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State of the Real Estate Market: May 2020

As we post this May Market Data, many provinces are moving into phase 2 or phase 3 of reopening as we progress through the COVID-19 pandemic.

In Ontario, we saw a similar story across all major markets – home sales and new listings were below 2019 figures, but greatly improved month-over-month. Year-over-year average selling prices remained steady and most regions saw month-over-month increases in average selling prices. Homes are still selling, listings are down, and prices are up, which means there is competition amongst active buyers. And in Manitoba and Alberta, month-over-month improvements in sales and listings are helping to move the real estate market in the right direction. For June and July, we hope to see the gap closing between 2019 figures and the current state of the market.

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. Stay healthy everyone and we will continue to keep you posted on market conditions as the data becomes available.

ONTARIO

Toronto 
The Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) reports1 the GTA experiencing a decline in sales activity and new listings in May, however we see improvements over April’s figures. Year-over-year sales were down 54%, which is an improvement from April’s sales decrease of 67%. Number of sales increased 55% from April 2020 to May 2020, while year-over-year new listings were down 53%, but are up 47% month-over-month. The average selling price for a home in Toronto is $863,599, a year-over-year increase of 3% and a month-over-month increase of 5%.

Ottawa 
The Ottawa Real Estate Board (OREB) reported2 a decrease in sales, with 44% less transactions taking place year-over-year. OREB President Deborah Burgoyne commented, “Around mid-May, we started to see a restrained uptick in our numbers with monthly unit sales only 44% lower than May 2019, compared to the 55% year-over-year decrease in April’s figures. We expect that as the economy continues to rollout and consumer confidence increases, our real estate market will follow suit, the pent-up demand pre-COVID-19 still exists.” The average selling price for a condominium-class property is $343,589, which represents a year-over-year increase of 15.5% and a month-over-month increase of 4.8%. The average selling price for a residential-class property is $548,140, a year-over-year increase of 11.2% and a month-over-month decrease of 2.1%.

Hamilton 
In the Hamilton-Burlington region3, sales were down 42.2% year-over-year, which is a great improvement from April’s decrease in sales of 63.4% year-over-year. REALTORS® Association of Hamilton-Burlington (RAHB) President Kathy Della-Nebbia reports, “New listings and sales are understandably down compared to May 2019; however, the average sale price has held fairly steady week-over-week during COVID-19 due to a balance of buyers and sellers. The province moving safely into phase one of reopening has improved consumer confidence, leading to an increase in activity compared to April. If progress continues and the weather cooperates, we should expect higher activity in June.” Compared to May 2019, it is taking homes only 3-4 days longer to sell on average, which shows the market is still moving at a steady pace. The average selling price for a home in Hamilton-Burlington region is $655,418, a year-over-year increase of 10% and a month-over-month increase of 6.3%.

Niagara 
The Niagara region4 saw a 38% year-over-year decrease. This is an improvement from the 62.2% year-over-year decrease in sales activity in April. Terri McCallum, President of the Niagara Association of REALTORS®, comments, “What a difference a month can make. After a significant decline in activity in April we have rebounded with a 30% increase in new listings and a 75% increase in sales, overall from April to May in all areas of The Niagara Association of REALTORS®.” Average days on market is 34 days compared to 43 days in April 2019, so homes are selling faster year-over-year. 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 40.5% year-over-year, but increased 80% month-over-month, indicating improvements in the market. Colleen Koehler, President of the Kitchener-Waterloo Association of REALTORS®, comments, “In May we saw the strong appetite for homes in the Kitchener-Waterloo area is still very much alive. But as the virus continued to circulate in the community, many would-be sellers were reluctant to put their homes on the market. For the homebuyers who cannot wait out the pandemic, they are not finding any fire sales as homes are not only maintaining their value, but also increasing.” COVID-19 has not impacted average days on market for sellers, with average days on market at 20 days, compared to 19 days at the same time last year. All residential property types saw average year-over-year price increases. The average selling price for a home in Kitchener-Waterloo is $568,275, a year-over-year increase of 6.5% and a month-over-month increase of 0.8%.

London 
The London and St. Thomas Association of REALTORS® (LSTAR) reported6 a decrease of 42.3% in sales compared to April 2019, but is an improvement over last month’s 55.4% decrease. Blair Campbell, 2020 LSTAR President, commented, “Even though the total number of residential transactions remained well below the 10-year average, in May, we saw notable month-over-month increases: 42.4% in home sales and 31.8% in listings, which we find very encouraging. In addition, when looking at the year-over-year percentage changes, one can notice that the decrease in home sales is directly proportional to the one in listings, which means that the ratio between supply and demand is almost unchanged." All regions within the LSTAR market saw year-over-year increases in selling prices, and impressively, Strathroy saw 16.8% year-over-year price gains. The average selling price for a home in the London region is $445,732, a year-over-year increase of 7.4% and a month-over-month increase of 5.3%.

Windsor 
Windsor-Essex County7 experienced a decrease in year-over-year market activity of 36.7%, a major improvement from last month’s 53.6% decrease in year-over-year activity. For home sales in May, 47% of sales occurred in the $300,000-$549,999 price range, which is slightly lower than previous months. The $200,000-$260,000 price range accounted for 13% of the home sales in May. The average selling price for a home in the Windsor region is $384,311, a year-over-year increase of 14.4% and a month-over-month decrease of 9%.

MANITOBA

The Winnipeg real estate market8 saw a decrease of 19% in sales and a decrease of 21% in new listings year-over-year. Last month sales were down 30% and listings down 42%, so we see some large improvements in the market this month. “May market activity was clearly impacted by COVID-19 at the outset of May with MLS® sales down similar to the 30% drop off in April sales by mid-month. It is worth noting however that recovery took hold in the second half of the month with sales from May 20-26th actually outpacing the number recorded the same week in May 2019,” commented Catherine Shellenberg, president of WinnipegREALTORS®. Condominium sales have suffered the most from the pandemic, with a 41% decrease in year-over-year sales. For comparison, residential-detached sales decreased only 18%.  The average selling price for a single-family home is $327,452, a year-over-year decrease of 2.2% and a month-over-month decrease of 1.2%. The average for condominiums is $228,535, a year-over-year decrease of 7.1% and month-over-month decrease of 4.6%.

ALBERTA

In Edmonton, we saw a 41.5% decrease in year-over-year sales, but an increase of 54.3% month-over-month. Similarly, new listings are down year-over-year by 20.9% and are up month-over-month by 58.8%. Ann-Marie Lurie, AREA Chief Economist comments, “The Edmonton market experienced a significant decrease in year-over-year unit sales, with some downward impact on pricing… There have been significantly fewer sales of single family homes, condos and duplexes than in May of last year. Residential unit sales in May rose sharply relative to April.” The average price for a home in Edmonton is $353,953, a year-over-year decrease of 4% and a month-over-month increase of 0.1%.

In Calgary9, sales are down 43.6% year-over-year and new listings are down 29.2%. Both sales and listings have improved month-over-month but are still well below normal conditions. Most sales are occurring under $500,000. The job losses pre-COVID-19 as well as the temporary layoffs due to the pandemic are particularly impacting the higher end of the market. The average price for a home in Calgary is $411,600, a year-over-year decrease of 3%.

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 14 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.