Home Buying #Real Estate

Toronto Housing Market Outlook 2021

For more than 18 months, the COVID-19 pandemic has held the world hostage and the toll has been heavy. For many industries, survival remains to be seen. The housing market pretty much Canada-wide is definitely an exception. As unpredictable and extreme as the virus itself, housing activity across the GTA has remained resilient, showing relentless growth in the face of one of the worst global economic crises in history.

Record-low interest rates, pent-up demand and scarce inventory are expected to continue for 2021, while shifting homebuying behaviours, spurred by new decisions about how and where we work and live, are transforming the Toronto housing landscape as we know it. 

Key Takeaways

  • Record-low interest rates, pent-up demand and scarce inventory are expected to continue for 2021
  • The Toronto housing market is projected to remain in seller’s market territory throughout 2021, which means supply will stay low, triggering a continued rise in prices
  • The top 10 GTA performers in 2021 for year-over-year price appreciation ranged from 34.2% in Milton (Halton Region) to 46.4% in Durham Region’s Uxbridge

Toronto housing market forecast 2021

The Toronto housing market is expected to remain in seller’s market territory throughout 2021, which means supply will stay low, triggering a continued rise in prices. Low inventory has been a common trend across many Ontario housing markets in 2020 and 2021, putting upward pressure on prices. 

A steady decline in the supply of single-detached housing in the GTA, along with mortgage rates hovering well below 3%, accelerated demand from first-time homebuyers and stimulated the city’s move-up market in the first half of 2021.

Statistic: Year-to-date sales in York Region have risen close to 110% while Peel and Central Toronto have almost doubled 2020 levels.

Who’s buying Toronto real estate?

With more people working remotely than ever before across Canada, many Toronto buyers have been choosing homes based on affordability, often outside of the city, versus being close to their workplace within the city core. This migration outside of urban areas has been a common trend across many Canadian housing markets as well as regions abroad, as homebuyers seek more square footage and green space, and less density.

In 2021, the immigrant homebuyer is expected to drive market activity, which includes those coming to Toronto for education purposes, along with the expected influx of immigration from outside the country. Given this trend, condominiums will likely see the most activity in 2021, based on their affordability – particularly for first-time homebuyers. (See : First-Time Home Buyer Grants in Canada)

Outside of the downtown core, the condominium market has been relatively balanced since the start of COVID-19, based on buyers looking for more space while still being mindful of budget.

Toronto’s luxury housing market remains largely unimpacted by COVID-19 and is driven by move-up buyers.

Statistic: Almost half of the 60 Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) districts are reporting year-over-year average home price increases above 25%.

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Toronto real estate market statistics

The RE/MAX 2021 GTA Hot Pocket Communities Report – released in August 2021 – examined trends and developments in 60 Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) districts, finding that inventory constraints propelled demand throughout the GTA and set the stage for unprecedented market performance. 

With 11,297 active listings, this was the lowest level for June in at least a decade and down 35% from the 10-year average of 17,260, surpassing the previous low of 12,327 reported in June 2016. As a result, the average price for single-detached homes soared, with values in almost 97% of TRREB communities well-ahead of year-ago levels, with nearly half reporting an increase of 25% or more compared to the same period in 2020. The top 10 performers in 2021 in terms of year-over-year price appreciation ranged from 34.2% in Milton (Halton Region), to a high of 46.4% in Durham Region’s Uxbridge.

Top 10 GTA Districts for Average Price Appreciation (Detached Homes, January-June)

1. Uxbridge $1,365,983$933,368+46.4%
2. Scugog$986,878$685,828+43.9%
3. King $2,179,739$1,555,302+40.2%
4. Brock $773,061$552,711+39.9%
5. Pickering $1,263,740$903,186+39.9%
5. Clarington $930,520$665,516+39.8%
6. Oshawa $855,067$611,872+39.8%
6. Caledon$1,553,501$1,116,205+39.2%
7. East Gwillimbury$1,301,817$957,243+36%
8. Whitby $1,080,979$797,435+35.6%
9. Banbury-Don Mills (C13)$2,255,400$1,673,994+34.7%
10. Milton$1,314,265$979,646+34.2%

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