2020 was a year that saw unprecedented changes in the way we live and our society functions. While lockdowns and travel restrictions slowed world markets and many sectors of the Canadian economy experienced declines over the past 8 months, many people have been left uncertain of what financial hardships tomorrow may bring. The historically strong Canadian Real Estate Market even seemed to have taken a hit, with rent prices and condominium sale prices dropping drastically in major cities such as Toronto, Vancouver, and Edmonton. However, one area of the market that remained strong and provided a glimmer of hope during these dark times, was the single-family residential housing market. In fact, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association homes sales activity increased a staggering 32.1% in 2020, and the MLS Home Price Index showed an increase of 11.6%. These numbers reflect a market which is running at historically strong levels, and despite the declines seen in other areas, the single-family homes in major cities seem to be flying off the market - at record prices.
Toronto in particular has been regarded one of the hottest real estate markets in not only Canada, but the entire world. While, like many other major cities, they have seen a drop in condominium transactions and rental prices, the single-family home market is as strong as ever. The Toronto Regional Real Estate Board released numbers earlier this month showing 8,766 residential property sales took place in the month of November 2020 - a 24.3% increase from November 2019. Prices in the city followed suit as well, showing a total increase of 13.3% from the previous year. The biggest increase in sales came from semi-detached homes, and the increase in price is attributed the rising overall price of detached homes.
but even with so many new homes being built, it is hardly enough to satisfy the level of demand -
The increases in sales activity and price for single-family homes are a result of higher immigration numbers driving up demand, coupled with the fact that, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, more people are opting out of living in more densely populated apartments and condominiums in an effort to isolate themselves and avoid contracting the illness. Along with the increase in activity and prices, there has also been a steady increase in residential construction projects in the city, as well as the surrounding areas of the Greater Toronto Area. Construction companies have been undertaking a plethora of projects, from large-scale subdivision developments, to townhouse constructions and even high-end luxury homes, but even with so many new homes being built, it is hardly enough to satisfy the level of demand - which continues to rise.
While there has been a difference in the number of homes being built, there has also been a change in the construction styles and architecture of these homes. Many immigrants arriving from other parts of the world have brought with them the designs and aesthetic tastes of their culture, which is reflected in many of the breathtaking and innovative custom homes found across Toronto. Renowned architects such as Lorne Rose and Hariri Pontarini Architects have drawn the blueprints for numerous architectural masterpieces. Brought to life alongside experienced builders such as Danieli Developments , JTF Homes and Haimish Developments, these masterpieces are a testament to the multiculturalism and unique landscape of the one-of-a-kind city. The latter, Haimish Developments has been around since 2006 and its managers and principals have become well acquainted with the real estate market in the Greater Toronto Area, having built everything from Townhouses to high-end luxury custom homes.
According to the management team of Haimish Developments, we are now seeing the true resilience of the Canadian Economy - mainly its historically stable Real Estate Market. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has exposed many flaws in the infrastructure of countries all over the world, and has been a stark reminder of the importance of having a strong and efficient health care system. As the number of infections around the world continues to rise, Canada has been much more effective in responding to and containing the virus than other first world countries such as the U.S. or the U.K., and Canada’s Universal Healthcare system allowed it to provide much needed medical support to all of its citizens. Even the most densely populated metropolitan cities such as Toronto and Vancouver, have had far lower infection rates and deaths when compared to other major cities around the world.
Now, as the newly-approved COVID-19 vaccines are being bought in large quantities by wealthier nations, Canada has also been one of the world’s leading purchasers of the vaccines and along with one the first to begin administering doses to its citizens. This has further added to Canada’s long-standing appeal to new immigrants, as it helps to further portray the image of a country that is stable on all fronts - even when faced with the most extreme unforeseen circumstances.
With a steadily-rising population, strong immigration numbers, high standard of living, and a continuously positive image on the global stage, Canada’s real estate market continues to remain strong and stable, while other countries face record-lows. Although many sectors of the economy and even some areas of real estate have declined, the single-family residential home market is stronger than ever and the country continues to see overall growth in both sales activity and prices for homes in all of its major cities. What the future holds in-store is unsure, however one can be almost certain that the Canadian real estate market will weather the storm.