Toronto’s downtown condominium segment is staging a comeback with sales nearing pre-pandemic levels.

New condo sales in the Greater Toronto Area totaled 5,385 units in the first quarter of 2021, which was just shy of the 5,593 figure from a year ago, according to a market report by real estate research firm Urbanation Inc.

The report also found that buyers are making a return to the downtown core with 2,886 new units sold in that same time frame. It’s a figure that is more than twice the amount of units sold in the second and fourth quarter in 2020 and even beat the pre-pandemic first quarter in 2020, which saw 2,829 units sold.

The demand for new condos resembled the real estate market high of 2017 with 76 per cent of new presale condos finding a buyer by the end of the quarter – the highest since 2017.

During the pandemic, buyers were trading their smaller condo spaces for larger homes out in the suburbs, fuelling rapid rises in home values in the detached segment while condo sales plunged. 

Shaun Hildebrand, president of Urbanation, explained that the soaring suburban house prices played a role in this condo market rebound.

“The downtown Toronto condo market turned the corner in the first quarter of the year on low borrowing costs and renewed optimism regarding the outlook,” Hildebrand said in the report. “But also partly due to chain reaction after suburban home prices soared 30 per cent over the past year and put the spotlight back on urban properties.”