Condo sales in Toronto and the GTA for March 2021 almost doubled in comparison to March 2020 (when the pandemic hit), skyrocketing by 91.3 per cent, with an 87.9 per cent jump in the City of Toronto and an eye-popping hike of 99.2 per cent in the 905 areas. The average price saw an encouraging increase with a 2.6 per cent growth in value over last year. Although the City saw a nominal decrease in price, down by 0.7 per cent to $707,835, the 905 suburbs scored a double-digit price hike, up by 13.5 per cent to $607,220. It should also be noted that the average condo prices in both the City of Toronto and the suburbs went up by 4.5 and 7.7 per cent respectively month-over-month.
Before the pandemic, the condo market in Toronto and in the GTA was very competitive with Months of Inventory (MOI) at 1 month in the first quarter of 2020. The MOI statistic indicates the length of time it would take for every condo currently on the market to sell, and 1 month of inventory indicates a strong seller’s market. MOI levels of 4 to 6 signals a balanced market, and MOI of 6 or more months marks a buyer’s market.
As the COVID lockdowns started to take a toll, buyers shifted towards ground-level properties with more inside space and backyards. Travel restrictions meant Airbnb rentals suffered and Toronto renters started to move in with family and friends during the lockdowns. This resulted in more rental units available and lower rents, and that in turn, prompted Toronto condominium investors to sell. The flood of new listings pushed up the inventory of available condos (MOI) to 4 months in April 2020.
In December 2020, another shift in the market started and condo sales rocketed 75.4 per cent over the previous year. Consequently, condo sales in January, February and March have continued to trend upwards to 85.5, 64.3 and 91.3 per cent year-over-year. This dramatic surge in demand has reduced condo inventory levels (MOI) to 0.73, which firmly puts the condo market back into seller’s territory. Many experts believe the current turnaround in the condo market is driven by a renewed demand from condo investors.
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