New condo sales toronto suburbs Photo: James Bombales

From Canada Day to the summer wind down at the end of September, buyers fanned out across Toronto’s ‘905’ suburbs and scooped up 3,834 new condo units.

The surge in buyer activity over 2020’s third quarter meant that new condo sales in the 905 region jumped 106 percent when compared to the same period a year ago, according to data released today by research firm Urbanation.

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The boost in condo sales in the city’s suburbs roughly matched buyer enthusiasm for new and resale single-family homes outside the City of Toronto’s boundaries in a phenomenon that RBC Senior Economist Robert Hogue recently called the “pandexodus” from the city.

Buyers were less enthused about purchasing new condos in the City of Toronto during the third quarter, with sales declining 16 percent from the previous year to 2,536 units.

“The third quarter showed impressive demand for new condominiums in the GTA amid the pandemic, with the suburban markets leading the way,” said Urbanation President Shaun Hildebrand.

“This regional shift in activity is expected to continue as buyers gravitate to less expensive markets while the downtown area faces supply challenges in the near term,” he continued.

The heightened activity in the 905 region was more than enough to offset the weakness seen in the city-proper, leading overall new condo sales to rise 30 percent over the previous year across the entire Greater Toronto Area.

It was not, however, enough to lift year-to-date new condo sales past where they stood three quarters into 2019. There were 13,454 new condos sold between January and September 2020, down 22 percent from the same period last year.

On the pricing front, Urbanation said the average selling price for condos launched in the third quarter was $1,044 per square foot, up 3.5 percent over a year ago. New condos launched in the 905 region had an average price per square foot of $915, while City of Toronto condos came in at $1,275.

The stark price disparity between the two regions illustrates Hildebrand’s point of buyers gravitating to less expensive markets as one of the main reasons for the 905 sales surge.

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