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Toronto home sales lead to record 2021 despite weaker December

Average selling price up 17.8%
A for sale is sign is displayed in front of a house in the Riverdale area of Toronto on Wednesday, September 29, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Evan Buhler

TORONTO — A resurgence in demand for Toronto homes contributed to record residential real estate sales and prices in 2021 despite a dip in December.

The Toronto Regional Real Estate Board said Thursday a record 121,712 homes were sold through its MLS system last year, up 28 per cent compared with 2020 and 7.7 per cent above the previous 2016 high of 113,040.

The average selling price set a peak of $1.095 million, up 17.8 per cent from the high the prior year of $929,636 as new listings didn’t keep pace with sales.

“Despite continuing waves of COVID-19, demand for ownership housing sustained a record pace in 2021,” stated TRREB president Kevin Crigger.

He said job creation and extremely low borrowing costs contributed to the sales growth.

“These factors supported not only a continuation in demand for ground-oriented homes, but also a resurgence in the condo segment as well.”

Overall sales in the “416” area code in the city of Toronto surged 36.8 per cent driven by demand for condos, while sales in the surrounding Greater Toronto Area suburbs rose 23.6 per cent.

“Tight market conditions prevailed throughout the GTA and broader Greater Golden Horseshoe in 2021, with a lack of inventory noted across all home types. The result was intense competition between buyers, pushing selling prices up by double digits year-over-year,” added TRREB chief market analyst Jason Mercer.

He said the only way to moderate price growth is to add supply of homes as history has shown that additional taxes on principal residences and foreign buyers have failed to be solutions.

Sales in December decreased 15.7 per cent to 6,031 from the record of 7,154 set in December 2020.

Average selling prices increased 24.2 per cent to $1.16 million as new listings decreased 11.9 per cent to 5,174.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 6, 2022.