A late 2020 resurgence in the Greater Toronto Area real estate market is showing no signs of slowing into 2021. The Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) released their February report this morning, showing record home sales in the GTA and double-digit selling price increases that now sit above $1 million.

Toronto skyline, image by Forum contributor LaNaya

“The pandemic has not stunted GTA residents’ appetite for owning a home. Once the economy opens further and immigration into the GTA resumes, there will be an even greater need for housing supply. Understandably, COVID-19 has been front and centre for policymakers. However, it will be important to build upon the proactive work already started by local and provincial governments to promote the development of a more diverse and affordable housing supply in our region,” reads a statement issued by TRREB CEO John DiMichele.

A total of 10,970 sales were reported in February, 2021, a 52.5% jump versus the 7,193 sales reported the previous February, the last month before the pandemic began to slow the market. Growth was strongest in the condominium apartment segment, where sales increased 64% year-over-year.

“It’s clear that the historic demand for housing experienced in the second half of last year has carried forward into the first quarter of this year with some similar themes, including the continued popularity of suburban low-rise properties. It’s also evident that the supply of listings is not keeping up with demand, which could present an even larger problem once population growth picks up following widespread vaccinations later this year and into 2022,” stated TRREB President Lisa Patel.

Average selling prices recorded a 14.9% jump over February, 2020, now sitting at $1,045,488. Market conditions were tight region-wide last month, though the detached, semi-detached and townhouse market segments in suburban areas were responsible for a large share of price growth—all seeing rates of increase above 20%.

TRREB's February, 2021 figures, image courtesy of TREBB

“In the absence of a marked uptick in inventory, the current relationship between demand and supply supports continued double-digit average home price growth this year. In addition, if we continue to see growth in condo sales outstrip growth in new condo listings in Toronto, renewed price growth in this market segment is a distinct possibility in the second half of the year,” stated TRREB Chief Market Analyst Jason Mercer.

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