Toronto home sales surged in March, though government measures to stem the spread of the Covid-19 virus slowed real-estate activity in the second half of the month.
Sales in around Canada’s largest city jumped 12.3% from a year earlier to 8,012 transactions, while the benchmark price climbed 2.3% from February to a non-seasonally adjusted C$865,200 ($611,881), the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board said in a statement. Average home prices soared 14.5% to C$902,680 million from a year ago, with condos leading the charge.
“The overall sales result for March was strong relative to last year, but the impact of Covid-19 was certainly evident in the number of sales reported in the second half of March,” board President Michael Collins said in the statement. “Uncertainty surrounding the outbreak’s impact on the broader economy and the onset of the necessary social distancing measures resulted in the decline in sales since March 15.”
The average price of a detached home rose 12.5% to C$1.1 million in March from a year ago, while condo prices rose 17.7% to C$658,791. New listings rose 3% to 14,424 in March, TRREB said.
“Despite sales and listings trending lower in the second half of March, demand for ownership housing remained strong enough relative to listings to see the average selling price remain above last year’s levels, including during the last few days of the month,” said Jason Mercer, TRREB’s chief market analyst. “As we move through April, we will have a clearer view on how social distancing measures and broader economic conditions will influence sales and ultimately the pace of price growth.”