Despite a tumultuous year, the Toronto residential real estate market ended 2020 on a high, with 95,151 home sales taking place throughout the year, according to the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB). This was an 8% increase year-over-year (y-o-y) and the third best year on record for sales. New listings couldn’t quite keep up, growing a mere 3% y-o-y in 2020, and likely helped push the average home price across the Toronto Region up by 13% annually to a new annual record of $929,699.
In the month of December, there were 7,180 home sales, up 63% y-o-y, while new listings kept pace, growing 66% y-o-y. The average home price rose 11% y-o-y in December to $932,222.
Lisa Patel, TRREB president, chalked up the housing market’s recovery (following a steep drop in the early days of the COVID-19 crisis) to a “strong economic rebound in many sectors of the economy, ultra-low borrowing costs and the enhanced use of technology for virtual open houses and showings.”
However, to reiterate a trend that played out throughout 2020, TRREB’s chief market analyst, Jason Mercer noted that “there was a dichotomy between the single-family market segments and the condominium apartment segment” with strong demand and competition for the former, while condo sector noted “a year-over-year dip in average condo selling prices during the last few months of the year.”
Housing Market Competition Exceedingly Favoured Sellers Across the GTA in December
Overall, across the GTA, York Region led the pack for home sales growth in December – with 1,366 home sales across all housing types, marking an 87% increase y-o-y. New listings increased 81% y-o-y in York Region in December, with 1,065 properties being added to the market. As such, with lower supply in relation to demand in the region, the sales-to-new-listings ratio (SNLR) – which is a measure of market competition – strongly favoured sellers in York Region at 128%. In comparison, the December 2019 SNLR was similarly high, at 124%.
In general, an SNLR above 60% indicates that competition conditions favour sellers since demand is higher than supply. In situations where the SNLR is over 100%, more homes were sold than the number of new units of inventory added to the market during the month, which implies that buyers purchased properties that were listed prior to December. In reflection of this surge in demand, the average home price in York Region increased 14% annually in December to $1,084,945.
The trend of exceedingly strong demand and fierce market competition continued across other GTA regions: Halton Region (SNLR of 123%), Durham Region (SNLR of 124%), Peel Region (SNLR of 121%), and the City of Toronto (SNLR of 119%) each indicated an SNLR above 100% in December.
Demand for Detached Homes Remained Fierce Across the GTA with York Region Seeing the Strongest Annual Sales Growth
York Region home sales growth for detached properties outpaced every other region, increasing 80% y-o-y. With new listings slower to catch up (growing 61% y-o-y), detached home buyers in the region experience tough competition, and the region posted an SNLR of 131% in December. The average home price for detached properties grew 18% to $1,349,084.
In Peel Region, home sales for detached properties rose 57% with 614 sales, while new listings edged up 37% with 478 new properties being added to the market, resulting in an SNLR of 128%. The detached home price increased 18% to $1,200,646.
In Halton Region, detached home sales grew 48%, and strong competition persisted, with an SNLR of 129%. The average home price grew 28% y-o-y to $1,429,635.
In the City of Toronto, detached home sales remained strong in December, increasing 41% y-o-y and 657 sales. With 554 new detached home listings, City of Toronto detached home buyers were competing in a heated sellers market, where the SNLR was 119%.
Finally, in Durham Region, the average home price for detached properties increased 25% to $868,916. Detached home sales grew 35% with 498 homes changing hands. While new listings grew at a faster pace (+39% y-o-y), with just 389 new detached properties being added to the market, the SNLR remained in seller’s market territory at 128%.
Competition Heats Up for Condo Apartments in Key Toronto Region Markets Like the City of Toronto in December
After a relatively slower year, condo apartment sales picked up in condo-dense markets like the City of Toronto this December. 1,551 condo apartments sold in the City of Toronto, marking a 75% increase y-o-y. With a relatively low number of listings (1,343), condo buyers may have noticed that the market was more competitive than even just the month prior with an SNLR of 115% compared to November 2020, when the SNLR was in balanced market territory at 47%. That being said, the average home price for condo apartments in the City of Toronto still declined 5% compared to December 2019 to $625,828.
There was a similar trend in other key condo markets in the GTA. In Peel Region for instance, the SNLR for condo apartments was in strong seller’s market territory at 95%, and in York Region, it was at 106%. Unlike the City of Toronto, the average home price for condo apartments grew 3% and 2% in each region, respectively.
Check out the infographics below to see how sales and average prices changed by home type for TRREB and the City of Toronto in December.
Note: Comments and stats highlighting the Toronto Region as a whole are a reference to the areas covered by TRREB, which include: Durham Region, Halton Region, Peel Region, York Region, Toronto, Dufferin County and Simcoe County.
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