The Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) has released their quarterly report on the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) condominium market for Q2 2020, showing significant declines in the number of sales and new listings in the region, though home prices continue to rise despite the COVID-19 pandemic and associated economic depression. 

Midtown Toronto, image by Forum contributor Rascacielo

TRREB reports just 3,459 condominium apartment sales were reported in the second quarter, dropping a staggering 50.8% year-over-year versus the 7,024 sales reported in Q2 2019. New condominium listings also took a big hit, though not as severe as sales, falling to 8,717. This represents a 21.6% decline compared year-over-year against the 11,114 new listings entered in Q2 2019.

A statement from TRREB President Lisa Patel reads “The condominium apartment market experienced a dip in sales and new listings in the second quarter of 2020, as many potential buyers moved to the sidelines as a result of public health measures taken to combat COVID-19 and the resulting economic downturn." Despite the downturn, TRREB has a positive outlook on the future of the housing market, with Ms. Patel stating that "with the overall housing market trending toward recovery in June, condo apartment sales will likely improve in the third quarter.”

Contrasting the falling number of sales and new listings, average prices for condominium units in the GTA actually increased this quarter, rising 5.1% year-over year from $589,622 to $619,707. Within the City of Toronto, the average price increased from $638,964 up to $661,458.

A statement from Jason Mercer, TRREB’s Chief Market Analyst, states “It will be important to watch the relationship between condominium apartment sales and new listings as we move through the second half of 2020. If economic recovery is sustained, the demand for condo apartments will improve." Mr. Mercer then continues with a caution that recent regulation of short-term rentals could create future price inflation, stating "the prospect of stricter regulations on short-term rentals and softer rental market conditions could fuel increased listings of investor-held units. If we see more balanced market conditions, condo price growth could be more moderate compared to low-rise home types.” 

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