The Numbers Are In…
The Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) has posted the sales figures for December, and for a sixth consecutive month, sales of residential property in the GTA have set a monthly record. The 7,180 sales reported through the MLS System make it the most active December in history, with a 64.5% increase over December 2019.
Total sales for 2020 came in at 95,151. This is 8.3% over 2019, and is the third best result on record. This is a remarkable fact given the steep Covid-induced drop-off that halted market activity from March through May.
The real estate story of 2020 was the demand for ground-level housing in the suburbs… December was no different. Last month, the 905 continued to fuel growth in the market and drive down inventory. Detached home sales were up 54.6% year-over-year (+58.5% in the 905), semi-detached were up 56.8% (+56.3% in the 905), and townhomes were up 76.8% (+82.3% in the 905). In total, over 76% of all low-rise sales in December took place outside the City of Toronto.
Condo sales were also on the rise. The 2,193 sales are a year-over-year increase of 75.4%, with growth in sales volume similar in the 416 and 905.
Both New Listings (+66.1%) and Active Listings (+6.6%) were up for December. While the jump in new listings appears notable, it can likely be attributed to the decrease in holiday travel plans. With fewer than 6,000 new listings coming to market, the supply remains low and inventory in the condo sector fell dramatically in December to just under 2 months supply. The ground level housing market is even tighter; there is 0.9 month’s supply for detached homes, 0.4 months for semi-detached, and 0.4 months for townhomes. Expect some increase in supply this month as more owners come to market in the New Year, but housing inventory could be one of the big stories in 2021.
Low inventory and competition from buyers taking advantage of low interest rates has led to higher sale prices. The average sales price of $932,222 is an increase of 11.2% from the same period last year. The MLS Home Price Index (HPI) Composite Benchmark (a more accurate indicator of market inflation) was up 11.1% over December 2019. The average sales price for 2020 was $929,699. This is a new record and represents a 13.5% increase over 2019.
Looking at pricing by category for December, detached homes sold for an average of $1,240,632, representing year-over-year gains of +17.7%. The average price for semi-detached homes was $939,660 (+16.6%) and townhomes rose to $768,474 (+14.1%). The average price of condos was $600,840, down 2% compared to December 2019.
The market is changing. Supply is limited, competition is fierce, and buyers are moving further afield to realize their housing dreams.