Riding the Ups and Downs

Toronto’s real estate market closed out with a record boom! December’s robust results were fuelled by low interest rates and strong demand amidst impending vaccine rollouts.

Transactions for all types of properties soared compared to the previous year.  Meanwhile freehold property pricese continued to increase while prices slumped for condominium apartments. 

There’s good news for condo owners as the surge in freehold prices is bringing back buyers for condominiums.  This can be seen as months of inventory dropped to 2 months compared to 4 months of inventory in October.

2020 will always be remembered as the year of pandemic.  From a real estate perspective, 2020 was a roller coaster year.  The year started off with a bang with double-digit increases in transactions and prices.  This was immediately followed by record low transactions in April and May as we grappled with the onset of Covid-19 stay at home orders.  Coming out of the shutdown, freeholds experienced strong growth as cooped up buyers came out in droves.  Meanwhile the condo market slumped due to weak investor demand and a shift in preferences away from high rises.  The net result was unprecedented prices as the average Toronto property surpassed $1M for the first time ever in June 2020.

The above chart provides a snapshot of Toronto’s annual 2020 results compared to 2019.  Despite year to date Jan-May 2020 sales 27% less than same time year ago, the second half of 2020 rebounded strongly.  By year end, total 2020 transactions were only down 1% compared to 2019.  This decline is entirely attributable to the condominium apartment market that experienced a decline of 7% in transactions.

That being said, the average 2020 prices for all types of housing was higher compared to 2019.

In terms of what to expect for 2021, so long as interest rates stay low and supply to be tight and the number of people getting vaccines increase, we expect Toronto’s real estate market will set new price records in 2021.

And now, over to Shen…

Shen Shoots The Breeze

Making the best of a pandemic lockdown:

  1. I’m an experience kind of gal. I love to travel, try new things, learn new skills. My brother’s family gave me a membership to Skill Share for Christmas, which offers online workshops from animation, marketing, lifestyle interests and anything in between and some of these even feature celebrities like Neil Patrick Harris and Olivia Wilde to name a few. I recently took a Kawaii Cartoon Animal class with my niece. It was a great way to connect with her and also learn to draw cute animals at the same time. Have you discovered any online classes/membership workshops recently?
  2. Walking seems to be a great, cheap and Covid-friendly activity to see friends and family. Our family got Fitbits and are challenging each other with the number of steps. Aside from trying to get at least 10,000 steps per day, I’ve taken to walking to do errands now as way to kill two birds with one stone and listening to podcasts when it’s just me. I am currently listening to: Smartless, Planet Money, 99% Invisible and United? We Pray. Any easy listening podcasts you can recommend?
  3. Here are some local restaurants we did take out from over the holidays: Sushi Aoyama (@aoyamasushi.toronto – call to order; menu on Instagram), J&Y Chinese Cuisine – Peking Duck (@jychinesecuisine – call to order; menu on Instagram), Victory Burger – order through Uber Eats and Batifole (@batifole_bistronomy) has great foie gras and amazing French classics (call to order). Would love to get some local recommendations from you. We prefer to pick up versus food delivery.

Photo by Justin on Unsplash

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