Demand > Supply. COVID-19 hung over the usual “buying season” like a cloud, and now that places are opening up, it’s easier to sell houses. Just picture a backed up pipe; relieve the blockage and the raised pressure forces the liquid to shoot out.
Many elements of the population are entirely unaffected financially. Nobody in my immediate family was affected, for instance (none of us share industries, although to be fair my mother is retired). Too bad we’re not rich enough to buy property
People on both ends of the income scale lost money, but more people on the lower end of the scale lost money than on the upper end of the scale. In addition, people on the lower end of the scale couldn’t afford to buy property anyway. In Canada, roughly 20% of workers lost income, about half losing all their income for a period of time, and the other half seeing reductions.
Some wealthier people decided to invest in the stock market instead of buying property, and also made some money that way. They can sell stocks now to help increase their down payments, too.
Lastly, many people who were “house poor” and might have sold their houses have been able to defer mortgage payments. They’re not selling, so the supply is artificially constrained.
This analysis has flaws, of course. In Canada, many new immigrants (who are legal residents) buy houses. We got many fewer immigrants this year due to COVID-19. If the immigration floodgates suddenly opened, demand would be even higher.