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The city's real estate market refuses to chill – and is making headlines south of the border
Semi-detached homes and townhouses are in major demand in a Toronto real estate market that refuses to chill.
A new report notes the average selling prices for those types of homes rose 10 and 12 per cent, respectively, in February, month-over-month.
According to the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board’s (TRREB) market watch report, townhouse sales in the 416 averaged $913,036 while semi-detached homes were hovering at $1,324,244. Detached homes in Toronto were up 6.5 per cent month-over-month to $1,684,073.
The most affordable part of Toronto was the northeast section of Scarborough, where average home prices averaged $1,021,278 in February. The northwest section of Etobicoke followed with home prices averaging $1,031,922.
“The supply of listings is not keeping up with demand,” says TRREB president Lisa Patel, “which could present an even larger problem once population growth picks up following widespread vaccinations later this year and into 2022.”
The rising prices in Toronto and across Canada, despite a pandemic and its economic impact, inspired talk of a bubble. The New York Times even weighed in, noting the sale of a one-car garage in Toronto that was listed for $729,000.
The Canada Mortgage and Housing agency weighed in on the cognitive dissonance between the booming real estate market during the pandemic in its recent housing market report.
The federal housing agency explained that the pandemic had an uneven impact, benefitting high income households where most maintained their employment from home while benefitting from low interest rates, subsequently driving up home prices. COVID-19 disproportionately affected those who work in the service industry and contribute to the less expensive real estate and rental market.
Meanwhile, TRREB reports sales across the Greater Toronto real estate market were up 52.5 per cent over February 2020, the month before the first COVID-19 lockdown brought the industry temporarily to a grinding halt.
While semis and townhomes drove price growth, condominiums kept transactions up. Condo sales were up 64 per cent over last year across the GTA. Condos in the 416 averaged $676,837 in February, up eight per cent since January.
Year-over-year sales growth across the GTA was largely driven by the 905 areas, as most consumers are priced out of the city of Toronto market and searching for more space.
Detached and semi-detached homes in the 905 were up 27.8 and 25.6 per cent since February 2020, reaching $1,300,853 and $932,551, respectively.