October, 2020 Market Review

The Toronto real estate market continued to show signs of releasing some pent up activity in October. Year-over-year sales increased by 25%, from 8,445 sales in October 2019 to 10,563 last month. That’s a pretty big jump, and it’s probably a reflection of the need to catch up on sales that we missed out on during the early months of Covid, but either way, it has 2020 year-to-date sales tracking above the same period last year.

The number of new listings across the board increased by 36.4%, to 17,802, but the distribution by type showed some big differences. Most notably, the number of new condo listings was more than double what we saw in October 2019, but sales in the 416 (i.e Toronto proper, excluding the rest of the GTA) were down by 8.5%. So, as previously discussed, the condo market is showing a unique effect from Covid, likely due to the loss of short-term rental business, and a subsequent need to either rent those on the long-term market, or sell….

At the same time, the low-rise segment was very busy, and that helped drive a 13.7% increase in the average sale price, which rose to $968,318 (across all types). There’s an interesting distinction between action in the 416 and the action in the rest of the GTA. For example, sales of semi-detached houses in Toronto were up 29.6%, and up 33.7% in the 905 region. Those numbers seem similar. However, the change in average sale price was very different. In Toronto, the average sale price for a semi was up 4.8%, but in the 905 prices for semis went up 15.4%. Same story with townhouses: in Toronto, the average sale price increased by 4.1%, while in the 905 the average sale price was up 13.5%. Without jumping to a conclusion, this looks like more evidence of folks jumping at the chance to get out of the big city and into the ‘burbs (and beyond!)….

The action isn’t over yet, either. TRREB expects “record or near-record home sales for the remainder of 2020” (according to their October Market Watch release), and I agree. So, the problem for buyers in the 416 is finding the right house – and then winning the competition! In other words, it’s business as usual (in a way…). 😉




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