December 2020 Toronto Real Estate Market Report
The December residential resale market continued at a gallop. Excellent results for any month, but extraordinary considering it was a holiday month. 7,179 properties were reported sold, less than a month earlier (-1,582), but an unbelievable 63.2% higher than December 2019. These numbers are more indicative of a Spring market, rather than a December market. There were only 4.399 residential properties reported sold last year in the same month. December’s numbers continue the Toronto real estate marketplace’s record-breaking streak. Days on Market (DOM) has increased to 24 days, which is healthier, giving buyers a chance to actually view properties. The number of sales for the year came in at 95,147, an 8.4% increase over 2019, the highest since 2016.
Prices were up on a year-over-year basis for all major home types, both in the City of Toronto and surrounding GTA regions, with the exception of condominiums. In December the average sale price for all properties sold in the greater Toronto area came in at $932,004, slightly less than November’s average price of $955,613, but a healthy 11.2% higher than December 2019’s average price of $837,788.
In the City of Toronto, the average sale price came in at $894,576 which represents a -8.7 change over last month and a -4.0% difference from the Toronto Real Estate Board’s overall numbers. This could be indicative of what people have been reporting anecdotally: many are choosing to buy in the suburbs where their money buys more square footage, larger gardens, and closer proximity to green space.
It is also worth noting that the higher end of the marketplace continued to be robust, as well.
In December, 150 properties having a sale price of $2 million or more were sold, only 12 of which were condominiums. By comparison, only 83 properties in this category were reported sold last year (8 were condos), a healthy increase of 80.7%.
In December condominium sales were up, 73.8% compared to last year. Sale prices however were down (-2.0%) to $600,840 in the Greater Toronto area. In the City of Toronto’s central core, the average sale price was $625,828. It should be noted, however, that this number is down slightly from $640,208 last month, a decrease of 2.2%. Condominium apartment showings and prices are both down. It is not uncommon for listing prices to be reduced after the initial listing on TRREB’s MLS. This is significant because buyers have taken notice that condominium prices had dropped by 10% or more and a huge number of buyers have jumped back into the condo market. Price drops in Toronto, as well as price increases in the 905 region, have both contributed to the increase in the number of condo sales. The trend of buying in the near suburbs and countryside also seems to be continuing.
While the strength of the December 2020 market is surprisingly strong, it could be the result of pent-up demand. People who postponed a move in 2019 were delayed again by the Covid-19 pandemic in Spring 2020 and they seem to be playing catch up. Considering activity came to a standstill in the Spring, it’s amazing we finished 2020 with an 8.4% increase in sales over last year. The number of sales and the increase in average prices support this as does the interest and activity I am already seeing for 2021. Low-interest rates and continued demand bode well for the new year.