoba map

The Winnipeg real estate market1 saw a decrease of 30% in sales and a decrease of 42% in new listings compared to April 2019. “To be expected, the local real estate market felt the impact of government stay at home measures to put the economy on hold to protect Manitobans’ health and well-being,” commented Catherine Shellenberg, president of WinnipegREALTORS®. Interestingly, condominium sales were down 53% but one sale broke the record for highest priced condominium sale at nearly $1.8 million in Winnipeg. And 20% of residential detached homes sold for over asking price. The average selling price for a single-family home is $331,416, a year-over-year decrease of 0.2% and a month-over-month increase of 1.2%. The average for condominiums is $239,449, a year-over-year increase of 2.2% and month-over-month increase of 6%.

 

Alberta

Purplebricks Alberta Map

The Alberta Real Estate Association (AREA)9 reported a decrease in sales by 57%. The drop in energy prices and the COVID-19 outbreak continues to impact the already sensitive Alberta market. Ann-Marie Lurie, AREA Chief Economist comments, “Social distancing measures combined with record low Canadian oil prices has impacted confidence and sales activity throughout the province. While supply levels have also eased, it was not enough to prevent downward price pressure this month.” In Calgary, sales activity declined 60%, and the city now has 10 months of supply in the market, which has pushed housing prices downward. In Edmonton, sales decreased 55%, but selling price decreases were less dramatic than in Calgary, due to more decreases in the mid-range market, rather than the upper end of the market like in Calgary.

 

Broker's Corner

If you need to sell your home or buy a home during the outbreak, rest assured that a REALTOR® can help you navigate these murky waters. Purplebricks is here to support Canadians by providing them full-service real estate while saving them thousands in commission when selling their home. As for homebuyers, we share the commission by giving buyers $2,000 in cash back* when they buy a home with us. Call 1-855-999-9740 for more information.

Randall Weese is a licensed REALTOR® with 13 years’ experience in Ontario who currently holds Broker licenses in Ontario, Manitoba and Alberta. Randall has worked in a variety of business models within the real estate industry. He has been a REALTOR® at one of the largest brokerages in Canada, managed a boutique brokerage, and founded and operated his own brokerage in the Greater Toronto Area; all in addition to acting as a listing agent on thousands of homes across the country during his career. Randall is currently working at Purplebricks where he is the Broker of Record for Ontario, Broker for Alberta and Associate Broker for Manitoba. Furthermore, he oversees Purplebricks’ Customer Service and Compliance departments.