In February 2020, Toronto real estate was gearing up for what may have been a record-breaking spring season, with home sales up a staggering 45 per cent year-over-year (y-o-y), and home prices forecasted to grow 10 per cent in 2020.
Fast-forward to April 2020, at which point COVID-19 public health and safety measures had been in effect for a full month and a number of home buyers and sellers opted to remain on the sidelines. Home sale activity slowed considerably, with double digit sales declines in the City of Toronto in April. For the condo apartment segment in particular, the dip in y-o-y sales in April was a steep 70 per cent.
To understand how COVID-19 measures impacted real estate market dynamics, particularly condo apartment prices in the City of Toronto, Zoocasa used data from the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) to compare how median prices changed between February and April 2020 for 35 city neighbourhoods. For neighbourhoods with at least 10 condo apartment sales in April, Zoocasa calculated the dollar and percentage change in the median sold price to get a snapshot of how the market evolved one month after COVID-19 measures were introduced.
The median condo apartment price is defined as the price at which half the condo apartments in an area sold at a higher price than the median, and the other half sold at a price lower than the median price.
City of Toronto Median Condo Price Fell by $65,000 Since February 2020
For the City of Toronto as a whole, the median condo apartment price declined a steep $65,000 (-10 per cent) between February and April 2020 to $574,000. In a true reflection of economic and healthcare measures in place for COVID-19, condo apartment sales dropped 64 per cent since February, with just 482 transactions taking place across the city in April compared to 1,335 in February.
A closer look at all 35 City of Toronto neighbourhoods revealed that 21 city neighbourhoods had fewer than 10 sales during the month of April, which is three times the number of neighbourhoods with a low sales volume in February. In the 14 neighbourhoods with at least 10 sales, the median condo price rose in just one neighbourhood, and fell in all the others. More specifically, the median condo apartment price:
- Dropped more than $100,000 in two neighbourhoods
- Fell between $50,000 – $100,000 in four neighbourhoods
- Declined between $1 – $50,000 in seven neighbourhoods
- Rose $34,000 in one neighbourhood to $506,500
Toronto Centre Neighbourhoods Saw Largest Price Declines
Condo apartment prices were significantly impacted in Toronto Centre, with the top five neighbourhoods with the greatest price declines (and at least 10 sales) located in this part of the city. C10 (Mount Pleasant East) topped the list with the median condo apartment price declining $131,500 (-18 per cent) to $617,500.
This was followed by C08 (Regent Park, St. James Town, and Corktown), where the median price dropped $103,400 (-14 per cent) to $611,600. In C14 (Newtonbrooke East, Willowdale East), the median condo apartment price declined 12 per cent to $597,950, marking an $85,050 drop since February. C07 (Willowdale West, Lansing-Wesrgate) and C01 (Downtown, CityPlace, Trinity-Bellwoods, and Harbord Village) rounded out the top five neighbourhoods with price declines of $70,000 and $60,500 respectively.
Emma Pace, a Zoocasa agent in the City of Toronto, noted that new market conditions since COVID-19 have created opportunities for buyers who may have previously remained on the sidelines. Pace said, “due to the competitive nature of the market subsiding, qualified buyers who may have otherwise forgone an attempt at a home search even four to eight weeks ago are now reviewing how they can participate and starting to enter the market.”
Median Condo Apartment Price Rose in One Toronto East Neighbourhood; Prices Fell in Two
When considering neighbourhoods with at least 10 condo apartment sales in April, Toronto East neighbourhoods fall in the middle of the pack when it comes to price declines. The median condo apartment price in E09 (Morningside, Woburn, Bendale) declined exactly $50,000 (-10 per cent) since February to $465,000, and dropped $47,750 (-10 per cent) in E04 (Dorset Park, Kennedy Park).
