Toronto’s housing market saw its best September on record as pent-up demand and rock bottom borrowing costs supercharged sales despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The Toronto Regional Real Estate Board said 11,083 existing homes were sold in September, an increase of 42.3 per cent over September 2019, at an average price of $960,772.
The 14 per cent year-over-year price jump was led by detached homes and townhouses, while the condo market was slower, the board said on Tuesday. The benchmark price for detached homes rose 12.9 per cent, compared to a 6.6 per cent for condos.
Areas outside the city of Toronto led price growth with prices rising 20 per cent in South Simcoe County and more than 17 per cent in Durham and Orangeville.
Board president Lisa Patel said “extremely low borrowing costs” contributed to the record-breaking sales figures, as did built-up demand left over from the stunted spring season.
The real estate market has been playing catch up after sales plunged in the spring, when COVID-19 lockdowns prevented home showings. As of the end of September, the board says home sales for the year were one per cent higher than in the first nine months of 2019. Despite the rising sticker price on homes, seasonal adjustments would show home average prices falling 3.4 per cent, the board estimated.
New listings were up 30.8 per cent compared to Sept. 2019.
“Further improvements in the economy, including job growth, would support strong home sales moving forward,” said Patel in a statement.
“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.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 6, 2020.
Anita Balakrishnan, The Canadian Press