| Real Estate Market

Sales Soar Amidst Continued Tight Market Conditions

The record-breaking has continued into September 2020, according to the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) and its MLS System. Following on from August’s bumper crop, the system reported 11,083 sales, a staggering 42.3 percent year over year increase and a brand new record for September on the whole. Thanks to this unprecedented quarter, sales through the first nine months of the year were up by approximately one percent on last year, despite COVID’s destabilizing presence.

TRREB’s President Lisa Patel points towards “Improving economic conditions and extremely low borrowing costs” as the primary drivers of the sustained sales, as well as the substantial amount of pent-up demand that followed the spring downturn. “Further improvements in the economy, including job growth, would support strong home sales moving forward.” Said Miss Patel.

The MLS Home Price Index Composite Benchmark was up, clocking in at an 11.6 percent year-over-year increase, while the average selling price for all home types reached $960,722, a 14 percent increase on the same period last year. The aforementioned pent-up demand also led to an increase of competition between buyers in an already tight market.

Alongside these tight market conditions, it will be of paramount importance for policy makers and industry leaders to monitor the trajectory of COVID cases and their impact on jobs and consumer confidence moving forward, as well as offer up adequate policy solutions in response.

Following the pent-up demand of the first half of 2020, a record number of sales have bolstered the third quarter of the year. According to the Toronto Regional Estate Board’s (TRREB) MLS System, 11,083 sales were recorded during September, clocking in at an astounding 42.3 percent increase on the same period last year. Thanks to the same positive growth in August 2020, sales through the first nine months of the year were up approximately one percent on last year.

“On a GTA-wide basis, market conditions tightened in September relative to last year, with sales increasing at a faster pace than new listings. 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,” said Jason Mercer, TRREB’s Chief Market Analyst.

But how did the Condo market factor in? Following low second-quarter sales, which amounted to 3,459 (down 50.8 percent compared to Q2 sales in 2019), the relatively better-supplied condominium apartment segment experienced a comparatively slower price growth pace. Year-over-year sales growth continued to be driven by ground-oriented market segments, with 2,367 condo sales recorded in September 2020, a relatively low 14.6 percent year-over-year increase.

While the condo segment and the market as a whole show signs of improvement, it is more important than ever to monitor the trajectory of COVID-19 cases and the related government policy response.