In E07 (Milliken, Agincourt North) on the other hand, the median price rose by $34,500 (+7 per cent) to $506,000. Of all City of Toronto neighbourhoods with at least 10 condo apartment sales in April, this was the only area that experienced a median price increase. Here, condo apartment sales were down 49 per cent compared to February, representing a less severe sales drop when compared to the City of Toronto’s overall sales decline of 64 per cent for condo apartments.
According to Jelani Smith, a Toronto Zoocasa agent with experience working in Scarborough, showings began to pick up toward the end of April as more buyers started to return to the market. “Properties that were sitting on the market for almost a month started to get sold relatively faster, since showings started to pick up. In some cases, I’ve been involved in bidding wars similar to what we saw before COVID-19,” said Smith.
Median Condo Apartment Prices in Toronto West Neighbourhoods Declined Between $15,000-$45,000
In Toronto West, median condo apartment prices dropped between four per cent and 10 percent since February 2020 in the following neighborhoods with at least 10 sales:
- W10 (Rexdale-Kipling, West Humber-Claireville) prices declined $44,500 (-10 per cent) to $418,000
- W06 (Mimico, Alderwood) prices dropped $35,500 (-6 per cent) to $577,500
- W08 (Islington-City Centre West, Eringate-Centennial-West Deane) prices fell by $25,500 (-4 per cent) to $570,000
- W04 (Yorkdale-Glen Park, Weston) prices declined $18,450 (-4 per cent) to $479,000
- W05 (Black Creek, York University Heights) prices fell $15,451 (-4 per cent) to $409,999
Carlos Moniz, a Zoocasa agent with Etobicoke and Toronto West expertise noted that when COVID-19 hit, many buyers in the very early stages of their home searches took a step back and slowed down their searches to get a better sense of the impact on the market. According to Moniz, buyers who were further along in their home search recognized this as an opportunity to regain some negotiating power in these new market conditions where there were fewer buyers and less competition.
Here’s a snapshot of how median condo apartment prices changed in Toronto’s 35 neighbourhoods between February and April 2020, including a list of the neighbourhoods with the largest declines. Note: the percentage change in median price is only calculated for neighbourhoods with at least 10 condo apartment sales.
Toronto Neighbourhoods with the Largest Declines in Median Condo Apartment Prices
Based on neighbourhoods with at least 10 condo apartment sales in April 2020.
1. C10 – Mount Pleasant East
- Condo apt median price, Apr 2020: $617,500
- Condo apt median price change from Feb 2020: -$131,500 (-18%)
- Condo apt sales, Apr vs. Feb 2020: 16 vs. 37 (-57%)
2. C08 – Regent Park, St. James Town, Corktown
- Condo apt median price, Apr 2020: $611,600
- Condo apt median price change from Feb 2020: -$103,400 (-14%)
- Condo apt sales, Apr vs. Feb 2020: 74 vs. 127 (-42%)
3. C14 – Newtonbrooke East, Willowdale East
- Condo apt median price, Apr 2020: $597,950
- Condo apt median price change from Feb 2020: -$85,050 (-12%)
- Condo apt sales, Apr vs. Feb 2020: 28 vs. 70 (-60%)
4. C07 – Willowdale West, Lansing-Westgate
- Condo apt median price, Apr 2020: $580,000
- Condo apt median price change from Feb 2020: -$70,000 (-11%)
- Condo apt sales, Apr vs. Feb 2020: 11 vs. 57 (-81%)
5. C01 – Downtown, Entertainment District, CityPlace, Trinity-Bellwoods
- Condo apt median price, Apr 2020: $677,500
- Condo apt median price change from Feb 2020: -$60,500 (-8%)
- Condo apt sales, Apr vs. Feb 2020: 106 vs. 330 (-68%)
Median condo apartment prices and sales for April 2020 and February 2020 were sourced from the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board.
The median price is the price at which half the homes in an area were sold at a higher price and half the homes were sold at a lower price.
The percentage change in median price is only calculated for areas with 10 or more condo apartment sales.