Toronto-new-condo-market Photo: James Bombales

There were 4,539 new homes sold across the Toronto region in August, up a blazing 217 percent over the previous year and 119 percent higher than the 10-year average for the month.

It was an incredible way to cap off a summer recovery that few thought would materialize in such a powerful fashion.

The August data, published today by the Building Industry and Land Development (BILD) and Altus Group, was a clear sign that a substantial amount of activity that would have occurred in the spring was pushed to the summer months.

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Calling it an “unusually busy August,” the two firms said the sales total was the highest seen for that month since Altus Group began collecting data in 2000.

“With the record sales activity and unusual number of project launches we saw in August, it is becoming clear that the COVID-19 pandemic delayed consumers’ housing purchase decisions as well as builders’ project openings,” said Altus Group Analytics Manager Ryan Wyse, in a media release.

“After the normally busy spring months were severely affected by the pandemic and related government-imposed restrictions, we saw much stronger activity than normal during the summer,” he continued.

At 2,609 total sales, new condos led the way in terms of overall volume, but new single-family homes outpaced the condo segment when it came to year-over-year gains.

There were 1,930 single-family homes sold in August, up a remarkable 355 percent over the same month last year and 139 percent higher than the 10-year average. Meantime, the condo segment “only” managed a 159 percent increase over August 2019’s sales total.

On the pricing front, both single-family homes and condos saw substantial increases to their benchmark prices compared to year-ago levels. The benchmark price of a new single-family home rose to $1,169,823 in August, up eight percent. The benchmark price of a new condo was $972,859, up 15.7 percent over August 2019.

While there’s no denying the scale of the new home market’s summer bounce back, there is some concern over its longevity.

“The GTA housing market has seen a strong summer, but, with the resurgence in COVID-19 cases, the coming months are full of uncertainty for all of us,” said BILD CEO David Wilkes.

“What is certain is that residential and non-residential construction has played a key role in kick-starting the economy in our region and in Canada, and will continue to do so. We are working with governments at all levels to remove barriers to building and economic recovery,” he added.

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