The new year is off to a flying start for the General Toronto Area’s real estate sector. According to the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board’s (TRREB) latest Market Watch report, January heralded a bumper crop of home sales amounting to 6,928, a staggering 50 percent year-over-year increase on the same period last year. This strong sales growth flourished across all major market segments both in the city and in the surrounding GTA regions.
Although up on a year-over-year basis, new listings did not keep up with the volume of home sales, pointing toward increasingly tight market conditions. This resulted in double-digit growth in the MLS Home Price Index and the average selling price, which clocked in at $967,885 for January, a 15.5 percent year-over-year increase. The MLS HPI Composite Benchmark was also up by 11.9 percent.
Since the pandemic, TRREB has advocated for government economic initiatives to tackle the housing supply. “Our key recommendations are to expedite the creation of “missing middle” housing, that is, multi-unit low-rise housing between detached and mid- to high-rises. It is crucial that we expand these development opportunities in residential areas which are currently only zoned for detached and semi-detached housing.” Said TRREB CEO John DiMichele in the board’s Market Year in Review and Outlook 2021.
The in-depth report forecasts a strong outlook for 2021. Total home sales are expected to range between 100,000 and 110,000, while IPSOS conducted customer surveys show that COVD-19 has not dampened future home buying intentions.
The results are in for the first month of 2021. January saw a bumper crop of home sales recorded on the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board’s (TRREB) MLS System. Amounting to 6,928 sales for the month, the January influx was up by more than 50 percent compared to January 2020. This strong wave included sales growth across all major segments, including condominium apartments in the City of Toronto and surrounding GTA regions.
While new listings were up on a year-over-year basis, they did not match the same annual rate as sales due to tight market conditions. January’s average selling price was $967,885, a 15.5 percent year-over-year increase, driven primarily by the low-rise market segments. However, the average condo apartment price was down in Toronto, but if condo sales growth continues to outstrip condo listings growth, there should be a renewed growth in condo prices later on in the year.
Condo listings did indeed soar in 2020, remaining the one exception in the face of tight market conditions. However, the outlook for the condominium market in 2021 is hopeful. The intending first-time buyer share is set to bounce back in Toronto, which has a significant concentration of condo apartments (an entry-point for first-time buyers).
Looking at the longer-term, immigration and population growth in non-permanent residents should trend high once the pandemic has subsided. Newcomers looking to purchase their first home or rent a condominium from an investor may help the demand pick up substantially..