Toronto Real Estate’s Average Sale Price Turns Negative, First Time Since 2018

Greater Toronto real estate has seen volume drop off quickly since the pandemic. Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) data shows the first 17 days of April has a big drop off in volume. Sales are dropping faster than new inventory, relieving pressure on prices to rise. The numbers prepared from the board are still early, but show an interesting trend. The average sale price for Greater Toronto real estate is looking to make the first decline in over two years.

Toronto Real Estate Sees Average Sale Price Turn Negative

The average sale price reversed course from big gains seen just last month. Across all segments in the board, the average sale price fell to $819,665 for the first 17 days in April, down 1.5% from last year. Detached homes across the board fell to $990,543 during the same period, down 4.6% from last year. Condo apartments saw the average sale price drop to $578,594, down 1.8% from last year. This is the first negative print for the TRREB average since 2018.

Greater Toronto Average Sale Price Change

The annual percent change of the average sale price of all homes.

Source: TRREB, Better Dwelling.

In the City of Toronto, the average is dropping a lot faster than in the average across the board. Across all segments in the City, the average sale price fell to $855,371 for the first 17 days in April, down 3.7% from the same period last year. Detached homes had an average of $1,257,916 during the period, down 9.1% from last year. Condo apartments fell to $617,246, down 2.9% from last year. The average sale price for detached and condos hasn’t been this low since August 2019 and March 2019, respectively.

Greater Toronto Real Estate Sales Are Down 69%

As expected, all volumes have been heavily reduced due to the pandemic. Sales across the board fell to 1,654 for the first 17 days in April, down 69.0% compared to the same period last year. Breaking it down, detached homes represented 758 of those sales, down 69.1% from last year. Condo apartments represent another 388 sales, down 72.0% from the same month last year. Reduced volumes were expected, but surprisingly 1,600 people still bought a house in a pandemic.

Greater Toronto April Mid-Month Home Sales

The total home sales in the first 17 days of April

Source: TRREB, Better Dwelling.

The City of Toronto made a similar decline to the rest of the board. The City represented 588 of the sales in the first 17 days of April, down 69.7% from last year. Detached homes were 178 of those sales, down 69.6% over the same period. Condo apartments represent another 270 of the sales, down 71.7% from last year.

Greater Toronto New Listings Drop, But Not As Fast As Sales

New listings for sale across Greater Toronto are falling, which is largely expected with slowing transactions. Across the board, there were 3,843 new listings in the first 17 days of April, down 63.7% from last year. Detached homes were the biggest group, representing  1,834 of the new listings, down 68.4% from last year. Condo apartments followed with 1,042 of the listings, down 54.0% from last year.

Greater Toronto April Mid-Month New Listings Sales

The number newly listed units in the first 17 days of April.

Source: TRREB, Better Dwelling.

The City of Toronto experienced a similar move in new listings. The City represented 1,381 of the total new listings in the first 17 days of April, down 60.1% from last year. Detached homes represent 360 of those listings, down 71.1% from last year. Condo apartments, the biggest segment this month, represented 764 of the new listings, down 50.6% from last year.

These are still early numbers provided by the board, so they will change by month end. They could get better, or they could get worse – the market is rapidly changing. Low volumes tend to amplify price movement in either direction. The only thing people thought would impact Toronto real estate prices is unemployment. Most analysts believed until recently it would be unthinkable to see double digit unemployment rates, until last month. Now it’s projected to continue through the year… at least.

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  • Reply
    GTA Landlord 4 years ago

    Financial community: Unemployment makes a rapid sharp after two quarters of per capita decline, like Canada saw at the end of 2019.

    Canadians: You’re just jealous!

    Canadians In April: Who could have seen this coming?

    Name one negative cap market that has survived for longer than two years. I’ll wait.

  • Reply
    Audrey R 4 years ago

    “The head of domestic banking at CIBC says elevated household debt combined with a surge in unemployment risks putting Canada in a precarious position during the current coronavirus shutdown.”

    Don’t worry, we can just print money and keep giving it to people to survive.

    • Reply
      straw walker 4 years ago

      Problem moving forward is the CDN dollar..
      The BOC has no further room to move rates they are now heavily into supporting the corp. bond market and mortgage bond market to main their liquidity ..
      The CDN dollar internationally is a very thinly traded currency, as all of CDN foreign trade accounts are pd. in US dollars. So my concern is how will the CDN hold up to these FED deficit numbers, low rates and BOC continuing to buy bonds and flood the market with more CDN dollars..

      The next big concern is if the CDN dollar loses its strength the ONLY recourse the BOC has, is to dramatically raise rates.. The BOC has NO gold reserves and with this faltering economy, fewer US dollars as reserve currency, so raising rates will be it’s only solution to stabilize the CDN dollar.

