toronto home sales Photo: James Bombales

Toronto’s housing market continued on a tear in September, breaking the record for homes sold in the month and exceeding 11,000 total transactions for the second time in three months.

The 11,083 homes that changed hands in the region last month also meant that September was the third consecutive month that the Toronto market broke a sales volume record since the pandemic recovery began.

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The sales total was up 42.3 percent over the previous year and the performance was enough to push 2020’s home sales to date past the same nine-month period in 2019. According to the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB), which released the data today, sales through the first nine months of 2020 were up one percent compared to the previous year.

It’s a headline figure that surely would have surprised many watching the market in April and May, when sales were down 67 percent and 53.7 percent on an annual basis, respectively.

Despite the swift market recovery, TRREB President Lisa Patel was careful not to provide an overly optimistic outlook for the remainder of the year as the pandemic wears on and cases of COVID-19 rise in the region.

“Improving economic conditions and extremely low borrowing costs sustained record-level sales in September, as we continued to account for the substantial amount of pent-up demand that resulted from the spring downturn,” said Patel.

“Further improvements in the economy, including job growth, would support strong home sales moving forward. However, it will be important to monitor the trajectory of COVID-19 cases, the related government policy response, and the impact on jobs and consumer confidence,” she continued.

As has been the case since the market recovery began, the detached, semi-detached and townhome segments were the primary drivers of annual sales growth. While the condo segment has seen solid year-over-year growth, the 14.6 percent annual increase lags far behind the 54.7 percent increase seen in the GTA detached home segment.

On the pricing front, the MLS index price for the Toronto region was up 11.6 percent over September 2019. The average sale price across all property types was $960,772, up 14 percent over the previous year and a new record for the region. Like sales volume, it was the low-rise segment that was responsible for the majority of the price growth momentum.

“On a GTA-wide basis, market conditions tightened in September relative to last year, with sales increasing at a faster pace than new listings,” said TRREB Chief Market Analyst Jason Mercer.

“With competition between buyers increasing noticeably, double-digit year-over-year price growth was commonplace throughout the region in September, resulting in the overall average selling price reaching a new record,” he added.

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