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Toronto's housing market is finally cooling but some units are still in hot demand

This is usually about the time of year where Toronto's scorching real estate market takes an annual dip, though the seasonal market "rules" that governed pre-lockdown housing demand seem to have gone out the window, the ebbs and flows no longer so easy for analysts to predict.

Home sales typically peak in September and stagnate as the holiday season approaches, and while overall sales are indeed in decline, certain home types and areas of the city are still expected to see high demand atypical of winter trends. realtor Cyrus Ghazvini, who represents clients in areas like North York and downtown's east end, acknowledges the overall slowdown, saying, "In general, yes there's definitely a cooling of the market."

Still, Ghazvini points to continued demand for smaller units, such as the one-bedroom condos that are often scooped up by investors and rented out. "If you're looking specifically for a one-bedroom or a one-plus den, the demand is certainly high," says Ghazvini.

A competitive market for smaller units is being chalked up to fewer being listed for sale. Strata reports that while 758 two-bedroom units have been listed so far in November, only 444 one-bedroom and 506 one-bedroom+den units have been put up for sale.

There are also specific areas of the city where the expected seasonal decline is failing to make its curtain call. In the downtown core, realtors predict consistent competition through December and January, months usually with marked declines in demand. A huge improvement from how things looked earlier in the year.

Some of the fiercest competition is over condominium townhomes in Greater Toronto Area suburbs, another symptom of a reported mass exodus from the city centre since the first lockdowns began last year.

"Even with a reasonable budget, we've been losing out because some of these listings are attracting over ten bids on offer night," says, realtor Osman Omaid out of Peel.

"My clients are understandably exhausted and have decided to wait until next year, but who knows where prices will be by then?"

The region has experienced a 20 per cent jump in condo values over just the last year, which voices like Strata, TRREB, and other industry experts attribute to continued low inventory, some of the lowest seen in a quarter-century.

However, some of this can be explained as a snap-back from the pandemic's crazy effects on the market.

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