toronto real estate market

Here's how far Toronto's overblown housing market declined in 2022

It was quite a wild year in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) real estate market.

Already facing pronounced affordability concerns, a procession of ever-increasing interest rate hikes by the Bank of Canada hit Toronto homeowners hard in 2022, even as overinflated prices started to cool off in the country's largest urban centre.

The Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) released its review of the 2022 GTA Housing Market on Thursday morning, highlighting increased sales, prices, and rent, along with declining home sales and listings.

"Following a very strong start to the year, home sales trended lower in the spring and summer of 2022, as aggressive Bank of Canada interest rate hikes further hampered housing affordability," said TRREB's new president, Paul Baron, adding that "home prices started levelling off in the late summer, suggesting the aggressive early market adjustment may be coming to an end."

Sales stand as one of the hardest-hit statistics, with TRREB reporting 75,140 units sold throughout 2022, a staggering drop of over 28 per cent from the record of 121,639 logged the year before.

Listings also tumbled, though not by such a wide margin, falling 8.2 per cent compared to 2021's 166,600 new listings.

"While home sales and prices dominated the headlines in 2022, the supply of new listings continued to be an issue as well. The number of homes listed for sale in 2022 was down in comparison to 2021," said TRREB Chief Market Analyst Jason Mercer.

"This helps explain why selling prices have found some support in recent months," says Mercer, pointing out how "lack of supply has also impacted the rental market."

"As renting has become more popular in this higher interest rate environment, tighter rental market conditions have translated into double-digit average rent increases," continued Mercer.

Despite declining home prices through much of 2022, a strong start to the year helped the average selling price increase to $1,189,850, a leap of 8.6 per cent over the $1,095,333 average in 2021.

The trends for 2022 are a bit misleading for those wondering where the market currently stands, as, despite the overall growth, home prices declined somewhat steadily from April through the fall before appearing to level off.

December 2022 statistics offer a clearer picture of what's actually going on right now, with 3,117 sales in the month representing a 48.2 per cent decline compared to the previous December.

New listings totalled just 4,074 last month, a drop of over 21 per cent from the 5,177 listings in December 2021.

But it's the average December selling price of $1,051,216 that serves as the clearest sign of a market cooldown, standing 9.2 per cent lower than the December 2021 average of $1,157,837.

TRREB CEO John DiMichele warns that "there will be two opposite forces impacting the housing market" in 2023, saying that "we will continue to feel the impact of higher borrowing costs," potentially exacerbated by "record levels of immigration [that] will support demand for ownership and rental housing."

Lead photo by

Jack Landau

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