Housing prices up despite drop in sales, report says

You may figure that housing prices in our neighbourhoods must be dropping like crazy in this time of pandemic and shutdowns.

Well, figure again.

At least for the first six months of 2020, prices for single-detached houses have mainly risen across Toronto, according to a report from RE/MAX Canada.

Average home prices in most Streeter communities have gone up more than five per cent over the first half of 2019, and many have risen 10 percent or more — with one area increasing more than 55 per cent.

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The uptick in home prices may actually been spurred by COVID — home values rising with the concurrent drop in the number of houses being put on the market, according to RE/MAX analysts.

“Strong demand characterized much of the first quarter of 2020, setting the stage for a record-breaking spring market in the Greater Toronto Area – and then came COVID-19,” said Christopher Alexander, regional director for RE/MAX of Ontario-Atlantic Canada, in a press release. “In past downturns, a drop in unit sales has usually been followed by a significant upswing in the number of homes listed for sale. That didn’t happen in this case as buyers and sellers paused in April, then cautiously resumed home-buying activity as COVID-19 cases dropped and local economies re-opened.”

Districts rise and fall in central and midtown area.

The real estate district with the biggest increase is designated C08 and includes Cabbagetown and the Church and Wellesley area, among other neighbourhoods. The average price for a single-detached home there is about $2.6 million now, an increase of 55.7 per cent over the first six months of 2019.

The area with the next biggest increase is the real estate district C02, which includes the neighbourhoods of Casa Loma, Wychwood, Yonge-St. Clair and the Annex. The average price is more than $2.9 million now — 25.7 per cent higher than a year ago.

The neighbouring C03 area — including Forest Hill South, Humewood-Cedarvale, Oakwood-Vaughan and Yonge-Eglinton — is next with a $2.4-million average price, up 17.7 per cent over a year ago.

The nearby midtown area of C10, with Mount Pleasant East and West, has a healthy house price of $2.1 million, a 12.6 per cent increase.

And the average detached  house in the C11 district, which includes Leaside,  is pegged at $2.4 million with a 10.8-per cent boost over a year ago.

But it’s not all roses for some of our most affluent areas.

The district including Rosedale and Moore Park now average detached home prices of $3.1 million, which sounds good but is actually a drop of 15.2 per cent from a year ago.

Similarly, the even wealthier area that includes Bridle Path, Sunnybrook, York Mills and St. Andrew-Windfields is posting average house prices of about $3.3 million, which is 9.5 per cent down from 2019.

East end area up

The E02  district — including the Beaches, Woodbine Corridor and East Danforth — leads the east end with an average detached house price of $1.7 million. That’s 11.7 per cent up from the first half of 2019.

The E01 district — with Riverdale and Greenwood-Coxwell and Leslieville — has an average price of $1.5 million, up 6.7 per cent over a year ago.

The neighbouring E03 area, including all of East York east of the Don Valley, is poised at $1.2 million per detached home, up 8.9 per cent from 2019.

The area that includes Don Valley neighbourhoods of Don Mills, Victoria Village and Parkwoods-Donalda is priced at about $1.8 million, an increase of 3.1 per cent over a year ago.

RE/MAX is bullish about the continued strength of the real estate market.

“With the easing of restrictions and the province moving into the third, and perhaps final phase, we anticipate that the housing market will likely accelerate,” Alexander said.