Toronto-home-sales Photo: James Bombales

Just like clockwork, another month ended with Toronto’s housing market breaking a record for home sales, with October logging 10,563 transactions across the region.

The October total was up more than 25 percent over the previous year and represents the fourth consecutive record-breaking month for Toronto home sales. It was also the fourth straight month that sales exceeded the 10,000 transaction mark, according to the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board data published today (TRREB).

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The pandemic-induced spring freeze that saw sales plummet may feel like a distant memory, but COVID-19 is still clearly impacting market activity and buyer preferences. Single-family homes continued to fly off the shelf in October, while activity in the condo segment remained muted by comparison.

TRREB said that sales growth in the detached segment “far outstripped” the rise in new listings. Meantime, the condo segment saw new listings double compared to the previous year while recording a modest 2.2 percent increase in sales.

“Competition between buyers of single-family homes, and particularly detached houses, remained strong last month and continued to support double-digit annual rates of price growth in many GTA neighborhoods,” said TRREB President Lisa Patel.

“In contrast, condo buyers have benefitted from much more choice compared to last year. Pre-COVID polling had already pointed to an increase in investor selling in 2020. The pandemic only added to this trend with a stall in economic growth and a halt to tourism impacting cashflows for many investors,” Patel continued.

The board’s benchmark price rose nearly 11 percent over October 2019, while the average selling price of a Toronto region home increased 13.7 percent to $968,318. Like sales activity, price growth diverged when observing the detached and condo market segments. The average Toronto region detached home price rose 14.8 percent to $1,204,844 as the average condo price recorded an annual increase under 1 percent to $622,122.

October’s record-breaking sales volume ensured year-to-date home sales for 2020 remained above 2019’s total for the same period.

“Year-to-date home sales through October were above last year’s level. The economic recovery in some sectors coupled with low borrowing costs has kept home purchases top-of-mind for many GTA residents,” said TRREB Chief Market Analyst Jason Mercer.

“With this being said, we have not accounted for all of the pent-up demand that resulted from the spring downturn. Expect record or near-record home sales for the remainder of 2020,” he added.

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