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TABLE-Toronto housing strength in early March reversed by COVID-19 uncertainties

    TORONTO, April 3 - It was a game of two halves for Toronto's housing market
in March as the COVID-19 pandemic brought surging sales in the first two weeks
to a grinding halt in the latter part of the month, data from the Toronto
Regional Real Estate Board showed on Friday. 
    Home sales in Toronto, which jumped 49% in the first half of March from a
year earlier, fell 16% in the second half, while listings, which also climbed in
the first half, pulled back in the second, the industry group said in an
e-mailed report. 
    "Uncertainty surrounding the outbreak’s impact on the broader economy and
the onset of the necessary social distancing measures resulted in the decline in
sales since March 15," TRREB President Michael Collins said. "Sales figures for
April will give us a better sense as to the trajectory of the market." 
    Even so, he said, "Late March numbers still suggest that there is activity
in the marketplace."
    Home prices pulled back in the second half of March from earlier in the
month, but remained 10.5% higher than a year earlier, TRREB said. 
               MARCH      MARCH      MARCH      MARCH       YR/YR      YR/YR
               1-14,     15-31,      1-14,      15-31,      (MARCH     (MARCH
               2020       2020       2019        2019       1-14)      15-31)
 TOTAL         4,643      3,369      3,124      4,008     +48.6%      -15.9%
 AVERAGE     C$931,788  C$862,563  C$797,851  C$780,559   +16.8%      +10.5%
 NEW           7,756      6,668      5,834     8,170      +32.9%      -18.4%
                 MARCH 2020     FEBRUARY     MARCH 2019   YR/YR PCT CHANGE
 TOTAL SALES      8,012        7,256        7,132         +12.3%
 AVERAGE PRICE  C$902,680      C$910,290    C$788,133     +14.5%
 NEW LISTINGS     14,424       10,613       14,004         +3.0%
 Sales by type of property
                       MARCH 2020      YR/YR PCT CHANGE
 DETACHED           3,760              +17.4%
 SEMI-DETACHED        751              +13.8% 
 TOWNHOUSE          1,388              +11.6% 
 CONDO APARTMENT    2,014               +2.9% 
 Average price by type of property
                       MARCH 2020      YR/YR PCT CHANGE
 DETACHED           C$1,107,870        12.5% 
 SEMI-DETACHED        C$889,480        12.3% 
 TOWNHOUSE            C$721,006        11.6% 
 CONDO APARTMENT      C$658,791        17.7% 

 (Reporting by Nichola Saminather in Toronto; Editing by Leslie Adler)