When the COVID-19 pandemic became a global crisis in early 2020, it took the world by surprise. With little in the way of warning and almost no time to prepare, there was no predicting how Toronto’s economy would react.
No matter if you were a small business owner or an international corporation, COVID-19 had the potential to critically impact all sectors of our economy — including our housing market. Now, almost one year since the first major outbreaks of COVID-19 and with a vaccine on the way, we can start to reflect on how the pandemic affected our local Toronto house prices.
Looking back at 2020, we can clearly see that our housing market was a busy selling year, though that didn’t mean Toronto house prices dropped. Read about the four reasons why Toronto house prices stayed strong in our post below.
More Time to Home Search
The perpetually-hectic lives of many Toronto residents were ordered to a nearly complete halt for several months when our city-wide lockdown was mandated back in March. With all non-essential businesses forced to shut down and a huge portion of the population transitioning into working from home, Toronto citizens (for the most part) had more time on their hands than ever before.
A constantly-changing world meant future plans needed reevaluating, including living situations. With more time on peoples’ hands, visits to real estate listing pages and searches for available properties increased.
The Need for a Bigger Space
One universal trend of the COVID-19 pandemic has been the large adoption of working from home. When sharing an office space with multiple coworkers became a public health hazard earlier this year, many companies asked their employees to work from home.
Of course, not everyone was immediately equipped to work from home effectively. With home office spaces in high demand, homes that could accommodate one-if-not-multiple functional office areas became increasingly valuable.
Green Spaces are Highly Valued
In correlation with home offices becoming more sought-after, homes with access to green spaces also came into high demand. With the closure of gyms, public parks, and amateur sports leagues, the value of having a space to get some fresh air outside was boosted substantially.
Homes with front yards, backyards, patio space, and even balconies went up in market valuation as a result of COVID-19. Those who didn’t have access to open-air spaces before became more inclined to look to the real estate market for solutions this year.
More Selling Means More Buying
During the pandemic’s peak panic period, when our leading scientists and epidemiologists were still determining how to handle the COVID-19 outbreaks, many Toronto residents chose to flee the city. Looking to move away from busy city centres in search of more space meant a lot of homes went on the market.
However, when lots of new listings flooded the local market and real estate remained one of the last safe and lucrative investments, the buying market quickly responded. With covetable houses popping up for sale all across the city, we saw many sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars over their asking prices.