GTA's typically busy condo selling season has disappeared this year

Sep 29 2021, 8:50 pm

After a slow summer of sales, the GTA’s typically busy fall condo market is nowhere to be seen this year.

As the month of September comes to a close, the GTA saw just 2,480 condo sales so far this month, according to a new market report from Strata.ca. This is down noticeably from the 3,113 sales in August — a typically dead month as buyers are preoccupied with other summer-related things.

The September 2021 sales are also down from the 3,101 transactions made in September 2020. Strata.ca realtor Alex Hood says that the drop has been noticeable in what is a “generally bustling” month.

“We basically entered a beautiful summer with the lifting of many COVID restrictions, allowing people to embrace some of the joys we had all missed,” Hood said. “As we keep climbing out of lockdown, lots of real estate priorities are being put on hold, and we’re seeing the impact of that well into the fall.”

Fellow agent Sam Massoudi says that uncertainty about post-pandemic life is affecting people’s decisions to buy a condo.

“My clients are still deciding whether they need space for a home office, or if they need to move closer to their company’s actual office,” Massoudi said. “If my clients have to coordinate with their spouse or they have kids, that decision gets even more complicated and can take much longer.”

Condos in downtown Toronto, in particular, have had a hard time keeping up with sales, with barely 500 sales happening in September, which is about half of the 1,033 sales seen in March. Other cities like Oshawa and Hamilton have also experienced significant drops in the number of sales.

Even with all of the market uncertainty that’s happening, the GTA’s condo prices have never been higher. With the average selling price hitting $703,000, Strata.ca broker Cliff Liu says that the unaffordability of the market could be to blame for a slow fall.

“The fall market hasn’t happened yet because housing prices are simply out of reach for most people,” Liu said. “You have no choice but to bury your plans if it doesn’t make sense to spend $1.1 million on a two-bedroom townhome.”

Laura HanrahanLaura Hanrahan

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