The Toronto real estate market has returned with a vengeance since the two-month reprieve at the start of the coronavirus pandemic. Homebuyer demand is fierce and homeowners are cashing in on skyrocketing valuations. Many have returned to the market in search of either the home of their dreams or the opportunity to cash in on some serious profit. After all, the average selling price for a home in Toronto is $1.045 million.
Record-setting sales activity and prices are expanding to the surrounding Toronto area, whether it is north of the city or east of the metropolis. Across the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), housing prices and residential sales are going through the roof, despite the COVID-19 public health crisis still occurring.
Historically low interest rates, evolving consumer trends, strengthening demand, and the fear of missing out are driving this bullish Toronto real estate market. But are some places performing better than others? While the entire region is doing well, it is worth pointing out three Greater Toronto real estate areas to highlight just how incredible the situation has become over the last year.
Home Prices are Shattering Records in These Greater Toronto Real Estate Areas
Burlington has seen eye-popping growth in real estate prices and sales this past year. Burlington could start to recover from ultra-low inventory levels amid increased listings, but this might not be enough to alleviate the dramatic surge in housing valuations.
According to the REALTORS® Association of Hamilton and Burlington (RAHB), residential sales increased 54 per cent in February month-over-month, to 1,271 transactions. Higher transactions were seen across multiple properties: single-family (+14.9 per cent), townhomes (+11.9 per cent), and apartment-style condo units (31.3 per cent).
The average price advanced 7.7% to $848,719. Here were how the three main property classifications performed in February:
- Single-family: +33.5 per cent to $848,719
- Townhomes: +25.5 per cent to $730,073
- Apartment-style condos: +12.5 per cent to $515,217
“There are several pandemic-related factors which have contributed to the high demand for housing combined with the low supply levels we have experienced in our market area,” said RAHB President Donna Bacher in a news release. “The good news is the number of new listings broke a 10-year record for February and our active listings increased by 28 per cent from January 2021. As we recover from these ultra-low inventory numbers, buyers should start to see more selection and a bit less competition. Additionally, new listing numbers should stay strong and inventory levels should continue to increase to a more normal level as more of the RAHB market area moves out of lockdown and control zones.”
The Aurora real estate market has been skyrocketing over the last year. Located just north of Toronto, it has benefited from families that no longer want to reside within the major urban centre, but still want to be close to Toronto’s amenities.
In February, residential sales climbed 47.5 per cent to 118 units, with growth seen in both single-family detached and townhome properties.
Prices did take a breather in February, falling 2.52 per cent month-over-month. However, real estate prices remained above the $1 million mark, with average prices coming in at $1.238 million. These prices might start to cool down, too, even with spring on the horizon, because of supply.
- New listings: +96 per cent to 196
- Active listings: +49.39 per cent to 124
- Months of inventory: 1.8
Pickering remains a very attractive place in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), especially for young families looking to plant roots. It maintains plenty of amenities while still being relatively close to downtown Toronto via the impressive public transit infrastructure.
But homebuyers are realizing this, too. Therefore, they are scooping up the limited housing stocks on the open market. This is reflected in the sky-high valuation of homes across the city.
Residential sales soared 105.61 per cent to 183 in February. But it was the price growth that crossed a record threshold. The average price for a home in Pickering rose 0.83 per cent to $1,008,209. But while this is impressive for the area, Pickering might see some easing as new supply comes online.
- New listings: +52.2 per cent to 239
- Active listings: +22.98 per cent to 107
- Months of inventory: 1.0
No Signs of Slowing Down?
The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) recently published a report suggesting that record home sales would continue this year, anticipating that 701,000 properties will change hands and the national average home price would increase 16.5 per cent to $665,000. This, according to CREA, will be the case coast to coast.
Robert Hogue, a senior economist at Royal Bank of Canada, told CTV News that the red-hot housing market is no longer a big-city issue. This, he says, has now also become a small-town issue.
“Typically, housing markets are really kind of working in isolation relative to other parts of the country; this time it’s all synchronized, very hot everywhere,” Hogue said. “It puts a lot of pressure on affordability locally and that I think it is going to be quite a challenge going forward. This is no longer just a big-city kind of Toronto, Vancouver story; this is a small-town issue now.”
Whether you live in the city of Toronto or reside in the outskirts of The Six, the real estate market will continue to be on fire. Until interest rates begin to normalize or new supply is injected into the sector, this will be the case for at least the rest of 2021.