With the onset of the COVID-19 virus in mid-March, real estate sales and listing activity in both late March & April took a sharp drop from 1st Quarter 2020 as well as from April 2019. See my prior post COVID-19’s Impact On April’s Real estate Activity.
NOTE: The charts above are for residential sales only.
Total MLS® unit sales of all property types during April was 78 properties, down from 206 units sold, or – 62% less than April 2019. Dollar volume in April at million was down 65% at $36.6 million comared to $106.6 a year ago. Year-to-date MLS® sales dollars of $278.3 million was 13% less than 2019 and 5% below 2018.
MLS® new residential listings on the market in April totalled 182 properties down from 402 or 55% from April last year. Year-to-date new listing activity for 1st four months of 2020 shows an increase of 6.4% from one year ago with 1,743 new MLS® listings in 2020 compared to 1,645 in the 1st four months of 2019.
Expired MLS® listings in April totalled 85 properties, just 4 more than April 2019. Year-to-date expired MLS® listings are on the increase and total 301 up from 265 expired listings from 2019 or 13%.
In addition to the number of expired listings, a number of MLS® listings have been suspended, temporarily taken off the market. With the onset of the COVID-19 virus, many sellers do not want their properties being shown and exposed to the general public. To date, 21 MLS® listings have been suspended from the system whereas this time in 2019 the number of suspended listings was “zero.”
Despite a significant drop in both sales and listing activity, the overall MLS® list-to-sale price ratio has remained stable at 97% indicating that we have yet to see any downward pressure on prices stemming from the virus & market downturn. Homes priced accurately to current market value continue draw buyers willing to pay close to asking price.
Year-To-Date MLS® single family home sales in April totalled 331 units down 21% from the 418 sales last year, condo sales so far have remained relatively equal, 109 in 2020 versus 111 in 2019.
Year-to-date single family home sales across area municipalities are feeling the impact of COVID-19: Collingwood -35%%, Clearview Township -31%, Blue Mountains -29%, Wasaga Beach -9% Municipality of Meaford -35%. Grey Highlands is up 31% (10 units).
Single family home sales continue to remain very robust from $800,000 to $2 Million. As per the accompanying chart, year-to-date sales in these price segments are up between 43% to 100%. Sales over $2 Million are down by just 1 unit with 2 sales reported this year versus 3 sales during the 1st Quarter of 2019.
Year-to-date MLS® condo sales have so far have not been impacted adversely with sales of 109 units down only slightly from the 111 condo sales during the same time last year.
The question on everyone’s mind right now whether it’s about the economy, employment, the real estate market and more is where do we go from here? To that, I believe there is no easy answer. Never in our lifetime have we been through a global pandemic much less one that has for all intensive purposes closed economies. It may well be a few months before we get a clear indication as to how a recovery will unfold here in Canada and as I have stated before, every real estate market is different and while sales and listing number are clearly well down from 2019, we have yet to see any significant impact or downward pressure on pricing.
Over the Mother’s day weekend I sold an exclusive listing of my own (over $1.5 million) that was well priced in the current market and it sold in a matter of days without hitting the MLS® System. The Southern Georgian Bay region is no less desirable or valued now than it was prior to the onset of COVID-19. Only time will tell how long it may take for the economy to rebound and for consumer confidence to become restored where making a major purchase such as real estate resumes the pace we experienced at the start of 2020.