State of the Real Estate Market: December 2021

Like November 2021, home prices continued to increase year over year, rising an average of 20% in December for regions featured in this report. The year finished with new listing not keeping pace with sales, meaning seller’s markets continue to dominate in Ontario, Alberta, and Manitoba. 
 
In December, we saw familiar trends continue to take shape. For regions featured in this report, only Calgary12 and Edmonton14 saw year-over-year increases in sales. Edmonton sales figures increased 20% year over year and Calgary sales numbers jumped up 45%. However, both regions saw sales numbers drop month over month. In fact, every other region featured in this report saw sales figures drop both year over year and month over month. On average, sales fell 1% year over year and 29% month over month, though month-over-month declines are typical for December with the holiday season 

Moving on to new listings, Calgary, Edmonton, and Niagara10 posted slight increases year over year. Every other region featured in this report saw new listings fall year over year and month over month. On average, new listings fell 4% year over year and 44% month over month. Demand for homes did not let up as supply levels steadily decline; active listings decreased over 30% both month over month and year over year. 
 
Every region featured in this report is in a seller’s market, with most sales-to-new-listings (STNL) ratios increasing month over month. With the exception of Edmonton, all the regions featured now have STNL ratios past 100%, which means there were more sales within the month than new listings coming onto the market; this is what causes months of inventory to decrease. 

Looking at average selling prices, like last month, all regions saw prices increase year over year. Niagara was once again the hot market featured in this report, with prices rising 35% compared to last year. Peel5 and Hamilton9 also posted substantial 33% and 27% price gains, respectively, with the average increase of all average selling prices featured in this report sitting at 20%. Month over month, only Toronto2, Edmonton, and Calgary witnessed modest single-digit price declines of less than 8%.  

A shortage of homes for sale continues to be a driving force in the real estate market. We’ve seen unusually active winter markets demonstrating that this year was far from normal. However, 2022 is here now and the spring season fast approaching.  

Jump to Region

Ontario
Toronto
Peel
Ottawa
Hamilton
Niagara

Alberta
Calgary
Edmonton

Manitoba
Winnipeg

Ontario

Home sales in Ontario were far above the 5-year average and the 10-year average for the month of December. However, sales still fell sharply compared to December 2020. Another new record was hit for the price of a resale home across the province as seller’s markets still run the province. 

The Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) reports 12,989 residential transactions, 14% above the five-year average and 23% above the 10-year average.1 Compared to December 2020, sales fell 12% compared to previous totals and dropped 34% from November 2021. If we continue to sound like a broken record, it’s because this statement remains to be true several months over: there is strong buyer demand forcing downward pressure on supply, creating tight conditions across the province.  

New residential listings totalled 10,523 across the province in December. New listings fell 11% year over year and dropped a substantial 50% month over month. Buyer demand is still very strong, but the lack of inventory is not helping those who are looking to sell their home and then buy another home as well. Selling in a hot market usually means you have to buy in a hot market, which effectively reduces your profits. If sellers don’t have another home lined up, they might hesitate to list.  

Moving on to active listings, this category experienced double-digit declines year over year, falling a significant 50%. The shortage in supply kept the market in the hands of the sellers driving the sales-to-new-listings (STNL) ratio up a whopping 30 percentage points from last month. The STNL ratio now sits at 123%.  
 
Compared to November, the reduced year-over-year supply only slightly affected the months of inventory which measures how long it would take to sell all inventory at the current rate of sales. The months of inventory decreased 14% month over month, coming in at 0.6 for December 2021 compared to November’s 0.7 months of inventory. 
 
Overall, the average price increased by 23% year over year and stayed at par month over month. The average price of a home in Ontario is now sitting at $922,735. Prices will not stop their upward trajectory until supply starts to keep pace with relentless buyer demand.    

