Condominiums are once again becoming a seller’s market as sales and rentals increase, says Toronto Real Estate Board

Toronto-area condo rentals and sales have seen “a dramatic resurgence” from the pandemic during which condo sales initially plummeted and renters fled their apartments, leaving landlords struggling to fill vacancies , reports the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB).

Citing the return of a seller’s market, the council said condo sales climbed 10.3% last quarter, compared to the same period last year. However, listings fell 31%, pushing the average sale price up about 9% to $689,831.

“The condo inventory that built up during the initial phases of COVID has been more than absorbed with listings down significantly from last year,” a statement from the real estate board said Friday.

The rental and condominium markets are set to tighten, said board chairman Kevin Crigger.

While first-time buyers, reeling from the uncertainty of the pandemic, sat on the sidelines last year, many have since accelerated their search for housing.

“This trend will only continue when population growth resumes next year and limited changes in supply are expected,” he said.

The consultancy’s chief market analyst said price growth could pick up through 2022, “if demand continues to rise relative to supply, which is a distinct possibility.”

After fleeing the rental market, apartment dwellers also returned, with the number of units rented on the multi-listing service increasing by 15% while listings fell by 30%.

Rents are also heading north, according to the real estate board. The price of a one-bedroom apartment averaged $2,060 in the third quarter, up 2.4% from a year ago. Two-bedroom units rose 4% to $2,773.

In the second quarter of last year, which began around the time of the first COVID-19 lockdown, a one-bedroom condo averaged $2,083 and a two-bedroom $2,713.

That’s still less than the peak in the second quarter of 2019, when one-bedroom rents averaged $2,192 and two-bedroom units cost $2,873.

Mercer said rent growth is also expected to accelerate as immigration picks up.

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