“Tale of Two Cities”: Condos and Detached Home Sales Heading in Different Directions
While September saw record-breaking property sales in Toronto, numbers didn’t soar equally high across all home categories. Buyers leaned into ground-oriented market segments, leaving the condo sphere far less active than in years (and months) past.
According to the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB), 11,083 existing homes were sold in the Toronto-area in September. Of these, specifically in the 416-region, 1,984 sold properties were ground-oriented (detached, semi-detached, or townhomes), while 1,549 were condos. At first glance, the numbers seem comparable — but when last year’s data is brought to the table, fluctuations appear more dramatic.
Year-over-year, detached homes saw September sales increase 28.1%; during the same period, semi-detached sales increased 48.8%, and townhome sales went up 21.5%. Condos, however, saw an increase in sales of only 7%.
“I’m seeing the 416 freehold market holding steady,” says Toronto realtor and chartered accountant Scott Ingram.
But, he says, the condo market “continues to weaken,” as listings are rising on a weekly basis, and the pace of sales is slowing at the same rate.
But “tale of two cities” continues, with freehold (lowrise houses) selling stronger than last year and condos (apts and townhouses combined) selling weaker of late (and didn’t show the huge “pent-up demand” that houses did. /3 pic.twitter.com/lx9gNBO40g
— Scott Ingram CPA, CA (@areacode416) October 5, 2020
“The big spike you see for the week ending September 6 is because it was a regular week this year versus the week that included Labour Day (always slower) last year. The -17% for the week ending September 13 was just the opposite (holiday this year, regular last year),” Ingram explains.
He says that looking at the last two weeks, which show -2% and 0% increases respectively, he interprets the catch-up of pent-up demand seen in July and August “seems to be over.”
Looking beyond Toronto proper, condo transactions experienced their biggest jump in the 905 regions. In these areas just outside Canada’s largest city, the home-type saw a 32.1% increase in sales. Prices also rose 8% to $537,354, surpassing the increase seen in Toronto not by total reached ($686,191) but by percentage (7.7%).
Meanwhile, the average selling price of all home categories in the 416 — low-rise market segments and condos included — rose last month to $1,022,051, up $9,545 from August’s average. Over the first nine months of the year — even in the midst of a global pandemic that had (and continues to have) severe impacts on the economy — sales were reportedly up 1% compared to the same period in 2019.
“On a GTA-wide basis, market conditions tightened in September relative to last year, with sales increasing at a faster pace than new listings,” said Jason Mercer, TRREB’s Chief Market Analyst. “With competition between buyers increasing noticeably, double-digit year-over-year price growth was commonplace throughout the region in September, resulting in the overall average selling price reaching a new record.”
Last month was the best September on record for home sales in the Toronto-area, with 42.3% more sales closing last month than the same month last year.
With files from Ainsley Smith.