Toronto condo sales Photo: James Bombales

Momentum was building in Toronto’s condo market toward the end of 2020 after months of sluggish sales and soaring inventory.

While it’s still early days, preliminary condo sales data shared by Toronto broker John Pasalis shows this momentum, and then some, has carried into 2021.

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According to a screenshot of aggregate Toronto MLS data Pasalis shared on Twitter earlier this week, condo sales recorded between January 1st and the 14th were up 90 percent when compared to the same period a year ago. In the first 14 days of the month, 1,177 condo units changed hands, up from 620 in 2020.

In a series of tweets, Pasalis wrote that condo sales are “strong” but pointed out that new condo listings are also very high, up 66 percent from the same period in 2020.

“I haven’t looked at the data closely but I do wonder if some investors are rushing in as others are taking some money off of the table,” he tweeted.

Pasalis, who is the president and founder of the Toronto brokerage Realosophy, also noted that a surge in investor demand in the condo market would be interesting to see considering the current state of the rental market. Recently released data from Urbanation shows rental vacancies in the city are at a 50-year high as of 2020’s fourth quarter.

Still, the surge in condo sales activity seen in the first half of January has clear roots in a sales rebound observed in the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board’s (TRREB) December data.

Condo sales in two of the most condo-dense areas of the city, known in the industry as C01 and C08, were up 86 percent and 143 percent, respectively, over December 2020.

C01 includes Cityplace, Liberty Village and a large swath of the Financial District west of Yonge Street, while C08 covers the Distillery District, the eastern Waterfront Communities, Regent Park and the downtown core east of Yonge Street.

At the city-wide level, condo sales were up 76 percent annually in December, according to the latest TRREB data.

RBC Senior Economist Robert Hogue wrote that it appeared condo buyers were “out in full force looking for bargains” as soaring listings and months of sluggish demand caused Toronto condo prices to fall.

Hogue predicted that the condo market’s affordability advantage over single-family homes would draw more buyers in this year.

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