Home sales in the Greater Toronto Area were historically high in May 2021, but fell short of the 2016 record and were below this year's March peak. Despite a slight ebb in sales over the last two months, market conditions remained tight enough to push the average selling price to an all-time record in May.
There has been strong demand for ownership housing in all parts of the GTA for both houses and condominium apartments. This was fueled by confidence in economic recovery and low borrowing costs. However, in the absence of a normal pace of population growth, we saw a pullback in sales over the past two months relative to the March peak.
This means that people actively looking to purchase a home continue to face a lot of competition from other buyers, which results in very strong upward pressure on selling prices. This competition is becoming more widespread with tighter market conditions in the condominium apartment segment as well.
The housing supply shortage in southern Ontario has been well documented. Policymakers at all levels have acknowledged that supply is an issue. It is important to understand that dealing with this issue will be important not only for ensuring long-term housing affordability, but also the economic competitiveness of the Greater Golden Horseshoe. People and businesses are more likely to locate in regions that have an ample supply of affordable homeownership and rental options.