The COVID-19 pandemic has been rough on the entire world, and a number of industries in Canada have been hit hard. Thankfully, home building and construction is one industry that has thrived.


New construction home sales have been soaring in the GTA. New single-family homes in the area have continued to climb year-over-year in the double digits in October. Now that many people have transitioned into a work-from-home model people are looking for more space. Homeowners are also now more open to purchasing or building homes further away from the downtown core since commuting is less of a concern.


By comparison, condo sales have plunged. They dropped 32% year-over-year in October even though asking prices rose 18.8%. So why have condo sales dropped? Well, COVID-19 is a big factor.


Now that people are working from home, doing virtual school, and trying to social distance homeowners are looking for more space. A smaller downtown unit might have been appealing when working in a city office, but that is no longer the case for many people. Those who hoped to buy condos to use as a long-term or short-term rental unit are also feeling the hit. Tourism to the city has dropped and many students are now staying home to do online classes.


While overall sales continue to be strong, the pandemic has delayed some building approvals and slowed immigration, a key driver of housing demand in the Toronto area, said BILD CEO David Wilkes.


“We are seeing some pandemic-specific impacts that are causing sales to be off a little bit in certain areas, but as we evolve out of the pandemic those factors are also going to dissipate, in particular immigration. Longer term the situation is still very bullish,” he said.


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