toronto condo

Condo sales in Toronto are back to hitting record highs

Though Toronto's housing market is consistently hectic and overpricedeven at the height of a global pandemic — condo sales have fluctuated over the past year, with activity and prices dipping in the fall as investors tried to shed properties they'd been using as rentals.

But, with economic reopening now in full swing and travel and immigration poised to return in the next few weeks, things have been heating back up again, especially for certain types of units.

The market for new condos (and three-bedroom units) in particular has been for the most part quite busy thus far in 2021 despite some people giving up on the idea of home ownership in the city, with new unit sales outpacing both that of resale units and new houses.

In June, GTA condo prices rose to hit 44 per cent more than they were during the 2017 housing peak — the biggest jump for any housing type — and were expected at that time to spike another $275,000, on average, in the next two years.

And contrary to some inconsistent numbers from the first quarter of the year, it appears that Q2 2021 was even stronger for new condo sales in the region.

According to the latest report from the condo experts at Urbanation, sales in the sector were 5.5 times higher than during the first quarter of the year, indicating a full COVID-19 recovery.

Of nearly 8,500 presale units that hit the GTA market between April and June, 81 per cent were purchased, setting a record high. The average price for these units also hit $728,160 or a whopping $1,100 per square foot, regardless of size.

(In Toronto proper, as of Q2, the average condo will of course set you back far more; around $834,504 or $1,276 psf.)

Another notable figure is the amount of new condo inventory that was left unsold by the end of June: only 10 per cent, which set an 11-quarter low and was a staggering 23 per cent below the 10-year average, making it clear that the demand for new condo builds is extremely high and very contrary to what was going on at the end of 2020.

This is even considering the fact that there were a record high number of new condos being constructed, making for a whopping 86,346 units plus an additional 22,857 in the pre-construction stage.

On the resale condo market, both transactions and the absorption rate (number of units sold vs. number listed) were also up drastically from last year, which was to be expected given hesitancy spurred by the health crisis at that time.

The average price for a resale unit in the GTA hit a new record peak of $707,000 for all unit types, with Toronto obviously leading the way at $740,000 or $930 per square foot, on average, for a lived-in condo.

"The second quarter showed that the GTA new condominium market not only fully recovered from COVID-19 but also returned to near record high sales volumes," the report reads.

"The 905 continued to be a driving force as developers and buyers have shifted to more affordable locations of the region. With inventory approaching a three-year low, expect further upward pressure on new condo prices in the near-term."

toronto condo

Urbanation's analysis of Q2 2021's new condo market numbers.

Any prospective homeowners who weren't in a position to get into the market when there were still some bargains to be had can expect prices and competition to surge even more once immigration levels return to normal, but can always set their sights on other, farther away parts of southern Ontario, like those where one can still nab a home for less than $250,000.

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