toronto condo market

Toronto's condo market exploded back to life in 2021

Much was unknown in the early days of the pandemic, and despite rumblings of trouble for Toronto's cutthroat housing market, it seems the condo game is hotter than ever in the city, breaking records in 2021 that would have seemed far out of reach just a year and a half ago.

Condo transactions flew through the roof this year, spiking in the third quarter with the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) reporting 5,279 transactions in that three-month span, a year-over-year jump of over 10.7 per cent.

Condo prices ascended at almost the same rate as sales GTA-wide, with Toronto proper seeing a slower rate of price appreciation than the surrounding region, rising 6.62 per cent from the third quarter of 2020, but a higher average price breaking the scales at over $725,000.

The GTA condo rental market also took a leap in 2021, with a 15 per cent year-over-year drop in the number of available units recorded in the third quarter, the decreasing supply fueling rising rents.

After taking a tumble in 2020, rental rates were on an upward trend this year, most recently rising 2.4 per cent to $2,060 for one-bedrooms and four per cent to $2,773 for two-bedrooms. This growth is expected to continue into 2022, with prices to rise by another 11 per cent.

All of these gains are making the trials and tribulations of 2020 feel more like a blip on the real estate landscape than the market-melting cataclysm predicted by everyone from a select few housing experts to your average armchair Nostradamus types.

But analysts say there could be trouble on the horizon, a report from RE/MAX echoing other experts warning of a "crucial issue in both the Ontario and Toronto condominium markets" as demand continues to outpace new listings.

And while the pandemic is likely to blame for last year's glut of supply, the number of new condo listings fell by over 30 per cent region-wide, with active listings plummeting even further at over 46 per cent year-over-year. Those numbers are even more pronounced in the big city, dropping 32.6 and 46.19 per cent respectively.

So what are we looking at for the coming year? Well, buckle up, as RE/MAX states that "sky-high figures may be a distinct possibility" as "buyers are expected to flood the market in the post-COVID economy."

And the rising prices expected for 2022 mean that fewer Canadians will be able to afford a home, the National Bank of Canada reporting that it already takes an average of 330 months to save for a down payment, let alone the full sale price.

Lead photo by

A Great Capture

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