As outlined in the June, July and August newsletters, supply continues to be low despite strong consumer interest. Toronto’s August 2020 real estate sales were considerably stronger than a year ago as pent up post- lockdown consumer demand and low interest rates resulted in higher sales and prices compared to August 2019.
The table below (you will need to download images) outlines how August sales and prices increased across all home types with freehold properties in particular seeing tremendous year-on-year growth. These results are further somewhat exaggerated as the August 2020 results included sales that likely would have taken place in the spring. In addition, August 2019 followed a typical sales cycle where real estate activity normally slumps in the summer.
The following table provides a clearer comparison of 2020 vs. 2019 real estate activity. 2020 was poised be more active than 2019. Year-to-date transactions at the end of March were up 17% from the year before. Transactions plummeted from April to June during the lockdown and year to date transactions were down by 27% in June compared to last year but the increased activity in July and August resulted in Toronto’s transactions down only 12% at the end of August. As we enter the fall market, I expect that this gap to shrink further as sellers feel more comfortable to put their homes on the market to satisfy the strong demand.
Shen Shoots The Breeze
1. In the beginning of the summer, Amex offered a 3-month wine club membership special to support local businesses by promoting social distancing (and drinking at home). With Dave’s birthday approaching, I thought it’d make a good present. Our first delivery was 3 bottles of Georgian wine (the country not the state). We didn’t even know wine was produced there. Our second delivery was a double magnum of Italian wine – let’s just say it didn’t fit well into our wine rack but we will need friends to help us consume it! As Covid19 has disrupted the normal way of doing things, we are looking at ways in which we can support local businesses especially restaurants. Do you have any great eats in the GTA that you discovered during the pandemic that you’d be willing to share?
2. Last year I took stock of the unfinished projects I had lying around the house – there were many of them. One of them was an unfinished scarf. I had started knitting a scarf for my newborn nephew who is now 15 years old! I decided to sign up for a knitting course through TDSB’s Continuing Education. I had so much fun finishing up that scarf that it became a headband for me. I also discovered the world of knitting: online and local shops, Ravelry, Instagram sites. It was a timely course as it was one of the things that got me through the boredom of staying at home in the early days of the pandemic. Although TDSB is continuing to offer courses this Fall – all online, it’s a wonderful resource and courses aren’t expensive.