June 3 (Reuters) - Residential sales and listing in Toronto's housing market plunged again in May as the coronavirus pandemic hit the real estate market, but the free fall was less severe compared to the previous month's decline, the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) said on Wednesday. Total home sales across the greater Toronto area fell 53.7% in May compared with May 2019, while listings fell 53.1%. In April, the board reported sales plummeted 67.0%, while listings dropped 64.1%. "While the public health and economic concerns surrounding COVID-19 continue to impact the housing market, the May sales results represented a marked improvement over April," TRREB President Michael Collins said in a statement. "Providing we continue to see a gradual reopening of the economy, it is very possible that home sales will continue to improve in the coming months," he added. Officials shuttered most non-essential businesses, starting in mid-March and urged people to stay at home to slow the spread of the coronavirus, but in recent weeks, many of Canada's 10 provinces have gradually started to reopen their economies. May housing prices rose 3.0% year-over-year, TRREB said, while the average selling price jumped 4.6% month-over-month compared to April 2020. MAY 2020 APRIL 2020 APRIL 2019 YR/YR PCT CHANGE TOTAL SALES 4,606 2,975 9,950 -53.7 AVERAGE PRICE C$863,599 C$821,392 C$838,248 3.0% NEW LISTINGS 9,104 6,174 19,394 -53.1 After preliminary seasonal adjustment MAY 2020 MTH/MTH PCT CHANGE SALES 3,549 53.2% AVERAGE PRICE C$825,674 4.6% Sales by type of property MAY 2020 YR/YR PCT CHANGE DETACHED 2,285 -50.6% SEMI-DETACHED 463 -54.4% TOWNHOUSE 815 -50.7% CONDO APARTMENT 1,002 -60.4% (Reporting by Kelsey Johnson in Ottawa; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)
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