Whether it is a once-in-a-century global health crisis or the sharp but brief financial crisis in the Great White North, the events that have evolved over the past 15 months have been cemented in the nation’s history. But there was a substantial storyline unfolding on the sidelines of the pandemic economy: The ballooning Canadian real estate sector. The GTA real estate market in particular, is back with a vengeance. Not only are detached and semi-detached homes witnessing soaring sales activity and record-setting prices, but the condominium segment of North America’s fourth-largest city is also returning to its pre-pandemic days.
Is the growth only situated in the city centre? The booming real estate market is seeping into the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), from the suburbs to the surrounding rural communities.
The Markham real estate market is another jurisdiction in the GTA that has been enjoying noteworthy sales and valuation gains throughout the COVID-19 public health crisis. It has been a dramatic turnaround for the region north of Toronto. But coming off of a scorching hot spring, can Markham sustain the momentum heading into the second half of 2021? Join us as we take a closer look at the most recent trends in this local market as we inch closer to the summer home-buying season.
GTA Real Estate: A Peek Inside the Markham Housing Market
According to the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB), residential sales in the Markham housing market surged 260.12 per cent year-over-year in May to 569 units. On a monthly basis, home transactions tumbled 7.17 per cent from April.
Markham properties reported double-digit growth in May from the same time a year ago, with the average price coming in at $1,320,523. This is up 21.83 per cent year-over-year. From April to May, valuations edged up 1.29 per cent.
But the dominant storyline in Markham real estate has been the dramatic ebbs and flows of supply.
TRREB numbers show that new residential listings advanced at an annualized rate of 149.15 per cent to 887, while active listings jumped 33.18 per cent year-over-year to 610. However, on a month-over-month basis, new listings slumped 11.56 per cent, while active listings rose 0.49 per cent.
Months of inventory numbered 1.3 at the end of May 2021, down from 2.3 months at the end of May 2020. This is an imperative measurement for real estate agents and industry analysts because it represents the number of months it would take to sell current inventories at the present rate of sales activity.
Some of the most notable growth among Markham areas in the first quarter of 2021:
- Residential Sales: 244
- Average Price: $1,117,135
- New Listings: 318
- Active Listings: 88
- Residential Sales: 119
- Average Price: $983,241
- New Listings: 208
- Active Listings: 49
- Residential Sales: 101
- Average Price: $1,110,302
- New Listings: 153
- Active Listings: 26
- Residential Sales: 96
- Average Price: $1,378,568
- New Listings: 139
- Active Listings: 23
- Residential Sales: 87
- Average Price: $1,080,489
- New Listings: 137
- Active Listings: 31
“While sales have trended off the March 2021 peak, so too have new listings. This means that people actively looking to purchase a home continue to face a lot of competition from other buyers, which results in very strong upward pressure on selling prices. This competition is becoming more widespread with tighter market conditions in the condominium apartment segment as well,” said TRREB Chief Market Analyst Jason Mercer in a news release.
What to Expect in the Markham Housing Market Going Forward?
So, can the Markham real estate market sustain these strong trends over the second half of the year?
Right now, the consensus in the broader Canadian housing sector is that the price growth might not be as meteoric as it has been over the last 15 months. However, as market conditions continue to be tight and interest rates are forecast to be the same for at least another year, the Markham housing industry is likely to keep posting sky-high numbers.
The one factor that could impact the northern GTA housing market is supply. The trends point to fresh supply coming to Markham, easing the massive price hikes of the last year or so. Although the mortgage stress tests will impact the housing industry, record-low rates will facilitate the boom in Markham for the next six months.
What happens in 2022 is anyone’s guess at this point. Buying fatigue, higher borrowing costs, an immigration boom, a fading pandemic – there are going to be many variables at play that have the capacity to either douse or fan the flames of the past year’s red-hot real estate activity. For now, let’s just focus on getting through the rest of 2021!