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And while semi sales were up, their benchmark price fell by about three per cent to $391,500.
Row and apartment condominiums fared worse with sales falling two and 10 per cent, respectively.
“Those areas have been struggling for some time,” says Lurie.
She notes both segments suffered from falling demand and rising supply for several years prior to COVID’s arrival in mid-March.
For all segments combined, however, sales activity improved or was flat in July in almost every price range — even the long-struggling luxury market.
Lurie says this is largely due to the performance of single-family homes. She further posits a number of factors may be driving activity, including pentup demand. Many buyers stayed on the sidelines and started returning in June, which was a fairly good month.
As well, falling prices and low interest rates have likely drawn buyers back.
Lurie further notes affordability is still critical, pointing to even apartment and row options in the lower ranges showing growth in July, year over year.
With respect to single-family detached, the segment’s popularity may be a result of growing affordability, but it may also reflect changing buyer tastes.
“With COVID, what buyers are looking for in a home may have changed,” Lurie says, adding many may now seek more space — or social distance.
Falling supply may also be lending traction to prices. Lurie further explains that, because fewer homes have been listed in recent months, the market is now more in balance than it’s been for years.
“We have been dealing with oversupply for a long time, but now we’re seeing much tighter market conditions.”
Lurie adds, for example, months of supply for single-detached homes fell below three months for the first time in several years.
“If that persists, it’s certainly going to help with the pricing.”