Mandeep  Toor

Mandeep Toor

Real Estate Broker

RE/MAX Realty Specialists Inc., Brokerage *

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Toronto is Now a Buyers Market Due to COVID-19

Despite a strong start to the spring housing market in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) in February, evolving conditions around the COVID-19 pandemic have had a profound short term impact on housing activity in the region. Among a slew of measures being announced at all three levels of government – including a number of initiatives in direct support of homeowners and renters – Ontario declared a state of emergency across the province on March 17 to help contain and minimize the spread of the virus. 

As a result, housing market activity began to slow in reaction to these escalating measures and buyers and sellers began holding off on home sales and purchases amid uncertain health and economic circumstances. Using data from the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB), reviewed how real estate market activity evolved in tandem with these emergency measures being put into effect. 

According to our calculations, the sales-to-new-listings ratio (SNLR) – a measure of market competition calculated by dividing the number of sales by the number of new listings – dropped to 38 per cent for detached and semi-detached homes in the GTA between March 17-23; compared to 53 per cent for the week prior to the emergency declaration. For condo apartments and condo townhouses, the SNLR dropped from 55 per cent to 40 per cent for the same time period. When the SNLR is between 40% – 60%, this indicates a balanced market, while above and below that threshold reveals sellers’ and buyers’ markets, respectively. As such, these numbers represent a visible shift in market conditions over a very short period of time. 

 

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