ontario real estate

These are the most competitive real estate markets in Ontario right now

If you've been tinkering with the idea of giving up your rented pad to buy a home, now might be a decent time — at least in Toronto.

Competition among buyers in Canada's largest city has cooled significantly over the past year, according to the real estate brokerage and analysis firm Zoocasa, with figures now suggesting that Toronto is no longer a "seller's market" but a "balanced market."

"Housing competition heated up this fall across major Ontario markets despite new pandemic restrictions being rolled out by the Ontario government to slow the spread of COVID-19," reads a new report released by Zoocasa on Thursday.

"There was an annual uptick in home sales across the province with several real estate boards including the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) reporting a record-breaking month of sales in October."

True as this may be, there were still a few Ontario cities in which the sales-to-new-listings ratio (SNLR) showed less, not more competition among buyers.

All of them are in the Greater Toronto Area.

In terms of the SNLR, anything above 60 per cent suggests a seller's market. An SNLR between 50 and 60 per cent depicts a market where supply and demand are relatively balanced. An SNLR under 40 would mean a buyer's market.

There are currently zero buyer's markets in Ontario based on this metric.

"Our findings show that 30 of the 35 markets included in our analysis exhibit strong sellers' market conditions, where high demand and a low number of new listings meant that buyers faced strong competition for listings," notes Zoocasa.

"This is up from 27 markets that exhibited sellers' market conditions in October 2019. The remaining markets all exhibited balanced market conditions, and notably, each of these balanced markets is located within the GTA."

Toronto's SNLR as of October 20202 was just 45 per cent, according to Zoocasa, down from a seller's market rate of 66 per cent during the same month in 2019.

And yet, demand for detached homes has been steadily rising since the pandemic hit in March — so what gives?

"It's important to keep in mind that these figures are influenced by condo market activity, where sales have declined amidst the pandemic while new listings increased by more than double (109 per cent) year-over-year," explains Zoocasa.

Of all 35 cities ranked, only Toronto, Richmond Hill, Vaughan, Markham and Mississauga could be considered to have balanced markets as of October 2020.

The rest of Ontario, meanwhile, "exhibited strong sellers' market conditions in October, with an SNLR of 80% or more."

Four markets, in particular, saw a marked increase in demand with SNLR rates of more than 100 per cent detected. They are: Sudbury (SNLR of 100 per cent), Niagara Falls (105 per cent), Thunder Bay (108 per cent) and St. Catherines (112 per cent).

Here's a full breakdown of the top buyer's and seller's markets across Ontario right now:

ontario real estate

Lead photo by

 Hector Vasquez


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