Home sales in Toronto set a new record for April and amounted to more than quadruple that from April 2020 – the first full month of the pandemic. Bucking the regular seasonal trend, April 2021 sales actually declined month-over-month. A similar trend was noted for the number of new listings reported.
The Toronto Regional Real Estate Board reported 13,663 sales in April 2021 – a 12.7% decrease compared to March 2021, but more than quadruple the number of sales reported in April 2020, when the economic impact of COVID-19 was arguably the worst. Compared to the ten-year sales average of 10,000 for the April 2010 to April 2019 period, the April 2021 sales result was up by 36.6%.
New listings followed a similar track – down by 8.4% compared to March 2021, but more than triple the number of new listings reported in April 2020. Compared to the ten-year new listings average for the April 2010 to April 2019 period, the April 2021 new listings count was up by 18.3%.
While sales remained very strong last month, there was a noted marked slowing in both the number of transactions and the number of new listings. It makes sense that there was a pullback in market activity compared to March. There was a torrid pace of home sales since the summer of 2020 while seeing little in the way of population growth. Over the long term, sustained growth in sales requires sustained growth in population.
The MLS® Home Price Index Composite benchmark was up by 17.8% year-over-year. The Composite benchmark also increased on a monthly basis, but the pace of monthly growth decelerated. The average selling price of $1,090,992 was up by 33% compared to April 2020, but was basically flat relative to March 2021. This was in contrast to most years in the past when the average selling price increased between March and April.
Despite a modest slowing in market activity in April compared to March, selling prices for all major home types remained very high. Low borrowing costs during COVID-19 clearly had an impact on the demand for and price of ownership housing. While the pace of price growth could moderate in the coming months, home prices will likely continue on the upward trend. Renewed population growth over the next year coupled with a persistent lack of new inventory will underpin home price appreciation.
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