Changing lifestyle priorities in the face of COVID-19, coupled with historically low interest rates resulted in a record breaking year for real estate in Canada. Statistics Canada noted in a new report on population growth across sub provincial regions that “more people are opting to live outside of Canada’s largest urban centres, which is contributing to ongoing urban sprawl.”
This trend played out across the GTA too, where home sales ended the year on a high, and single-family homes were in highest demand with many home buyers putting a premium on space and access to the outdoors. On the flip side, demand for condominium apartments in condo dense cities like the City of Toronto slowed with the average price noting a slight dip; a stark contrast to December 2019 when prices were up 10% year-over-year (y-o-y), demand for condos was soaring, and bidding wars were common.
For this report, Zoocasa took a closer look at condo market activity in 35 neighbourhoods across the City of Toronto to understand demand and supply trends across the city. We compared the number of active listings for condo apartments (the inventory of available condos) across these neighbourhoods at the end of December 2020 to December 2019. We also calculated changes in the median condo apartment price – the price at which half the condos that sold, sold for a higher price than the median and where the other half sold for a lower price than the median price.
Overall, the City of Toronto had 1,972 more active listings for condo apartments in December 2020 compared to the year prior. With 3,120 active condo listings available in the City of Toronto at the end of December, this represented a 172% increase y-o-y or 2.7x more active listings than at the end of December 2019.
Downtown Neighbourhoods Had 3.2x to 3.4x More Condo Listings Than Last Year
Taking a closer look at neighbourhoods across the City of Toronto, Zoocasa found that the parts of the city with the highest concentration of condo apartments experienced the most significant increase in active listings on a y-o-y basis.
At the top of the list is Toronto’s C01 neighbourhood – spanning Downtown, the Entertainment District, CityPlace, and Liberty Village – which saw a whopping 219% increase or 3.2x more active listings at the end of December 2020 compared to the previous year. Specifically, there were 989 active listings in C01 in December compared to 310 in December 2019. The median sales price dropped 9% or -$58,750 to $611,250.
According to Anthony Tomasone, a Zoocasa real estate agent in Toronto, the drastic increase in condo inventory in C01 is notable. Tomasone says, “in 2019, C01 was one of the most competitive neighbourhoods in the city. Seeing new listings double, and active listings triple in the span of a year is a testament to the impact that COVID-19 has had on homebuyers in the short run.”
Behind C01 for increases in condo apartment inventory is Toronto’s C08 neighbourhood, encompassing Regent Park, St. James Town, and Corktown, where the median home price dipped 10% to $597,500 y-o-y. There was a 239% increase in active listings compared to December 2019, with 315 or 3.4x more active listings available in the neighbourhood at the end of December 2020.
Of the top ten neighbourhoods with the greatest increase in active listings at the end of 2020, both C01 and C08 noted the biggest annual decline in the condo median price.
Rounding out the top three is C15, the area that includes Hillcrest Village and Bayview Village, where despite a 156% increase in active listings, median home prices remained relatively steady – posting a 4% increase to $531,000.
“For buyers that are looking to get a foothold into the market and thinking about the long term, now might be a good opportunity to consider a condo, particularly in the downtown core. Compared to the same time the year before, buyers have more options and less competition, better prices, and lower interest rates – all favourable conditions for first-time buyers that may otherwise have been priced out of the market,” says Tomasone.
Check out our infographic below that highlights active listings and median prices in December 2020 for 35 Toronto neighbourhoods compared to December 2019.