Photo: Spiroview Inc. / Adobe Stock

Record buyer demand and dwindling home supply pushed sales and average prices to new highs in 2021, according to the latest update from the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB).

As the new supply of listings coming online was outpaced by demand, market conditions tightened up throughout the Toronto region, sending the average selling price and recorded MLS transactions in 2021 to all-time highs.

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“Tight market conditions prevailed throughout the GTA and broader Greater Golden Horseshoe in 2021, with a lack of inventory noted across all home types. The result was intense competition between buyers, pushing selling prices up by double digits year-over-year,” said TRREB chief market analyst Jason Mercer in a press release published today.

“Looking forward, the only sustainable way to moderate price growth will be to bring on more supply,” he added.

Based on the latest information from TRREB, here’s what we know about the 2021 market overall and the results for December.

2021 market smashes sales and price records

Last year, a record 121,712 sales were reported through the TRREB MLS system, up 28 per cent from 2020 and beating the previous 2016 high of 113,040 transactions by 7.7 per cent. By comparison, the quantity of new homes hitting the market grew by just 6.2 per cent annually.

High demand against comparatively low supply drove the price of the average home to an all-time record. In 2021, the average selling price hit $1,095,475, up 17.8 per cent from the previous record of $929,636 that was achieved in 2020.

“Despite continuing waves of COVID-19, demand for ownership housing sustained a record pace in
2021,” said Kevin Crigger, president of TRREB. “Growth in many sectors of the economy supported job creation, especially in positions supporting above-average earnings. Added to this was the fact that borrowing costs remained extremely low.”

Crigger added that these conditions supported demand not only for ground-oriented homes, but condos too. The condo market’s recovery was noted to be a key driver of activity returning to downtown Toronto.

The 2021 Toronto housing market saw a resurgence of demand for homes within the City of Toronto, TRREB explained. In the 416 area, overall sales were up 36.8 per cent yearly, a higher rate than the surrounding Greater Toronto Area, which reported 23.6 per cent annual growth in sales.

December home sales fall from 2020 levels

Ending off 2021, the GTA logged 6,031 sales in December. This is a drop of more than 1,000 transactions on an annual basis, falling 15.7 per cent from the same period in 2020, which reported 7,154 sales. The 905 area of the GTA recorded the most December sales with 3,636 transactions, while the 416 region claimed the remaining 2,395 sales for the month.

Across the entire Toronto region, detached properties accounted for the majority of home sales with 2,437 properties sold in this category. Condo apartment sales followed closely behind with 2,058 transactions in December.

Photo: Spiroview Inc. / Adobe Stock

Average selling price hits over $1.1 million

Last month, the average selling price of a home in the Toronto region rose 24.2 per cent yearly to $1,157,849.

Across the entire GTA, townhome properties reported the highest level of price growth, rising 29.4 per cent yearly to an average of $994,690. GTA detached homes recorded similar price increases, jumping 28.8 per cent annually to $1,598,735. Semi-detached homes located in the 906 region experienced the highest price growth overall in December, rising 33.7 per cent year-over-year to $1,109,424.

The MLS Home Price Index Composite benchmark rose 31.1 per cent year-over-year in December.

Available homes drop annually in December

Across the GTA, 5,174 new listings came online in December, down 11.9 per cent from the 5,870 listings that were added to the market in December 2020.

Most of the homes available for sale could be found in the 905 area, where 3,211 listings were onboarded last month.

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