Photo: James Bombales

For Toronto region condo buyers holding out for a deal during the pandemic, it appears that the opportunity has passed for now.

Robert Van Rhijn, Broker of Record at Strata.ca, noted in the condo brokerage’s latest market report that the condo price drop ‘quickly came and went’ during fall 2020. Since then, the average condo selling price has increased by $80,000 from its lowest point, he said.

“We now know in hindsight that the best time to buy during this whole pandemic was in November. That’s when the average price of a GTA condo fell to $610,000,” said Van Rhijn in the market report.

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“This price increase is almost certainly due to those buyers who were once sitting on the sidelines, waiting for the market to bottom out. Now they’re realizing it may be awhile before prices dip again, so they’re trying to purchase whatever they can,” he added.

After a dismal performance in 2020 that was plagued by high inventory and a lack of downtown buyers, the Toronto region condo market has been rebounding since late last year.

According to Strata.ca’s data, the total number of Toronto region condo sales posted a two-year high in March, proof that the market is maintaining its momentous comeback thanks to climbing sales and prices that are consistently exceeding the lows seen in 2020.

In the report, Strata.ca said March condo sales were up nearly 100 percent from year-ago levels, climbing to a record-high of 4,165 transactions.

In March, the City of Toronto logged a little over 2,500 sales, primarily within the downtown core where 907 transactions took place last month. North York, Etobicoke and Scarborough followed behind at 559, 338 and 325 condo sales during March. Mississauga, which saw a total of 519 condo sales, was the suburb that reported the highest sales figure, according to the report.

While Toronto region condo inventory was up 21 percent year-over-year in March, the report explains, condos frequently sold above asking price. The average unit went for 5.5 percent over the list price in March, which Strata.ca says indicates that condo buyer demand is outpacing the available market supply.

“I suspect that demand will continue to far outpace supply until the early summer months,” said Van Rhijn in the report. “Come the end of the spring market, those pent-up buyers will likely have purchased by then.”

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