Toronto's wealthy are fleeing the city in droves for suburban homes
Lockdowns and concerns about the confined living conditions of cities have fostered a mass urban exodus since early 2020, with Toronto residents ditching the big city and flocking to sparser, cheaper, and higher-paying locales.
Low borrowing costs and record-high savings rates are only making moving up in the world easier, while the rise of the remote workplaces has homebuyers feeling less restricted, no longer tethered to locations close to their places of business.
All of these factors are contributing to a spike in home prices in the markets surrounding Toronto. But it's not just middle-class homebuyers looking for cheaper digs. The wealthy are also abandoning Toronto in droves for larger homes with lower prices.
According to the 2021 GTA luxury property report by RE/MAX, luxury home sales over $3 million skyrocketed 55.7 per cent year-over-year in 2020, breaking the record set in 2017, while homes priced over $5 million saw a 44 per cent increase in sales in 2020.
And while it would be fair to assume that Toronto led markets in the growth of luxury home sales, lockdowns turned real estate upside down across the region. Much of this spike in pricey homes and mansions was seen in markets beyond the 416.
Regions surrounding the city experienced significant boosts in demand for homes priced at over $3 million last year, with a 188.8 per cent sales increase in Halton, 112 per cent in Peel, and 85 per cent in York Region.
Trends from 2020 carried into this year, with RE/MAX's Canada 2021 Fall Housing Market Report showing that townhomes and other single-family dwellings continue to lead the pack, as homebuyers look for properties where they have a bit more room to take their masks off and breathe.
It might be coming at least partially at the cost of Toronto condo sales, but suburban luxury housing markets just keep prevailing through lockdowns and a general decline in the economy that has hampered sales in other home types.
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