Q2 condo sales down 50 per cent from last year, but prices are up: TRREB

Q2 condo sales down 50 per cent from last year, but prices are up: TRREB

TORONTO — The Toronto Regional Real Estate Board says condominium apartment sales in the region have fallen by half since last year, with the average selling price is up.

The board says there were 3,459 condominium apartment sales in the second quarter, down almost 51 per cent from 7,024 sales in the same quarter last year.

The number of new condo listings fell 22 per cent to 8,717, from 11,114 new listings in the same quarter last year.

The average selling price for condos rose by about five per cent to reach $619,707 in the quarter, up from $589,622 in last year’s second quarter.

TRREB president Lisa Patel attributed the dip in sales and new listings to potential buyers holding off on purchases as COVID-19 spread across Canada.

She predicts condo sales will improve in the third quarter because the overall housing market was trending toward recovery in June.

Jason Mercer, TRREB’s chief market analyst, said the relationship between supply of listings and demand for sales in the condo market will be important to watch as the economy recovers. Investors could be tempted to offload their condos onto the market amid stricter regulations on short-term, Airbnb-style rentals, which in turn, could moderate prices.

“If economic recovery is sustained, the demand for condo apartments will improve,” said Mercer in a statement.

Mercer also said that “softer rental market conditions” may affect whether investors decide to sell their condo. A separate report released by TRREB on Friday said that fewer condo apartments were rented during the second quarter, compared to this time last year.

TRREB’s data said that there were 42 per cent more condo apartments listed for rent compared to the second quarter of 2019 — but 24.8 per cent fewer were actually rented.

“COVID-19 clearly impacted the demand for rental condominium apartments, due to restrictions on showing units and job losses,” said Patel, adding that rental listings are “far outstripping growth in rental transactions.”

Rent for a one-bedroom condo apartment in Toronto was $2,083 during the second quarter, down five per cent year-over-year.

“Increased choice led to more negotiating power for renters,” said Mercer.

— By Anita Balakrishnan in Toronto

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 31, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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