2021 is likely to be long remembered for its extraordinary year in real estate with record-breaking sales and price gains of more than 20 percent. It was largely due to the low inventory of homes.
The Canadian Real Estate Association notes that there were just 1.8 months of inventory on a national basis in late November 2021, tied with March of 2021 for the lowest ever level recorded. The quieter months this past year weren’t due to decreased demand but because there weren’t as many homes for sale.
The hottest markets are where there are significantly more buyers than there are properties to buy, with these cities continuing that trend.
Vancouver, British Columbia
British Columbia’s largest city continues to be the top market to watch. In Metro Vancouver, single detached homes increased more than 20 percent in 2021, with the average price as of December at $1.87 million. The top-selling neighborhoods have been Mount Pleasant, Kitsilano, and Fairview due to their highly desirable locations.
Prices continue to rise with inventory plummeting even more at the end of last year with nearly a 36 percent decrease as compared to December 2020. While a hike in interest rates may eventually ease the demand, increasing population and economic recovery are expected to continue to motivate buyers and boost prices.
As CBC News reports, the skyrocketing prices in Vancouver are affecting other areas nearby, with values in 2021 increasing 45 percent in Hope from $428,000 to $620,000. There were increases of more than 30 percent in Delta, Surrey, and Coquitlam.
In the Greater Toronto Area, the average price of detached and semi-detached homes and townhouses increased by over 20 percent, with the average price hitting $1.8 million in the 416 area code. The suburban areas rose by 33 percent, according to data from the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board.
Like Vancouver, real estate in Toronto did experience a modest slow down in activity at several points in 2021, but selling prices remained very high as it was due to the lack of inventory. While the pace of price growth may moderate in the coming months, home prices are likely to continue this upward trend.
Toronto’s most popular neighborhoods are Playter Estates-Danforth, Rustic, Greenwood-Coxwell, Clairlea-Birchmount, and North Riverdale.
Alberta’s fourth city to surpass a population of 100,000, Lethbridge may not be as well known as Calgary or Edmonton, but it’s the hottest real estate market in the province. Much of that is credited to its proximity to the Canadian Rockies while being just a two-hour drive from Calgary. It’s the type of lifestyle buyers in the current market have been seeking, along with more affordability outside of a major urban center.
Property rentals in Lethbridge are on average are just over 11 percent cheaper than in Edmonton, while the median listed home price is $315,500. On a national basis, the average home price is now at nearly $721,000.
The real estate market in Lethbridge will only get hotter, most experts predict, as there are few cities of similar size that are close to the border, the mountains, and home to post-secondary institutions.