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A Strong Close to Ontario’s Real Estate Market Activity in 2020

By February 5, 2021May 13th, 2022Market Insight Report, Real Estate Solutions

Analysts usually anticipate a ‘cold market’ in December as activity slows down due to cold weather and holiday celebrations.

Though, in the last two years, we have seen positive year-over-year growth in this month.

In December 2020, the residential mortgage registration volume was 48,114. While there has been a month-over-month decline in mortgage registrations since October 2020, the volume reported in December 2020 was still higher than that seen in 2018 and 2019.

Additionally, we have seen a strong finish to the year when it comes to the total volume of mortgage registrations and the total dollar value of mortgages.

These numbers are higher than those recorded in 2018 and 2019. In fact, the total dollar value of mortgages ($271.6 billion) has even surpassed the previous high ($255.1 billion) recorded in 2017.

This increase can be attributed to two things:

  • More mortgages registered in September and October.
  • A steady increase in average house prices across Ontario.

Some other key observations for the month of December include:

I. The municipalities with the top 10 highest registration volumes experienced an increase of at least 10% from December 2019 with Caledon documenting the most significant year-over-year rise of 63.9%.

II. The majority of lender categories experienced a positive year-over-year change in mortgage registrations. Trust Companies and Monoline Lenders experienced the most significant year-over-year mortgage registration increases which were 37.8% and 30.4% respectively.

III. All property types experienced a positive year-over-year change when it comes to mortgage registrations; with the ‘Row’ property type witnessing the sharpest increase.

IV. The sales registration volume in December was also higher than that recorded in the past two years. This volume of 25,558 represents a year-over-year increase of 15.56%.

The latest numbers from December 2020 show that despite a global pandemic, Canada’s real estate market has proven to be quite resilient.

Despite assumptions at the beginning of the pandemic, the 2020 mortgage registration volumes and total dollar value of mortgages outperformed the totals seen in both 2018 and 2019. Not only that but the volume of sales registrations, for first-time homebuyers, in 2020, surpassed that of any year going back to 2012!

While the 2020 close was better than expected, we are keen to see what the impact of vaccine roll-outs, additional travel restrictions, and stay at home order will be on real estate activity in Ontario.

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