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Posted in Bosley Market Update
Toronto’s vacancy rate on apartments hit 5.7% in the fourth quarter of 2020, the highest level the city has recorded in 50 years, after nearly a decade of being under 2%. As the pandemic pushed tenants outside the core of the city, the vacancy rate in the 905 areas surrounding Toronto remained at a much tighter 2%. These results are just an example to just how drastically the pandemic altered the rental market.
As vacancy rates rose last year, rents declined. A study from Rentals.ca last week showed the average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Toronto fell 20% year-over-year in December to $1,832 and a 17.5% drop for a two bedroom to $2,416. Condo leasing activity soared 25% last year to a record 38,366 units. The average rent for condos, unlike apartments, dropped 14% to $2,076 across the Toronto region, the lowest since mid 2017. Rentals.ca predicts rents could continue to decline for the next three or four months because of weaker demand and more supply.
The freehold market on the other hand is starting off with a bang! The biggest source of concern are listings. The buyers are out there circling, and the weather has been kind to us, but the multiple offers are starting up again. Stories of a townhouse in Mississauga having 71 offers to a house in Oshawa having 47 offers. With low borrowing costs and high demand, the supply issue again is of concern. Are potential sellers reluctant to list their properties for sale in this uncertain market? The buyers are out there waiting. We remain cautiously optimistic!
Posted in Bosley's Market Update
Toronto’s real estate market ended 2020 with a bang, as a December home-buying spree helped to push the average selling price to a record high of $929,699. After a steep drop in the spring due to the pandemic, the market took off in the second half of the year. The 13.5% increase over 2019’s average was led by single family homes where limited supply pushed prices up. The 905 areas outside Toronto saw the most pronounced price and sales gains. The number of homes sold in 2020 in the Greater Toronto Area totaled 95,151, up from 87,751 in 2019, and the third-best year on record.
In contrast, condo listings far outstripped growth in sales. The choice for condo buyers led to more bargaining power and a dip in the average sale price during the last few months of the year. For the City of Toronto, the average sale price in December was $625,828 down 4.7% from last years average of $656,233. What we are starting to find is that, with condo prices softening a little bit (they are down about 10 per cent in the downtown core for the year) there’s way more selection, far fewer bidding wars and interest rates as low as 1%. This has excited investors.
Sean Hildebrand from Urbanation thinks the soaring prices of single-family homes will also push more buyers back to the condo market. As of November, the average price gap between condos and detached houses was $596,000. The gap between a condo and a semi-detached or townhome was about $217,000. Both of those were at their second-highest levels since the market peaked in late 2016-early 2017, he said. “This could really start to swing demand towards condos in the second half of the year,” said Hildebrand.
Looking to the new year, 2021 prices are still competitive from 2020, and one thing the forecasts seem to agree on, is that whatever happens in the next few years, the long-term outlook for Canada’s housing markets is bright.