“Stats And the City”
2021 brought us an unprecedented residential resale market. More records were shattered in 2021 than in any other year of record keeping – sales prices, properties sold, and, unfortunately, inventory levels all established new records. As we end 2021 and move into 2022, it will be inventory that will have the greatest impact on the resale market.
Sales declined in December as compared to 2020 only because of a lack of inventory. Demand continues to be at record breaking levels, but to put it bluntly, there just weren’t enough properties on the market for buyers to purchase. That is dramatically illustrated by the fact notwithstanding declining sales, the average sale price for all properties sold, including condominium apartments, came in at $1,157,849, 24.2 percent higher than December 2020.
It should be noted that increases in average sale prices were substantially higher in the 905 region as compared to price increase in the City of Toronto.
Overall, 2021 proved to be the strongest year in recorded resale history. Total number of sales for the year came in at 121,712 surpassing 2016, the previous best year, by more than 7 percent. In 2016 113,040 properties traded hands. During 2021, except for January ($966,068) every month saw the average sale price exceed $1 Million, with November setting a new record at $1,163,287. A truly exceptional year!
How the market performs in 2022 will depend entirely on supply. December’s numbers are not encouraging. During December 5,174 new properties came to market, almost 12 percent fewer than came to market in 2020. What is even more shocking is the fact that entering 2022 there are only 3,232 active listings for the entire greater Toronto area, more than 46 percent of which are condominium apartments. By contrast last year there were 7,892 active listings which at the time we reported were totally inadequate to meet the growing pandemic demand.
Many economists have deemed 1996 to be the year that the Toronto and area market broke from its six year recessional slide and began to show signs of strength and robustness that have continued through to today’s market. That year set a record for sales at 55,779. In 1996 the population of the greater Toronto area was approximately 4.2 million people. Since then the population of the greater Toronto area has grown to well over 7 million people. In December of 1996 the Toronto Real Estate Board reported that there were 16,964 active listings available to buyers in the greater Toronto area. At 3,232 active listings this December, we find ourselves with only 1⁄4 of the listings available to buyers in 1996, with almost TWICE the population!
Supply will be the major driver in 2022. As immigration numbers to the greater Toronto area will continue to increase, even more supply will be necessary. It will take aggressive, innovative, and rapid thinking, planning and decision-making by all three levels of government alleviate this housing crunch.
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