Summer may have drawn to a close but the Toronto real estate market remained hot well into the start of the new season, with September being a record-breaking month for home sales in Canada's largest city.
According to the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB), it was the best September on record for home sales in the Toronto-area, with 42.3% more sales closing last month than in September of last year.
Important to note, even amid a global pandemic that saw the economy come to a near halt and COVID-19 lockdowns prevented home showings, sales through the first nine months of 2020 still managed to be up by 1% compared to the same period in 2019.
TRREB says 11,083 existing homes were sold in the Toronto-area in September, at an average price of $960,772 -- up by 14% year-over-year.
TRREB President, Lisa Patel, says improved economic conditions and "extremely" low borrowing costs helped sustain September's record-breaking levels, as did built-up demand left over from the disrupted spring season.
"Further improvements in the economy, including job growth, would support strong home sales moving forward. However, it will be important to monitor the trajectory of COVID-19 cases, the related government policy response, and the impact on jobs and consumer confidence,” said Ms. Patel.
Year-over-year sales growth in September continued to be driven by ground-oriented market segments, including detached and semi-detached houses and townhouses. Annual growth rates were also higher for sales reported in the GTA regions surrounding the City of Toronto.
Here in Toronto, the number of new listings (8,689) and the number of sales (3,555) at the end of September were both up on a year-over-year basis. While new listings were up strongly for all home types, growth in sales of new condominium apartments (1,549) outstripped growth in the city's other market segments.
But it’s not just sales and listings that soared in September, as 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.
The September numbers also showed that those looking to enter the housing market are turning to buy more ground-level homes, as detached houses in Toronto sold for $1,487,122 on average, a 9.4% increase compared to last September. What’s more, the 1,161 detached house transactions in Toronto last month represented a 28.1% year-over-year increase, while the 421 semi-detached home sales showed a 48.8% increase from last September.
While condo sales rose 7% year-over-year in Toronto in September, the 905 regions saw the biggest jump in condo transactions with a 32.1% increase. Condo prices also rose more notably in the 905-area, up 8% to $537,354 compared to 7.7% and $686,191 in Toronto.
“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.”
TRREB CEO John DiMichele says the housing market recovery experienced throughout the summer benefitted the broader economy as well.
"Home sales reported through TRREB’s MLS System result in billions of dollars in spin-off expenditures, support for tens of thousands of jobs, and billions of dollars in taxes paid to all levels of government. The demand for housing and the related economic impacts will continue in the post-COVID period as population growth resumes. Policymakers will need to continue their efforts to bring more housing supply on line to meet this longer-term demand,” added DiMichele.