Home prices across the GTA may have shot up exponentially during the pandemic, but it’s not just the past few years of growth that have made them widely unaffordable.
A new report from RE/MAX took a look at the historical growth of GTA home prices and found a shocking 453% increase in the average home price over the past 25 years.
Between 1996 and 2021, more than two million homes were sold across the GTA, totalling over $1.1 trillion in sales. Back in 1996, the average home price was a mere $191,150. But by 2021, the average price jumped to a staggering $1,095,475 — a compound annual growth rate of 7.08%.
As for where prices grew the most, York Region takes home the top spot with an 874% increase, going from an average of $132,444 in 1996 to $1,291,217 in 2021. Durham Region followed in second, with prices going from $152,353 to $925,710 — a 507.6% jump.
As home prices soared, salaries have not kept pace. According to Statistics Canada’s 1996 census data, the average income in Ontario was $27,311. In 2019 — the most recently available data — the average income in Ontario was $49,500 — a roughly 181% increase.
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Sales have skyrocketed right alongside prices, the RE/MAX report says, going up 118% over the past quarter-century. Dufferin County handily saw the biggest jump in sales, increasing from just 59 in 1996 to 722 in 2021 — a 1,123% bump. Halton region followed with a 463% jump in sales, and Toronto Central with a 169.2% increase.
New construction has been a significant factor in sales, the report says, particularly in Halton, Durham, Peel, and York.
“Over the years, the 905 communities offered affordable alternatives to those looking to purchase freehold properties,” the report reads. “Starter homes on smaller lots attracted many first-time buyers in locations to the west, north and east of the 416 area code, supported by the new and proposed expansion of GO train service and another 400-series highway servicing the GTA’s northeast/west corridor. The movement brought new life into older communities, forever changing the make-up of cities such as Milton, Whitby, Clarington, East Gwillimbury and Innisfil.”