Businesses all over the world are becoming increasingly concerned about the Coronavirus’s impact on various markets. Could our real estate market be affected? Toronto was one of the first places in Canada to experience Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) related emergencies in 2003. Interestingly, housing sales data from 2003 in Toronto show no apparent signs of suffering. Sales increased in units from the previous year, and similarly, the average sale price increased during the same time period. Coronavirus to date has already claimed more lives than SARS did in 2003. The uncertainty about how long the threat will last and how quickly it can be contained will weigh heavily on the markets. Since the epicentre of the breakout is far from Canada, it is probable that the adverse impacts on Canadian markets will be moderate at worst.
The market continues to pick up steam with freehold listings doubling what they were the previous week. The high-end luxury market saw 30 new listings above 3 million dollars come to market last week with the central core leading the way. But the number of sold properties was down 16% week-over-week. Buyers are circling and they are willing to move quickly when they see a property that ticks all the right boxes. There seems to be an exuberance in the office this week and no doubt that the market is starting to take off.
The condo market took a different direction and saw a 21% drop in new listings last week, and no change in the number of condos sold week-over-week. Condo sales continue to sell above their list price with 67% of all sales happening above the asking price. The majority of sales last week were in the $499K to $700K price range, which is an indication that there are plenty of first-time buyers out there.