Toronto housing market to favour sellers in 2021, prices expected to rise 6%
The Toronto housing market is expected to be in seller’s favour in 2021, characterized by a persistent supply shortage and rising prices. Low inventory has been a common trend across many Ontario housing markets in 2020, putting upward pressure on prices. Indeed, the Toronto housing market saw average price rise to $918,883 in 2020 (Jan. 1-Oct. 31) compared to $819,832 in 2019 (Jan. 1-Dec. 31). Growing demand, low supply and rising prices are expected to impact activity and prices in 2021. Thus, the RE/MAX outlook for Toronto real estate is a 6% increase in average price to approximately $974,015 across all property types.
The Toronto housing market currently has two months of inventory. Housing supply levels continue to decline, and are not expected to improve in 2021, which may push average home prices up.
Who’s driving demand for Toronto real estate?
The Toronto housing market has experienced shifts in buyer demand prompted by economic factors, lifestyle changes and immigration in the wake of COVID-19. Toronto’s condo market is currently a buyer’s market, whereas the rest of the market favours sellers.
Given that remote work is a widely available option, many Toronto buyers have been choosing homes based on affordability, often outside of the city, versus being close to their place of work within the core. This migration outside of urban areas has been a common trend across many Canadian housing markets as well as regions abroad, as homebuyers seek more square footage and green space, and less density.
In 2021, the immigrant homebuyer is expected to drive market activity, which includes those coming to Toronto for education purposes, along with the expected influx of immigration from outside the country. Given this trend, condominiums will likely see the most activity in 2021, based on their affordability – particularly for first-time homebuyers.
Outside of the downtown core, the condominium market has been relatively balanced since the start of COVID-19, based on buyers looking for more space while still being mindful of budget.
Toronto’s luxury housing market remains largely not impacted by COVID-19 and is driven by move-up buyers.
Canadian Housing Market in 2021
Canadians are on the move. RE/MAX isn’t calling this an “exodus,” but the re-location trend across the Canadian housing market is real, and it’s just one focus of the RE/MAX 2021 Housing Market Outlook Report. RE/MAX Canada anticipates healthy housing price growth at the national level, with move-up and move-over buyers continuing to drive activity in many regions across the Canadian housing market. An ongoing and widespread housing supply shortage is likely to continue, presenting challenges for homebuyers and putting upward pressure on prices.
Due to these factors, the 2021 RE/MAX 2021 outlook for average residential prices is an estimate of +4% to +6% nation-wide. Here’s the regional break-down:
Additional report findings include:
- 35% of RE/MAX brokers indicate that “move-over” buyers from other cities and provinces will continue to spark market activity in 2021
- 45% of RE/MAX brokers indicate that move-up buyers will likely be a primary driver of the housing market demand in 2021
- Half of Canadians (53%) are confident that Canada’s housing markets will remain steady in 2021
- 52% of Canadians believe real estate will remain one of the best investment options in 2021
We’ve seen a lot of anecdotal evidence since the summer that households are considering significant lifestyle changes by relocating to less-dense cities and neighbourhoods. This has sparked unprecedented sales this year in suburban and rural parts of Canada and we expect this trend to continue in 2021.