If Toronto's real estate market can be looked at as a campfire, the COVID-19 pandemic is a wet blanket — one that brought home sales to a trickle this spring — but is burning up fast as government restrictions lift.
Pent-up demand among buyers is now further acting as gasoline, fuelling the fire and pushing sales numbers to record new heights. The Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) announced Thursday morning that GTA realtors had reported a whopping 11,081 sales in July 0f 2020.
This marks a 29.5 percent increase over July of 2019 and a nearly 50 percent rise in sales over the previous month.
It also represents a new home sales record for the month of July, according to TRREB.
"Sales activity was extremely strong for the first full month of summer. Normally we would see sales dip in July relative to June as more households take vacations, especially with children out of school," said TRREB president Lisa Patel in a release announcing July's figures.
"This year, however, was different from pent-up demand from the COVID-19-related lull in April and May being satisfied in the summer, as economic recovery takes a firmer hold, including the Stage 3 re-opening."
Patel noted that the increase in transactions and listings may also be due, in part, to fewer people traveling.
Prices, which only rose throughout the pandemic slowdown period, continued to rise in July as well, up 5.5 percent over June of 2020.
With an overall average selling price of $943,710 in July, home prices in the GTA are up 16.9 percent, year-over-year.
"Price growth was strongest for low-rise home types, notably within the City of Toronto," reads the TRREB report. "Despite more balanced market conditions in the condominium apartment market segment, year-over-year price growth remained in the high single digits."
Much of this growth can be attributed to fewer listings, according to TRREB, meaning increased buyer competition. The more-expensive detached market segment is also seeing more activity lately, bringing up the overall average selling price.
Within the City of Toronto, specifically, home prices shot up approximately 21 percent between July of 2019 and 2020, from $840,360 to a staggering $1,017,320.