By October 2021, Cheryl Graff will have been a realtor for 40 years.

Over that time, the Harvey Kalles Real Estate agent has had her finger on the pulse of the Toronto market and has ridden the waves as it has gone up and down over the years. Her experience has given her the confidence to know enough about Toronto’s market to have a strong sense which way it’s going to go.

Which is exactly why we asked her to answer this week’s question.

What will average home prices be in Toronto in 2021?

First, I will say that every brokerage interprets their statistics, when calculating the average home price, a little differently. If you look at the Canadian Real Estate Association, which consists of all the different provincial real estate boards, they are saying there will be a 9.1% jump in home prices and Ontario will lead the way with a 16.3 percent jump.

The current trends and outlook for the housing market suggests activity will remain extremely healthy throughout 2021 with prices either continuing to climb or remaining steady through many of the areas of the province, including Toronto.

We know the mortgage rates will remain low, not for a couple of months, but a couple of years, so people feel very comfortable knowing they will be able to get financing. Plus, the provincial government has eased up on the stress test. They lowered that a little bit to make it easier for people to get and qualify for a mortgage.

In Toronto, even though there aren't anymore public open houses during COVID-19 that would bring people in, over this past weekend -- in our company alone -- there were 104 showings. People must be very carful when they read what’s up and what’s down. People read down and they automatically think sales and prices are down -- that’s not it. The showings are down because of COVID, but people are just looking very carefully on MLS. They really scrutinize each listing and with all the photos and 3D tours available, they can really look at every nook and cranny, so they’re being very selective about what they’re willing to see in person. Before COVID, they’d just say, “Add that to the list of showings,” but now they’re not doing that. They’re really picking and choosing and when they go out, these people are qualified, and they want to buy. They’re not wasting a realtor’s time. If you’re a realtor with a good buyer, you’re going to make a sale.

READ: From National Trends to Toronto Prices: 14 Real Estate Forecasts for 2021

Sales are up. The units and the dollar volume are also up. The market is very resilient, and I feel the rise in prices and sales is going to continue due to low interest rates.

Toronto’s condo market in the downtown core has been hit hard, but it’s going to come back post-COVID with the increase of immigration into the marketplace. People still want to be close to where they work and entertainment like theatres and restaurants. There’s also going to be a lot of “move over buyers” from other cities and provinces, which will continue to spark market activity into 2021. These “move over buyers” are the people who feel they need more space because they’re working from home due to COVID-19. This is what will push the market. It’s going to be a seller’s market and the luxury market is being driven by those “move over buyers” as well. Plus, once the borders are opened again, it may take a few months, but immigration into Canada will start increasing.

Some people may say that Toronto home prices will decrease in 2021 because there won’t be as many people coming into the country, but I don’t think that will have as big an effect because I think the people who live here locally are looking to move up and that’s what’s really driving the market.

But no matter who you speak to, whatever happens over the next few years, the long-term outlook for Toronto -- and Canada’s overall -- housing market is good. I think homeowners will see financial gains.

This interview has been adjusted for both clarity and length.

Please note: The opinions in this article are those of the interviewee and not those of Toronto Storeys. When considering real estate advice speak with your own agent and lawyer.

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