Photo: James Bombales

Despite the unprecedented turbulence real estate markets have experienced over these last few months, prices for single-family homes in some of Toronto’s most sought-after communities have shown few signs of wavering.

A new market report released by RE/MAX Ontario-Atlantic Canada today found that central Toronto neighbourhoods delivered strong average home price gains through the first half of 2020 even as the market endured months of uncertainty while the pandemic disrupted everyday life across the city.

Of the 65 Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) districts, 60 percent of those within the ‘416’ region saw double-digit price increases during the first six months of 2020, particularly in areas C02, C08 and C03.

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In the C02 district, which includes the Annex, Yonge-St. Clair, Casa Loma and Wychwood neighbourhoods, average prices of detached homes jumped by 25.7 percent year-over-year in June to $2,918,968. Last month, homes in this area sat on the market for an average of 17 days, with a sale-to-list price ratio of 98 percent. According to RE/MAX, move-up buyers were fairly active in this area amidst a shortage of homes, particularly in the Annex.

In June, housing inventory dropped to levels that are far below average. Active listings in the Greater Toronto Area hit 14,000, the low total for the month since 2016. Unlike typical spring seasons, this year’s spring market saw no uptick in homes hitting the market.

“[B]uyers and sellers paused in April, then cautiously resumed home-buying activity as COVID-19 cases dropped and local economies re-opened,” said Christopher Alexander, executive vice president and regional director of RE/MAX of Ontario-Atlantic Canada, in the report. “With the easing of restrictions and the province moving into the third, and perhaps final phase, we anticipate that the housing market will likely accelerate.”

Image: RE/MAX Ontario-Atlantic Canada Inc.

Price gains were seen in Toronto’s C08 region, comprising mainly of the Waterfront Communities and the Church-Yonge Corridor, where annual prices for detached homes rose 55.7 percent year-over-year from $1,641,813 to $2,555,500. Forest Hill South, Oakwood-Vaughan and Humewood, located in the C03 district, experienced a 17.7 percent price increase, boosting the year-over-year average to $2,371,546 from $2,014,072.

Outside of Toronto’s central areas, two communities book-ending the eastern and western portions of the Lakeshore were a hotbed for annual price increases. District W01, which includes Roncesvalles and High Park, saw average prices leap from $1,731,382 to $2,050,596, an 18.4 percent year-over-year increase.

Average prices in E06’s Birchcliffe-Cliffside and Oakridge communities topped the $1 million mark, rising 18.4 percent to $1,095,287. Both of these districts saw a surge in young family buyers seeking affordability and proximity to the shoreline, according to the report.

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