A new report from the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) suggests that condo prices could be set for a rebound later in 2023, despite a double digit decline over the last year.

The report, distributed on Thursday, says condo apartment selling prices were 11.4 per cent lower in the first quarter of 2023 than in the same period in 2022.

Sales, meanwhile, were down 42.9 per cent over the same time period as many prospective sellers and buyers remained on the sidelines amid an aggressive interest rate hiking campaign by the Bank of Canada.

However, strong population growth, combined with a crowded market and a larger number of first-time buyers, will result in “renewed growth” in condo sales for the rest of the year, TRREB says.

“Despite increased interest rates, mortgage payments on a condo are now closer to the cost of renting for a lot of potential buyers. In addition, homeownership has the added benefits of equity growth and asset appreciation over the long term,” said TRREB president Paul Baron in a press release.

The average selling price for Toronto condos in the first quarter of 2023 was $726,664, down from $809,879 during the same period in 2022. But that number is expected to increase as first-time buyers enter the market this year.

The condo-specific forecast from TREBB comes amid some signs of a rebounding market overall.

In April, the average selling price of a home in the GTA hit $1,108,606 compared with $1,096,519 the month before. Prices were still down 15 per cent year-over-year.

“Based on the expectation that first-time buying activity will increase this year, look for the condominium apartment segment to be one of the recovery leaders in terms of sales and price growth,” said TRREB chief market analyst Jason Mercer.