The City of Toronto’s condo market is going to be red-hot this month.
Toronto proper’s condo market was by far the most active segment in March, with sales rising by 87.9% to 2,614, but the average price actually declined by 0.7% to $707,835, says the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB).
However, according to Alex Balikoti, SVP of sales with Balikoti Real Estate Group, that doesn’t tell the whole story.
“Last March is when the pandemic hit and everyone got scared and prices came down a little, but prices are now on par with pre-pandemic levels last year,” Balikoti told CREW. “Our inventory levels for condos in Toronto proper are back to normal—we’re sitting at almost 2,600 condo units for sale—and that means April will be extremely healthy.”
Balikoti added that preconstruction condo projects in Toronto’s core are selling out in weeks and that developers are raising prices to as much as $1,600 per sq ft. Moreover, the resale market is scorching.
“There were 2,600 sales last month and right now we have fewer than 2,600 units available, so that means we won’t last a month,” said Balikoti. “We’re again experiencing a shortage of inventory just as we were last year pre-pandemic.”
Total home sales in the GTA doubled on an annual basis in March to 15,652 from 7,945 a year ago amid low interest rates and fledging economic activity, according to the latest data from TRREB.
However, the board tempered the numbers by reminding that the second half of March 2020 was when the COVID-19 pandemic sparked mass shutdowns, including in the real estate market. As a result, sales surged by 174% year-over-year in the second half of March 2021 to 9,148, while sales were up 41% in the first 15 days of the month compared to the same time last year, reaching 6,504 transactions.
Transactions during the first half of March were still up considerably, the result of GDP growth rising 9.5% in Q4-2020 compared to the prior-year period. While unemployment in Toronto was 11.1% in February of this year, the Bank of Canada’s overnight rate is still only 0.25%, with a 2.45% prime rate.
There were 7,577 detached home sales in the GTA last month, a whopping 103.5% year-over-year increase, which brought the average price up by 26.6% to $1,402,849. In the semi-detached segment of the regional housing market, there were 1,479 sales for a 98.5% increase over March 2020, and the average price rose by 17.5% to $1,045,519. The GTA’s townhouse market saw sales rise by 90.5% year-over-year last month to 2,631, and the average price moved up by 20.7% to $870,553, suggesting that townhomes remain the most affordable type of ground-related homes. The regional condo market saw 3,821 transactions last month, up by 91.3%, but prices only climbed 2.6% to $676,052.
In the City of Toronto, there were 1,450 detached home sales in March, a 75.1% increase from the same month a year earlier, and the average price rose by 19.2% to $1,750,518, while semi-detached home sales increased by 106.6% to 471 with the median price up 11.5% to $1,288,005. Townhome sales in the 416 were also up 90.7% to 555, and the average price rose by 15% to $960,894.