  • Reply
    Trader Jim 4 years ago

    Gil Meslin did a great post on the number of AirBNB units that disappeared from the city, and presumably are a) rentals or b) going to be sold.

    I imagine once people realize the impact to travel will be deeper and longer than most people think, they won’t be interested in the joys of being another low margin landlord in a high maintenance fee condo.

    • Reply
      Jason Chau 4 years ago

      How did you do a Twitter embed? I just link, but I keep seeing tweets and pictures in the comments.

      • Reply
        Trader Jim 4 years ago

        It just does it when you insert a link in the iPhone app? Should get a link when you subscribe for to the institutional project.

  • Reply
    David 4 years ago

    Can confirm, these are the numbers TRREB sent out this morning. Along with their expectations things will recover swiftly.

    Problem is a lot of people have been told to wait and list this spring, because it was suppose to be the complete turn around of low sales from last year.

  • Reply
    Rob 4 years ago

    Double digit unemployment
    40% decline in GDP
    No vaccine
    Possible second wave of viral outbreak
    Oil prices crashing
    No definitive viral or economic outcome
    Can someone please explain the bullishness on Canadian real estate
    Are we kicking this asset bubble further into the future with loose monetary policy ?
    Has intrinsic value lost all meaning ?

    • Reply
      Ethan Wu 4 years ago

      Monetary policy works two major functions – backstopping and stimulus.

      The cuts made in 2015 were stimulus to cities like Toronto, because it didn’t have any issues at the time. The cuts made today are backstops to help people refinance, and help prevent their lives from spinning out of control.

      Once the situation is assessed (a year? Two years? Three?) Stimulus measures appear. Once those appear, grab onto anything if you have money. It shoots up like a rocket.

      Although a lot of strategists are calling a strong dollar thesis, in which case your money may work harder in other places as an investor. Food for thought.

      • Reply
        Mansa Musa 4 years ago

        I agree with you. This may be the buying opportunity of a lifetime.

  • Reply
    Amir 4 years ago

    Benchmark is a moving multi-month index, so I don’t expect it to respond for a few months, but it should start dropping in growth soon.

  • Reply
    Mark 4 years ago

    People have to realize, RE is one big Ponzi scheme and the organized real estate, banks and CMHC and their backer being the central bank want to keep it going for as long as they possibly can keep kicking the can down the road…. The talking heads want everyone to believe that the Covid-19 shutdown of the economy can simply be opened up like a flip of a switch and everything will get back to normal. This is not electricity that you turn on the switch and the bulb will light up instantly.

  • Reply
    SH 4 years ago

    Why has this site curiously ignored the rental situation in Toronto? There’s a massive paradigm shift occurring right now.

    The market has shifted enormously in favour of tenants and rents are dropping across the board, with the steepest drops appearing to occur in the downtown core (counterintuitively). The ICE Condos, as an example, have 129 rental vacancies right now split between 12 and 14 York.

  • Reply
    stephen 4 years ago

    The spin in the press continues, it is really tiring. Why is there no mention of the month on month change. They cherry pick the safest set of numbers all the time.

    Average February price was $989,218

    Now average start of April is $820,000

    That is a $170,000 drop in a few short weeks

    Seems to be to be a very big drop and not relating to what i am reading in some articles in which they mention how well prices are holding up -1.5 % y/y considering covid-19. What about the present which is month on month????

    • Reply
      William 4 years ago

      This isn’t press spin, analysts don’t do month to month unless seasonally adjusted and indexed. Bigger houses and more people are employed in the summer and spring.

      No one is selling their mansion during Christmas, and having people schlep through their family gatherings. That’s why you typically only compared year over year, when using unadjusted data.

      This is the correct way to do it. I’m annoyed when the press does monthly comparisons, which I’ve seen many times here too.

      • Reply
        stephen 4 years ago

        My Numbers copied were incorrect and cant edit my post. But the following is the difference between February and mid April so a pretty big drop.

        City Toronto
        February: $989,218
        mid April: $885,371

        All Treb
        February: $910,290
        mid April: $819,665
        Difference: $90,625

      • Reply
        Oakville Rob 4 years ago

        It is 100% spin. A house listed for $2M in 2018 is selling for $1.5M in 2019. $2.1M in 2019 is buying a house that was listed at $3M in 2018. The average selling price went up, but prices still went down. Figures lie and liars figure. Bottom line, $1 buys much more in 2019 than it did in 2018.

  • Reply
    Asterix1 4 years ago

    Still don’t know who to trust more! Stats produced by TRREB/CREA or the government of China!

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