Toronto-area new construction sales near pre-pandemic levels!
Tuesday Jun 22nd, 2021
The 5,593 new condominiums sold in the Toronto area in the first quarter put sales only four per cent below pre-pandemic levels and surpassed the 10-year average, a sign the market has shaken off last spring’s malaise, according to a condo report released Monday.
Seventy-six per cent of the new condos launched in the first three months of 2021 were sold by the end of the quarter, the highest level since 2017, according to Urbanation, a market research firm that tracks GTA development.
The average selling price in the first three months of this year in the Toronto region was $1,261 per sq. ft. — an 8.8 per cent or approximately $100 per sq. ft. year-over-year increase.
In the City of Toronto first quarter sale prices averaged $1,419 per sq. ft., 5.7 per cent higher than the $1,343 per sq. ft. average in the same period last year.
“The recovery has been pretty much ongoing. Even last year during the summer time we had a lot of bounceback in terms of activity,” said Pauline Lierman, Urbanation’s director of market research. “To be only four per cent off last year’s quarterly total for Q1, which was a strong quarter itself, is a good thing.”
The second quarter of 2020, however, was down 82 per cent from the same period in 2019.
Spring and fall are normally the busy seasons for new condo launches, said Lierman.
The brisk start, she said, “certainly has given a punch to confidence for other launches to come to market.
There has also been a return to downtown sales activity with slightly more than half of the units sold — 2,886 — in the City of Toronto, which has felt some lag due to a sluggish rental market throughout the pandemic.
That was two and a half times higher than the average of the last three quarters of 2020 and above the 2,829 sales in the first quarter of last year.
Condos selling now won’t be ready for occupancy until about 2024, said Lierman.
Urbanation attributes the rebound to low interest rates and economic optimism. But a 30 per cent year-over-year price increase in suburban houses, has also helped renew interest in more urban real estate.
The number of condos under construction in the Greater Toronto Area hit a record 83,497 units — a 10 per cent year over year increase.
Downtown Toronto, however, accounted for only 44 per cent of those units. The 905 communities are seeing 32 per cent of that construction — a record high proportion for those areas.
The remaining 24 per cent are being built in the old City of Toronto suburbs.
First appeared in the Toronto Star May 3 2021