GTA real estate market remains strong despite ongoing pandemic

by | Mar 29, 2021 | News

The Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) Market Watch release February, 2021, reported a 52.5 per cent increase in sales of residential units compared to the same period last year.

Greater Toronto Area (GTA) realtors say there have been an unprecedented rise in the sales within the area as the average sale price of a property has increased by 15 per cent and the number of sales has increased by 51 per cent over the past year.

Sue Vine, a broker with Royal LePage Signature Realty in Sampson Mews in Toronto, said the property market is hot despite the coronavirus crisis and the key reasons are a significant shortage of supply throughout the GTA, multiple bidding wars and very low interest rates.

“The prices are skyrocketing despite the coronavirus crisis,” Vine said. “My advice to the first time home buyers is to get into home ownership instead of renting. It is the best investment you will make.

“As there is a huge shortage of inventory, I would also highly recommend the sellers to sell right now to earn a top dollar on their property,” she said.

This pic shows a hanging before a house which is sold. Properties are being bought and sold despite the ongoing pandemic. Real estate is a good investment.

Properties are being bought and sold despite the ongoing pandemic. Real estate is a good investment at the moment as the demand for houses is greater than the supply. Photo credit: Flickr & Marcel Suliman

Sylvia Smith, a realtor with RE/MAX West Realty Inc. in Vaughan, Ont., said the market is even hotter outside Toronto area. Barrie has seen a 30 per cent price rise since 2020 while Toronto and the GTA prices grew by about 15 per cent.

“The reason the residential real estate market is doing so well now is because of the low interest and mortgage rates and, most importantly, the pandemic has made people realize that the home is so much more important than they ever thought it was,” Smith said.

“The demand for property is insane, even a lot of the Millennials are getting into the market to buy a property with three, four bedrooms, a backyard and a garage, as compared to renting a condo downtown,” she said.

Ankit Gulati, a broker with Royal LePage Signature Realty in Mississauga, Ont., said the market is on fire with bidding wars and multiple offers being submitted on low rise properties.

The average price of all home types is now more than $1 million in the GTA alone, Gulati said. While low interest rates pay a role, there is another reason for higher demand.

“Another reason is vaccine roll out and the federal government’s announcement to bring four million new immigrants to Canada this year out of which approximately half of them will be coming to GTA,” he said.

“This is a hot market to take advantage of high prices and pulling out some equity. If you are looking to move out into the suburbs this is a good time to make that switch and sell high within the city and buy low in the outskirts of the city,” Gulati said.

He said investors with multiple properties should consider liquidating some properties now by selling high while keeping an eye out for distress sales like bank foreclosures and power of sales.

Ivan Kalinin, a realtor with Key Toronto Real Estate Group in Toronto, said the coronavirus did not affect the market in a negative way. It only showed the demand for housing in the city outweighs the supply.

He said the market is way up and is driven mostly by domestic buyers.

“The current situation is a seller’s market and there is a tremendous demand for properties now. Sellers of freehold properties like detached and semi detached homes would benefit from selling their properties now,” Kalinin said.

Cynthia Ostos, a broker with Cloud realty Brokerage in Mississauga said people have a positive outlook on the housing market as it is a stable place to invest in.

“The reasons more people are investing in real estate is because of low interest, people wanting to move or upgrade, stay-at-home orders and flexibility to work remotely,” Ostos said.

“The stock market went down during the coronavirus pandemic,” she said. “If people invested in real estate instead of stocks they would be laughing right now.”