New-construction home prices and sales of new single-family homes in the GTA continued to climb year over year in the double digits in October, as consumers search for more space to physically distance and work from home during COVID-19.
But the number of condo sales plunged 32 per cent year over year in October, said the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD) on Thursday.
The benchmark asking price for a condo rose 18.8 per cent annually this October to $990,880, but sales were 32 per cent below last October and 20 per cent under the 10-year average.
The benchmark asking price for new single-family homes — including detached, semi-detached and town homes — was $1.21 million, up 12.7 per cent over last year. The 1,914 single-family homes that sold last month, a 44 per cent annual rise, landed 42 per cent above the 10-year average.
While overall sales continue to be strong, the pandemic has delayed some building approvals and slowed immigration, a key driver of housing demand in the Toronto area, said BILD CEO David Wilkes.
“We are seeing some pandemic-specific impacts that are causing sales to be off a little bit in certain areas, but as we evolve out of the pandemic those factors are also going to dissipate, in particular immigration. Longer term the situation is still very bullish,” he said.
A number of condo projects launched in October, but the 2,340 units that sold may be a reflection of how those transactions are occurring under COVID-19 restrictions, said Ryan Wyse, manager of analytics and data solutions for Altus Group, which tracks new home sales and prices.
“Virtual tours and signings and by-appointment sales offices have allowed the market to continue operating during the pandemic. However, sales launches have changed — instead of crowds at opening, we are seeing a shift to appointments over a longer period of time,” he said.
The industry expects sales of new launches to take longer under the current conditions, Wyse said.
Sales on some higher-priced condo offerings late in September didn’t register until October, accounting for some of the increase in the benchmark price, he said.
This year to date there have been 14,000 single-family home sales, an 80 per cent increase over the first 10 months of 2019 and 19 per cent above the 10-year average.
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