Photo: Vinoth Ragunathan / Unsplash

The condo resale market is back.

Throughout the second half of 2020, it was no secret that condo sales were struggling compared to single-family properties because of low immigration levels, little tourism and growing rental vacancies.

This year, however, is another story.

As part of it’s 2021 Condominium Report for the Greater Toronto Area, RE/MAX reported this week that condo sales and prices have sprung back to life in both the city and the suburbs.

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Year-to-date (from January 1st to August 31st), GTA condominium apartments and townhome sales have increased 71 per cent annually with 30,383 units sold. This is a significant step up from the same period in 2020, when 17,760 condo sales were recorded.

Prices for GTA apartments and townhomes have risen more modestly year-over-year, climbing seven percent to an average of $688,138.

RE/MAX noted that “affordability has propelled condos within the pricey Greater Toronto real estate market,” particularly in the 905-region, which has seen high levels of activity. York and Peel regions reported the strongest sales growth in 2021, where transactions have jumped by 121.8 per cent and 66.3 per cent, respectively. North, east and west of Toronto proper, buyers from the 416-region have reportedly been behind the momentum for condominium product in these regions.

Photo: Maarten van den Heuvel / Unsplash

Communities in the 905-area such as Oshawa, Whitby, Newmarket and King have experienced condo price appreciation of 32.9 per cent, 32.1 per cent, 23.8 per cent and 27.3 per cent.

Condo purchasers have returned to the core of the city, where sales have increased 81.3 per cent during the first eight months of 2021, equalling a total of 11,518 sales. This stands as a stark contrast to the same time last year, when just 6,354 condo sales were transacted.

The eastern side of the City of Toronto has reported a rise in sales by 63.5 per cent, with double-digit price increases ranging from 14.8 per cent to 17.6 per cent in districts such as E11, E10, E06, E04 and E07. The city’s west end witnessed similar condo sales growth of 46.2 per cent.

The oversupply of Toronto condos that was present in early 2021 has since been absorbed, RE/MAX explained. Between January and August, 72.1 per cent of all sales occurred on units priced below $1 million.

Photo: Harrison Fitts / Unsplash

However, demand at this price point is exceeding supply, a scenario that could place “serious upward pressure on values,” as buyers race to beat interest rate hikes expected in 2022. In the luxury segment, sales over $2 million have risen 71 per cent year-over-year with 195 high-end units sold this year up until August 31st.

Across Eastern Canada, the GTA was the leader in condo sales, followed by Halifax-Dartmouth and Ottawa. Nationwide, Greater Vancouver has reported the highest increase in year-to-date sales, which have soared 87.2 per cent compared to the same period in 2020.

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