Toronto 

Supply conditions were tight across Toronto for most of last year and December 2021 was no exception. The sales-to-new-listings (STNL) ratio increased to 122% from 84% in November 2021, meaning that the volume of home sales substantially outpaced new listings coming onto the market. Expected seasonal decreases occurred in December, with sales, new listings, and average selling prices decreasing month over month. Still, Toronto is firmly planted in a seller’s market as any new listings entering the market continue to be purchased quickly by eager buyers; this is keeping year-over-year average selling prices for all product types up 11% or greater.  

The Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) reports2 3 4:

  • Market: Seller’s Market
  • Sales: 2,395 (down 12% year over year and down 33% month over month)
  • New listings: 1,963 (down 14% year over year and down 54% month over month)
  • Active listings: 1,806 (down 58% year over year and down 46% month over month)
  • Sales-to-new-listings ratio: 122% (previous month was 84%)
  • Average days on market: 19 (down 35% year over year and up 12% month over month)
  • Average detached selling price: $1,698,178 (up 15% year over year and down 6% month over month)
  • Average semi-detached selling price: $1,342,429 (up 16% year over year and down 6% month over month)
  • Average townhouse selling price: $1,252,131 (up 11% year over year and down 2% month over month)
  • Average condo selling price: $730,792 (up 17% year over year and down 2% month over month)
  • All residential average selling price: $1,023,029 (up 14% year over year and down 7% month over month) 

Comments from Chief Market Analyst Jason Mercer: Tight market conditions prevailed throughout the GTA and broader Greater Golden Horseshoe in 2021, with a lack of inventory noted across all home types. The result was intense competition between buyers, pushing selling prices up by double digits year-over-year. Looking forward, the only sustainable way to moderate price growth will be to bring on more supply. ”

Peel  

Peel finished the year with tighter conditions than the month previous, as both new and active listings fell 38% and 49%, respectively. Sales also declined month over month by 28%, but not at the same rate as new listings which caused the sales-to-new-listings (STNL) ratio to climb from an already-tight 95% to a whopping 110%. As a result, the average residential selling price increased 33% year over year and 7% month over month. Peel should remain firmly in a seller’s market until inventory catches up with demand.  

The Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) reports5 6 7:

  • Market: Seller's Market 
  • Sales: 1,236 (down 17% year over year and down 28% month over month)
  • New listings: 1,119 (down 9% year over year and down 38% month over month)
  • Active listings: 381 (down 62% year over year and down 49% month over month)
  • Sales-to-new-listings ratio: 110% (previous month was 95%)
  • Average days on market: 10 (down 47% year over year and at par month over month)
  • Average detached selling price: $1,601,465 (up 33% year over year and up 8% month over month)
  • Average semi-detached selling price: $1,123,463 (up 34% year over year and up 5% month over month)
  • Average townhouse selling price: $1,035,464 (up 34% year over year and up 6% month over month)
  • Average condo selling price: $646,533 (up 27% year over year and up 7% month over month)
  • All residential average selling price: $1,189,424 (up 33% year over year and up 7% month over month) 

Comments from TRREB President Kevin Crigger: “Despite continuing waves of COVID-19, demand for ownership housing sustained a record pace in 2021. Growth in many sectors of the economy supported job creation, especially in positions supporting above-average earnings. Added to this was the fact that borrowing costs remained extremely low. These factors supported not only a continuation in demand for ground-oriented homes, but also a resurgence in the condo segment as well.”  

Ottawa  

December capped a record-breaking year in the Ottawa region, despite seeing a drop in sales month over month, which is typical for the holiday season. What were already tight conditions were made even tighter with the substantial drop in new listings month over month, driving prices up year over year and increasing the sales-to-new-listings (STNL) ratio to 144% in December from 102% in November 2021.  

