by Nutan Brown
on Wednesday, December 30th, 2020 at 9:20am.
The 2020 Toronto housing market has been anything but ordinary. What was originally predicted to be a record breaking year for real estate turned into a year full of uncertainty due to COVID19.
Here’s a look at the how the Toronto real estate market changed this year as a result of the pandemic, and what we can expect moving forward.
Adjusting to COVID
Before the pandemic hit in mid-March, the Toronto housing market was on pace for its best year yet. But as the province shut down everything came to a halt, leaving many to wonder how the real estate market would adapt.
The Toronto Real Estate Board urged its members not to hold open houses. As a result, Realtors rapidly ramped up technology to allow virtual showings. People were only allowed to view homes in-person by appointment, with plenty of sanitation measures in place to keep everyone safe.
While the sanitation standards may disappear once the pandemic is over, experts say the digital way of doing business will likely remain the new norm in real estate transactions.
Moving to the Suburbs
As businesses began to close down and people started spending more time indoors, the demand for space both inside and outside increased. Realtors saw interest climbing not only in the GTA but also farther away in cottage country. Single family dwellings were particularly popular in 2020, as families repurposed their homes to become their office, school classroom and gym during the pandemic.
According to a new Royal LePage report, the value of single-family houses and homes outside of major urban markets are forecast to continue to outpace city core condominiums in the year ahead, driven both by Canadians seeking larger homes in a time where remote work has become more commonplace, and broad-based demographic trends, including baby-boomer retirement.
Weakened Condo Market
The condo market took a hit as a result of the increased popularity for detached homes in 2020 as well. New regulations caused by the pandemic were a turn off for home buyers in many of Toronto's high rise buildings.
But as the COVID-19 vaccine is rolled out and more people head back to the office, experts believe the condo market will rebound. Once the pandemic is over and the city is back to normal condo sales are expected to shoot back up.