As the province continues to take measures to reopen safely, every industry is feeling the aftereffects of COVID’s impact on the economy. It is back to business, but it is not business as usual. And the Toronto real estate market is no exception.
But despite the extreme changed, the housing market in the GTA is still going strong. In fact, we are still seeing multiple offers coming in and even bidding wars in this extremely competitive market.
When the lockdown was first enforced in March, many buyers and sellers may have put their plans on hold, but they did not cancel them altogether. Now those people are re-entering the market with renewed confidence.
Mortgage rates at an all time low
Mortgages become more affordable than ever. When HSBC lowered its five-year fixed mortgage to 1.99%, Canadians for the first time saw a major bank dip below the 2% threshold.
Of course, low mortgage rates are not the only reason why the Toronto housing market is so hot right now – but they certainly don’t hurt.
The COVID real estate rollercoaster
Over the past few months, the real estate market in the GTA has been a wild ride to say the least. If we look at freeholds in the 416 area, the trends are quite dramatic. In the week ending March 29th, we saw the highest percentage (67%) of freeholds sell for above asking price. In the week ending April 26th, only 20% of freeholds went for above asking price. By the week ending in June 7th, the market had heated up again with 46% going for above asking price.[i] It certainly seems that the market is in recovery mode.
Toronto remains a highly desirable city
Perhaps the biggest factor that comes into play in explaining why the housing market in the GTA continues to do so well is that fact that so many people still want to live here and own property. According to a recent report from Ryerson University, Toronto is the fastest growing city in both Canada and the United States. In 2019, Toronto added 45,742 to its population. That’s more than the second and third fastest growing cities (Phoenix and San Antonio) grew combined which added 26,317 and 17,237 to their populations respectively.
Pivoting how open houses and viewing are done
Although buyer and seller behaviour seem to have gone back to what it was pre-pandemic, new COVID related safety protocols have changed the platforms on which business is conducted. Open houses and viewings are now done virtually using 3D cameras and similar technologies. Real estate agents have had to adapt to this new reality and use their creativity to market homes.
Even as the province reopens, it is likely that some of these trends will continue as they make the process considerably more convenient for buyers who won’t have to travel in order to view a property.
Keeping you apprised of market changes
In the GTA, the housing market is constantly changing. And at Adelson and Weiss, we make it our business to keep up with these changes and to keep you informed. If you are considering buying or selling a property in the GTA we would love to help. Contact us today for a consultation.