The Ottawa Real Estate Board (OREB) reports
8: 

  • Market: Seller's Market 
  • Sales: 862 (down 14% year over year and down 41% month over month)
  • New listings: 600 (down 58% month over month)
  • Sales-to-new-listings ratio: 144% (previous month was 102%)
  • Number of condominium-class properties sold: 261 (down 10% year over year and down 30% month over month) 
  • Number of residential-class properties sold: 601 (down 15% year over year and down 45% month over month)
  • Average condo selling price: $399,125 (up 12% year over year and down 8% month over month)
  • Average residential selling price: $709,980 (up 18% year over year and down 1% month over month) 

Comments from OREB President Debra Wright: “December’s resale market performed as it typically does with a marked decrease in sales from November as families turned their attention towards the holiday break. Although slightly above the five-year average, the number of properties exchanging hands was lower than the year before due to the atypical market we experienced in 2020 when peak market activity shifted to later in the year because of the initial spring pandemic lockdown. However, while the market normalized in the latter part of the year, looking at the year-end figures, 2021 was still a record-breaking year.” 

Hamilton-Burlington 

Hamilton-Burlington is another region to beat records to close out the year. December 2021 posted an all-time high for average selling price, but there was not as much sales activity as the highs we saw in the irregular December 2020 market. The sales-to-new-listings (STNL) ratio also skyrocketed to 137% from 103% in November 2021, which means sales continued to outpace new listings coming onto the market. The region continues to be firmly in a seller’s market. 

 The REALTORS® Association of Hamilton-Burlington (RAHB) reports9:

  • Market: Seller's Market 
  • Sales: 811 (down 11% year over year and down 32% month over month) 
  • New listings: 590 (down 6% year over year and down 50% month over month) 
  • Sales-to-new-listings ratio: 137% (previous month was 103%) 
  • Average selling price in Hamilton: $861,695 (up 30% year over year and up 3% month over month)
  • Average selling price in Burlington: $1,221,327 (up 26% year over year and up 4% month over month)
  • Average selling price in Niagara North: $885,693 (up 17% year over year and down 3% month over month)
  • Average selling price in Haldimand County: $766,184 (up 28% year over year and down 12% month over month)
  • All residential average selling price: $931,787 (up 27% year over year and up 2% month over month) 

Comments from RAHB President Lou Piriano: "December 2021 saw a new residential average sale price record to close out the year. The number of properties changing hands in December did not rival the momentum from December 2020, however, we have never seen the months of inventory and active listings available this low before. Generally, most people wait until after the holidays to list their homes, but with approximately 300 residential properties on the market heading into 2022, we are expecting to continue to see tight conditions with such low levels of supply.” 

Niagara   

Both sales and new listings decreased month over month, which is typical for the time of year, though new listings decreased at a greater rate than sales, which further tightens the market. This tightening is demonstrated by the sales-to-new-listings (STNL) ratio in the Niagara region increasing substantially month over month, climbing to 117% in December 2021. On average, benchmark prices are up 35% year over year and 3% month over month for all residential property types, showing buyer demand is still high.  
 
The Niagara Association of REALTORS® (NAR)10:

  • Market: Seller's Market 
  • Sales: 473 (down 15% year over year and down 29% month over month) 
  • New listings: 403 (up 3% year over year and down 46% month over month) 
  • Sales-to-new-listings ratio: 117% (previous month was 89%) 
  • Average days on market: 22 (down 27% year over year and up 22% month over month) 
  • Benchmark price for a home in St. Catharines: $674,200 (up 34% year over year and up 3% month over month) 
  • Benchmark price for a home in Niagara Falls: $663,200 (up 36% year over year and up 2% month over month)
  • Benchmark price for a home in Welland: $599,200 (up 37% year over year and up 5% month over month)
  • Benchmark price for a home in Fort Erie: $593,300 (up 34% year over year and up 2% month over month)
  • Overall benchmark price for a home in the Niagara region: $720,200 (up 35% year over year and up 3% month over month) 

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If you need to sell or buy a home, a local FairSquare Group Realty agent can help you navigate the market safely and with professional insight. FairSquare Group Realty supports Canadians by providing exceptional real estate experiences with incredible rewards: sellers save thousands in commission and buyers receive $2,000 cash back* when they purchase a home with one of our REALTORS®. Call 1-855-999-9740 to learn more. 

