Kingston - What impact will Covid-19 have on our housing market? This has been on the minds of many. The Kingston real estate market started strong in 2020 with unit sales and average price ahead of 2019. As we entered the Spring, the market was balanced overall but with Sellers’ positions favoured in some segments.
The arrival of Covid-19 was profound and unsettling. As we figured out working from home, physical distancing protocols, disinfecting groceries, and absorbing frequent Covid news updates, selling and buying a home was put on the back burner. This priortization is reflected by the shear drop in sales between Week 13 and Week 17 as noted in the chart above. Never before has our market experienced such a dramatic drop in sales activity.
Taken on its own, such a drop in sales (demand) had the potential to significantly impact market balance. But, the uncertainly associated with the pandemic had a similar negative impact on supply as residential listings dropped by 44% (April and May combined) compared with 2019 results.
Further evidence of price support is found in the close tracking of sale versus list prices. List price retention in 2020 has been very consistent and is indicative of a market where buyers have the confidence and means to close sales.
The balanced character of the market is further reflected in the consistent travel rate of listings to firm sales; as measured by the average number of days on market (DOM) it took for sold listings to sell. Other than a January spike in DOM (typical Winter market slowdown) and a blip in May, the average DOM in 2020 has hovered just above 30 days, even during Covid conditions.
In short, while sales volume (unit sales) will certainly be down significantly in 2020 the balanced character of the market appears intact to this point. Prices have been supported and the travel rate for listings has been remarkably consistent and quick.
As always, I'll be tracking the evolution of our market as we carry-on living with Covid. Please don't hesitate with questions about the market. Let's all do our part to stay safe out there.