home sales toronto

Homes sales expected to decline in Toronto as people say they don't want to sell

Putting a house up for sale and moving smack in the middle of a pandemic certainly isn't the easiest task — what with all of the health, financial and practicality issues that could present themselves in the process — so it's no wonder home listing intentions are significantly down in Toronto right now.

That's according to results from the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board's (TRREB) Consumer Home Buying & Selling Intentions Survey, which was released today and reveals that far fewer homeowners are currently looking to list their homes compared to the spring of 2019.

The study, which was conducted by Ipsos at the request of TRREB via an online survey of 802 respondents in the GTA, asked existing homeowners how likely they are to put their home up for sale over the next 12 months.

And while 32 per cent of survey respondents said they were likely to list their homes within that time frame back in 2019, just 17 per cent said the same this year.

The reasons for not wanting to sell a home varied, however, with just 22 per cent of respondents citing pandemic-related issues as the cause, and 80 per cent saying they simply like their current home and don't wish to move.

Still, experts say this decrease in home selling intentions will continue to inevitably affect the supply of home listings and subsequent sales in Toronto and the GTA.

"The supply of listings was an issue before the onset of COVID-19, with market conditions tightening and price growth accelerating throughout the first quarter of 2020. The Ipsos survey results suggest that the supply of listings will continue to be an issue as the economy and housing market recovers," said Jason Mercer, TRREB's chief market analyst, in a statement.

"Policy makers have acknowledged that there is a lack of a diverse housing supply in the GTA. While the supply issue has understandably taken a back seat to COVID-related issues in the short term, it should once again be top-of-mind once recovery takes hold."

But while intentions to sell have clearly been impacted by the global health crisis, the survey found that buying intentions are a slightly different story.

In the GTA as a whole, 27 per cent of respondents said they were likely to purchase a home in the next 12 months. And though this is a 31 per cent decrease from buying intentions from spring of 2019, TREBB says this remains "relatively inline with the five-year trend, especially after taking into account survey credibility intervals."

And home buying intentions were actually higher in the City of Toronto than the rest of the GTA, with 34 per cent of Toronto residents saying they're likely to purchase a house in the next year.

Of those who said they don't intend to buy, 62 per cent said the reason is because they like their current home. Many also cited general affordability issues as their reasoning, while 16 per cent said it was due to COVID-19-related reasons.

"While COVID-19 has temporarily impacted home sales and listings in the GTA, the Ipsos survey results that show home buying intentions have remained quite stable certainly suggest that many people will be looking to satisfy pent-up demand for ownership housing once recovery starts to take hold," said TREBB President Michael Collins in a statement.

"As people gradually return to work, consumer confidence will improve, and a growing number of people will look to take advantage of very low borrowing costs to purchase a home."

Lead photo by

Hector Vasquez

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