condo market

Toronto’s condo market closes out the year with an increase in sales and rental listings and a decrease in prices

Experts expect demand for condos to be strong in 2021 as vaccine rollout continues

Toronto’s condo sales and rentals increased in the fourth quarter of 2020 as a buyer’s market took hold, according to a new report from the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB).

Condo rentals were up 86.3 per cent compared to the same period last year — to 12,584 rentals versus 6,756 in 2019.

In addition, the number of rental listings went up a whopping 131.6 per cent.

“Demand for condominium apartment rentals reached record highs in the second
half of 2020, particularly in the fourth quarter,” TRREB president Lisa Patel said in a statement.

However, the number of units available outpaced the number of transactions, according to Patel, due to the COVID-19 pandemic’s effects on tourism and the short-term rental market.

“The result was much more choice and negotiating power for renters and a downward
adjustment in average rents,” Patel said.

Prices for rentals also went down 16.5 per cent compared to last year. The average price for a one-bedroom condo in the city was $1,845, compared to $2,209 in 2019.

TRREB chief market analyst Jason Mercer said in a statement that he expects rental demand to continue to increase in 2021, but also for inventory to be absorbed as the economy improves.

“Market conditions will likely continue to favour renters through much of 2021,” he said.

As for condo ownership, sales were up 20.7 per cent compared to 2019, equalling 6,469 versus 5,358.

Listings were also up 91.9 per cent, to 12,298, and active listings more than doubled in 2020.

Patel said investors selling led to an increase in supply, caused by a softening rental market and the possibility of a vacancy tax.

“[This] resulted in much more choice and bargaining power for buyers and a moderate decline in average selling prices,” she said in a statement.

The average selling price of a condo in Toronto was down 2.4 per cent, to $644,516, and lower prices were especially evident in smaller units, according to the report.

Going forward, Mercer expects demand for condos to be strong this year as the vaccine rollout continues and immigration increases.

Article exclusive to TRNTO