Some Canadian housing markets improved markedly in May

Coronavirus pandemic had ground activity to a near halt in some cities

Toronto and Vancouver skylines (Credit: iStock)
Toronto and Vancouver skylines (Credit: iStock)

Canada’s housing market seems to be shaking off the coronavirus pandemic. The market made a marked recovery in May after the pandemic had ground activity to a near-halt.

Around 3,500 homes sold last month in Toronto, a seasonally adjusted 53 percent increase from April. New listings were up 48 percent, according to Bloomberg.

The average price climbed 4.6 percent month-over-month to around $638,710 — a 3 percent increase from May 2019. That’s largely because of a 6 percent year-over-year increase in condo pricing. Detached home prices fell 0.9 percent.

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John DiMichele, CEO of the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board, said that prospective buyers will “look to take advantage of very low borrowing costs.”

While that’s a short-term improvement, it’s not as though activity has fully recovered to pre-Covid levels. Sales in Greater Toronto, for example, were 54 percent lower in May than they were a year ago.

Greater Vancouver’s real estate board reported that sales rose an unadjusted 34 percent in May from April, according to Bloomberg. Pricing was roughly flat, but the benchmark price rose 2.9 percent from a year ago.

Long term, urban markets could suffer from reduced demand for office space in cities. [Bloomberg]Dennis Lynch