Brian O'Donoghue

Sales Representative

Direct 647-405-3126 | bodonoghue@bosleyrealestate.com

 The mid-April market update was released from the Toronto Real Estate Board for the first 17 days of April and it provides the first comprehensive look at the state of our market during the government shutdowns. Sales were down 69% compared to the same time in 2019. Most affected were high end ($2 million+) detached homes and the condominium market where sales fell 72% year over year. Condos have traditionally attracted a high share of first-time buyers, who in times of uncertainty can put their decision to purchase on hold.


The number of new listings were also down on a year-over-year basis by 63.7%. Overall, the average selling price across all types of homes fell by 1.5% to $819,665 in the GTA and $885,371 in the City of Toronto. The fact that new listings trended in a similar fashion to sales during the first half of April means that market conditions remained tight enough to provide support for the average selling price to be in line with 2019 levels.


The state of emergency measures currently in place, including the necessary enforcement of social distancing, has impacted the real estate market in many ways. Home buyers and sellers have concerns about the economy and indeed their own employment situations. On top of this, many buyers and sellers are avoiding any type of in-person interaction. In the condo market, some condo corporations have prohibited entry for non-residents making it difficult to show.


All of the COVID-19 related issues and measures have translated into a temporary drop in the number of transactions – a drop that will persist until we experience a meaningful and sustained decline in the number of cases. There is an optimistic view among some industry players that sales will rebound once restrictions on physical distancing are lifted. As we recover from this temporary downturn, potentially later this year, home buyers will move off the sidelines as they satisfy pent-up demand for ownership housing.

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While several businesses have taken a hit with the pandemic, the real estate market is seeing a decrease in home-buying interest both locally and nationally. The overall March sales results were clearly driven by the first two weeks of the month. There were 4,643 sales reported in the pre-COVID-19 period, accounting for 58% of total transactions and representing a 49% increase compared to the first 14 days of March 2019. There were 3,369 sales reported during the postCOVID-period – down by 15.9 percent compared to the same period in March 2019.


For March as a whole, new listings were up by 3% year-over-year to 14,424. However, similar to sales, new listings dropped on a year-over-year basis during the second half of the month (beginning March 15) by 18.4%. The average selling price for March 2020 was $902,680 – up 14.5 percent compared to March 2019. The average selling price for sales reported between March 15 and March 31, was $862,563 – down from the first half of March 2020, but still up by 10.5 percent compared to the same period in 2019.


This price decline may also be due to the types of homes that are now selling. A closer look at the data reveals that there are more lower-priced homes and condos (and fewer luxury properties) selling today than a month ago, which is pulling down the average home price.


In the weeks leading to mid-March, the real estate market was overheating with buyers competing for properties and driving up prices. But now buyers are hitting pause on their home search because of the current public health advice to stay at home. A lower number of buyers means fewer sales of homes are happening. As the pandemic continues, it’s become clear that transitioning into the digital and virtual spaces have become critical for those working in the real estate industry to succeed. Not to mention that because of the state of the market, agents need to be more creative than they’ve ever been to have their listings stay relevant.


We are a human touch business and agents are doing a tremendous job to distance themselves and maintain their business as best they can without the human touch aspect. It’s an unprecedented time for both buyers and sellers.

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 Over the past few days, we’ve seen many changes to our daily routines as a result of COVID-19. We at Bosley feel it’s our duty to give back to the community we love so dearly in whatever way we can, so we’re coming to you! We have gathered together a group of volunteer agents who are available to help you with deliveries, whether it be groceries or any drug store need. Just give us a call at 416-530-1100 and ask for Mary and we will get right on it to help you. Nothing about this time is normal and we’ve abandoned trying to make it so. But we are still reaching for little things that offer support.


We’re only beginning to understand the destructive nature of COVID-19 and the way this pandemic will transform how we work and live together. We do understand, however, that the need to social distance from each other to curb this pandemic is particularly problematic when making the biggest purchase or sale of your life; this decision requires a high level of trust and a high level of interaction and asking you to reduce face time with an agent is a lot to ask.


Bosley Real Estate is one of the brokerages participating in the growing practice of requiring buyers, sellers and service providers to acknowledge the risks to personal health that arise from showing and visiting the property during this pandemic. All sales representatives are dedicated to participating in the global, national and local efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Following the mandate from our government and regulatory agencies, we have pared back our offices and have implemented strict policies to protect both our communities and agents. We have done this, however, without compromising our ability to serve.


We are in uncertain times today, but the values - trust, integrity, knowledge, and discretion, that has defined Bosley Real Estate for ninety-two years remains unchanged. With these values in mind, it is more important than ever that we continue to observe the COVID-19 restrictions so that lives are saved, communities are maintained and, eventually, business, as usual, will be an option.

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