Were you counting on a COVID-19 discount in the Toronto real estate market in 2020? Canada’s largest city did see a modest decline in housing prices and sales activity in March and April, and the condo market is beginning to reshape. But Toronto quickly rebounded following the height of the pandemic, even as Queen’s Park reopened the province gradually. With shrinking inventory, rising demand, and an urban centre that is reopening, it’s easy to see why the Toronto real estate market had a record-shattering July as Canada’s largest city refused to take the summer off.
According to the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB), the average price across all property types in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) was $943,710 in July, a 16.9-per-cent increase from July 2019. The number of homes sold also surged 29.5 per cent year-over-year, with more than 11,000 units changing hands. And industry observers say the Toronto housing market is tightening even further, with average price expected to increase another five per cent before the end of the year.
But it is not just the downtown core that is producing these immense gains at a time when the national economy is recovering in the fallout of the coronavirus public health crisis. Many neighbourhoods throughout Toronto are generating buzz in the real estate sector.
Where are they located? Let’s explore the findings from RE/MAX 2020 Hot Pocket Communities Report.
The Hottest Toronto Real Estate Markets Right Now
Across the Toronto area, many pockets are recording impressive price growth in the single-detached housing sector, and the momentum is expected to continue. Here are five parts of the city that are driving this market.
#1 Annex, Yonge-St. Clair, Casa Loma, Wychwood
In the first and second quarters of 2020, the areas of Annex, Yonge-St. Clair, Casa Loma, and Wychwood increased by 25.7 per cent from the same period last year. The average price tag for a detached home here? $2,918,968! With the popularity of these neighbourhoods on the rise, this upward trend is anticipated to continue.
#2 Oakridge, Birchcliffe-Cliffside & High Park, Swansea, Roncesvalles, and South Parkdale
In second place were a handful of neighbourhoods that posted the same percentage change year-over-year. Oakridge and Birchcliffe-Cliffside saw average detached prices jump 18.4 per cent to $1,095,287, while High Park, Swansea, Roncesvalles, and South Parkdale also climbed 18.4 per cent to $2,050,596.
#3 Oakwood-Vaughan, Humewood, Cedarvale, and Forest Hill South
In the first six months of 2020, Oakwood-Vaughan, Humewood, Cedarvale, and Forest Hill South enjoyed tremendous price growth, with detached homes advancing 17.7 per cent to $2,371,546. Analysts say that these areas have been identified as the most sought-after neighbourhoods in Toronto to purchase this year.
#4 Islington-City Centre, West-Etobicoke-West Mall, Markland Wood, Eringate-Centennial-West Deane, Princess-Rosethorn, Edenbridge-Humber Valley, and Kingsway South
The city’s west end is quickly becoming the most sought-after neighbourhood for hopeful Toronto homebuyers. The area has been seen much development in recent years, and public transit is more prevalent in this region of the city. This explains the detached home price growth of 17 per cent, to an average of $1,693,382.
#5 Alderwood, Long Branch, New Toronto, and Mimico
Last month, MoneySense published its “Where to buy real estate in 2020: City of Toronto” report that examined the top neighbourhoods to buy, using data from Statistics Canada and Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). The biggest surprise was Alderwood, located just north of Long Branch, climbing to the top of the list. Alderwood, Long Branch, New Toronto, and Mimico have claimed fifth place as Toronto’s most desirable neighbourhoods, indicating that the region of Etobicoke will see a lot of action in the market this year. Detached prices here have risen 16.2 per cent to top $1.2 million in the first two quarters of 2020. Can Alderwood sustain its appeal in the second half of 2020, and potentially heading into 2021?
Looking Ahead to the Third Quarter
Will the third quarter see comparable figures for these sizzling Toronto neighbourhoods? With the province of Ontario now in the third stage of reopening, and the economy continues to bounce back, the Toronto housing market could accelerate. Since interest rates and mortgage costs are at historic lows, and will likely remain that way for the rest of 2020, there could be an uptick in prices and sales.
At the moment, so much about the rest of 2020 remains buried in a cloud of uncertainty. Will there be a second wave of the novel coronavirus? Could there be a steep drop in the mortgage market when the deferral program expires in the fall? How will low immigration levels affect the overall Ontario housing market? Will the Canadian economy maintain its upward momentum? While the answers to these questions, and more, will likely only surface as we transition into Autumn, many real estate professionals are certain of one thing: Toronto real estate is primed for another strong quarter ahead.
Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB): http://trreb.ca/index.php/news/news-releases/941-trreb-releases-july-resale-housing-report