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State of the Real Estate Market: March 2020

As we post this March Market Data, many provinces are in a State of Emergency due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

All markets saw a stark difference between the first two weeks of March and the last two weeks. In the past few weeks, new listings and sales have decreased but prices have not seen the same decline at this point. If you need to sell or buy a home during the outbreak, rest assured that real estate is an essential service and a 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 Home Listings

Toronto

The Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) reports1 the GTA experiencing strong sales activity in the first 14 days of March with a year-over-year increase of 12.3% in sales and a 3% increase in new listings. The second half of the month saw a decrease of year-over-year sales of 15.9% and a decrease of 18.4% in new listings. Currently, the average selling price for a home in Toronto is $902,680, a year-over-year increase of 14.5%. However, looking at just March 15-31, the average selling price was $862,563, which represents a 10.2% increase compared to the same period in March 2019.

Ottawa

The Ottawa real estate market2 saw an increase in March sales with 1,525 residential properties sold, resulting in a low 1.2% year-over-year increase. This slight increase is the result of the State of Emergency put in place mid-month. OREB President Deborah Burgoyne commented, “Our results show that the Ottawa real estate market seems to have withstood the pressure of a worldwide economic event in March, however in context with our market’s performance up to this point, we can see the underlying effect. Before the pandemic, monthly unit sales were increasing between 10-16% from 2019, while March’s sales were just on par with a year ago. This is an indicator that there has been a slowdown in the real estate market due to Covid-19.” The average selling price for a condominium-class property is $369,311, and the average selling price for a residential-class property is $559,739, a year-over-year increase of 27.3% and 16.5% respectively.

Hamilton

In the Hamilton-Burlington region3, sales were down 3.1% year-over-year but up 10% compared to last month. REALTORS® Association of Hamilton-Burlington (RAHB) President Kathy Della-Nebbia reports, “January and February saw increases in sales and new listings, as well as average price. For March there was growth at the beginning of the month; however, COVID-19 infiltrated our communities mid-month and slowed activity in the latter half.” Average selling price continues to rise despite a decrease in sales and new listings. The average selling price for a home in the Hamilton-Burlington region is $658,161, a year-over-year increase of 14.5%.

Niagara

The Niagara region4 saw a 9.6% year-over-year decrease in sales activity with a 7.4% decrease in listings. Deanna Gunter, President of the Niagara Association of REALTORS® comments, “Although the last week of March saw a 38% drop in the number of units sold, average sale price is holding steady and some sellers are still receiving multiple offers.” Average days on market is 37 days compared to 41 days in March 2019. The average selling price for a home in the Niagara region is $448,000, a year-over-year increase of 11.1%.

Kitchener-Waterloo

Home sales in the Kitchener-Waterloo5 region started strong but weakened after the State of Emergency was issued. Overall, sales activity increased 13.1% year-over-year in March. Colleen Koehler, President of the Kitchener-Waterloo Association of REALTORS®, comments, “Before the pandemic hit our region, I believe we were on pace to set a record number of sales for March with the continuance of high demand, low inventory, and a strong seller’s market.” Months supply remains low at just 1.1 months, which is 35.3% less than March 2019. This is reflective of the average days on market at just 15 days, 6 days less than this time last year. The average selling price for a home in Kitchener-Waterloo is $583,752, a year-over-year increase of 15.3%.

London

The London and St. Thomas Association of REALTORS® (LSTAR) reported6 an increase of 6.9% for year-over-year sales, which is on par with the 10-year average. Blair Campbell, 2020 LSTAR President, commented, “For the first quarter, home sales in 2020 are at 2,170, 12.3% ahead of 2019. But with the COVID-19 pandemic affecting all businesses, there is an expectation the marketplace will be impacted in the coming weeks and months.” All regions within the LSTAR market saw year-over-year increases in selling prices. The average selling price for a home in the London region is $447,152, a year-over-year increase of 10.3%.

Windsor

Windsor-Essex County7 experienced an increase in year-over-year market activity of 10.7% with sales down 9.4%. Year-to-date sales are also down 3.9%. For home sales in March, 53% occurred in the $300,000-$549,999 price range, which is consistent with last month. The average selling price for a home in the Windsor-Essex County region is $357,874, a year-over-year increase of 7.5%, but is 7.4% less than February’s average selling price.

Manitoba

Purplebricks Winnipeg Home Listings

The Winnipeg real estate market8 finished off a strong first quarter with an 8% year-over-year increase in sales activity for March. New listings fell 2% compared to March 2019 and the number of new listings and sales slowed down the last week of March. “Our first quarter has been consistently solid every month. Buyers have been taking advantage of affordable prices with a wide choice and healthy supply of listings to choose from. This first quarter is one of the best starts on record for WinnipegREALTORS® but we know unprecedented times are upon us with public health being the highest priority now for Manitobans and Canadians,” commented Catherine Shellenberg, president of WinnipegREALTORS®. The average selling price for a single-family home is $327,514 and the average for condominiums is $239,449, a year-over-year increase of 0.3% and 5.2% respectively.

Alberta

Purplebricks Edmonton and Calgary Home Listings

Although the month started off strong after a successful February, The Alberta Real Estate Association (AREA) saw a 9% year-over-year decrease in sales[1]. The drop in energy prices and the COVID-19 outbreak has impacted the already sensitive Alberta market. A silver lining is there was a 15% decline in new inventory which helped the significant amount of oversupply. Ann-Marie Lurie, AREA Chief Economist comments, “This is an unprecedented time with a significant amount of uncertainty. It is not a surprise to see these concerns also weigh on the housing market. The impact on the housing market will likely persist over the next several quarters. However, measures put in place by the government and lending institutions, to help support homeowners through this time of job and income loss, will prevent more significant impacts in the housing market.” In Calgary, sales activity declined almost 10%, but a decrease in new listings is helping to ease further price reductions. In Edmonton, sales remain 20% below the 5-year average, and similar to Calgary, the supply decline has helped ease oversupply.