November home sales in the Greater Toronto Area were up 24.3 per cent compared with last year, as demand for single-family homes continued to surge ahead of condos, the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board said on Thursday.
The board says there were 8,766 homes sold in the month, up from 7,054 in November 2019. The average price was $955,615, up 13.3 per cent from $843,307 a year earlier.
Board president Lisa Patel says homebuyers continued to take advantage of very low borrowing costs in November, especially those looking to buy some form of single-family home.
While detached home prices rose to an average of $1,202,281, up 15.2 per cent from November 2019, average condo prices fell two per cent to $605,863.
Compared to November 2019, average prices were also rising more quickly in the suburbs than in the city’s core, with detached home prices up 19.2 per cent, townhouse prices up 14.9 per cent, and condo prices up 4.8 per cent in the suburbs.
Low-rise, suburban homes have been increasingly popular after since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic as telecommuting and stay-at-home restrictions have left buyers seeking space over the convenience of downtown.
So far this year, sales of detached homes in the Toronto area are up 13.1 per cent from 2019 despite a near-shutdown of sales this spring, while condo sales are down 10 per cent so far this year.
Jason Mercer, the real estate board’s chief market analyst, noted that the condo market in Toronto is more balanced than in previous years, but called the trend temporary.
“Once we move into the post-COVID period, we will start to see a resumption of population growth, both from immigration and a return of non-permanent residents. This will lead to an increase in demand for condominium apartments in the ownership and rental markets,” said Mercer in a statement.
The number of condos that hit the market this November was almost double that of November of last year.
The board said 11,545 homes were listed for sale in November, up from 8,651 in November last year, as the market catches up from spring’s slowdown. Despite the high number of homes changing hands, there have been 150,913 listings in the Toronto area so far this year, compared with 149,241 at this time last year.
Homes are spending about 20 per cent fewer days on the market this year compared to last year, the board said.
“Competition between buyers for ground-oriented homes has been extremely strong in many neighbourhoods throughout the GTA, which has continued to support double-digit annual rates of price growth,” said Patel in a statement.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 3, 2020.
Anita Balakrishnan, The Canadian Press