October was a strong month for new-construction home prices and sales of new single-family homes in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), however, growth still isn't as strong in comparison to previous years as COVID-19 continues to impact the market.

Last month, overall, there were 4,254 new home sales throughout the GTA, which is "about even" with the 10-year-average, the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD) said Thursday. However, this is still down 10% from October of last year.

While the sale of condominium apartments -- including units in low, medium, and high-rise buildings, stacked townhouses, and loft units -- accounted for over half of the overall monthly total (2,340), sales still plunged 32% in October and 20% below the 10-year average.

However, sales of new single-family homes -- which include detached, linked, and semi-detached houses and townhouses (excluding stacked townhouses) -- were up 44% in October with 1,914 units sold. This is also 42% over the 10-year average.

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BILD says the benchmark asking price for a condo rose 18.8% annually this October to $990,880, while the benchmark asking price for new single-family homes was $1.21 million, up 12.7% over last year.

Yet despite the strong month, COVID-19 is still taking a toll on the market, as the procedures around new home sales have changed in the face of the pandemic,” said Ryan Wyse, Altus Group’s Manager, Analytics, Data Solutions -- BILD’s official source for new home market intelligence.

“Virtual tours and signings and by-appointment sales offices have allowed the market to continue operating during the pandemic. However, sales launches have changed—instead of crowds at opening, we are seeing a shift to appointments over a longer period of time,” said Wyse.

With a number of new projects opening, as is typically the case for October, total new home remaining inventory -- which includes units in preconstruction projects, in projects currently under construction, and in completed buildings -- increased from the previous month to 15,386 units.

“When we look at the overall numbers so far in this very unusual year, it’s clear that the demand for the homes our industry builds is not going anywhere,” said David Wilkes, BILD President & CEO.

“In spite of the challenges brought on by the pandemic, year-to-date new home sales in the GTA are up 11% compared to the same period last year and 2% above the 10-year average, demonstrating not only the resilience of the housing market in the GTA, but also the role that our sector will play in economic recovery.”

Here in Toronto, overall, there were 987 new home sales in October with 954 condominium apartments and 33 single-family homes selling.

Screen shot 2020 11 26 at 1 GTA New Home Sales October/BILD

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