Alberta

December home sales increased substantially year over year, contributing to a record year for Alberta. Inventory on the market decreased further month over month which drove the sales-to-new-listings (STNL) ratio up to 116%.  

Looking at 2021, the STNL ratio was 70%, which is the highest it has been since 2006. Many record sales months demonstrate that demand has been high in the province all year, and December was no different. Homes sales increased 27% year over year and fell 21% month over month. However, the month over month decrease is typical as the holiday season approaches. In total, Alberta sales reached a record high of 84,481 units for 2021. To put that in context, in the last five years, sales have averaged around 55,000 units per year.  

Record-high sales were not met with record-high listings. Despite new listings being at par year over year, overall inventory is down 23%, resulting in months of inventory coming in at 2.93 months. This means that it would take just under three months to sell all homes currently on the market, down a whopping 39% compared to the same time last year.11 

Everywhere in the province is affected by strong sales activity and low levels of supply. This has created seller’s market conditions in all areas of the province.   

Like the previous month, average selling prices did not spike or drop considerably in December. Across the province, the average selling price for all home types grew 7% year over year and fell by 2% month over month, now sitting at $420,842.  

Calgary 

December sales were up 45% year over year, which capped a record year for the Calgary region. With new and active listings shrinking 38% and 34%, respectively, from November, and sales only decreasing 18% month over month, the sales-to-new-listings (STNL) ratio increased to a whopping 141% in December, an increase of more than 30 percentage points. Demand for housing is high.  
 
The Calgary Real Estate Board (CREB) reports12 13: 

  • Market:Seller's Market 
  • Sales:1,737 (up 45% year over year and down 18% month over month)
  • New listings:1,230 (up 5% year over year and down 38% month over month)
  • Active listings:2,608 (down 29% year over year and down 34% month over month)
  • Sales-to-new-listings ratio: 141% (previous month was 106%)
  • Average price for a detached home: $587,413 (up 10% year over year and at par month over month)
  • Average price for a semi-detached home: $496,114 (up 10% year over year and down 1% month over month)
  • Average price for a townhouse: $317,282 (up 7% year over year and down 4% month over month)
  • Average price for a condo: $261,785 (up 7% year over year and down 8% month over month)
  • Overall average price for a home: $477,977 (up 7% year over year and down 3% month over month) 

Comments from CREB® Chief Economist Ann-Marie Lurie: “Concerns over inflation and rising lending rates likely created more urgency with buyers over the past few months. However, as is the case in many other cities, the supply has not kept pace with the demand causing strong price growth.” 

Edmonton   

Homes sold in Edmonton increased 20% year over year in December, marking the end to an extremely active real estate market in 2021. The sales-to-new-listings (STNL) ratio increased slightly from 86% to 93% in December, which means more listings were sold than what was replaced with new listings.   Despite inventory decreasing month over month, average selling prices remained essentially at par compared to November. 

The REALTORS® Association of Edmonton (RAE) reports14:

  • Market:Seller's Market
  • Sales:1,319 (up 20% year over year and down 28% month over month) 
  • New listings:1,411 (up 10% year over year and down 34% month over month)
  • Active listings:4,495 (down 14% year over year and down 23% month over month)
  • Sales-to-new-listings ratio: 93% (previous month was 86%)
  • Average days on market: 52(down 10% year over year and up 6% month over month)
  • Average detached selling price: $462,110 (up 8% year over year and up 1% month over month)
  • Average duplex selling price: $362,906 (up 10% year over year and up 4% month over month)
  • Average condo selling price: $217,065 (at par year over year and down 4% month over month)
  • Average residential selling price: $381,868 (up 5% year over year and down 1% month over month) 

Comments from RAE Chair Tom Shearer:  “2021 was an incredible year for the Edmonton real estate market, including a record-breaking month in November. While we saw some substantial changes in the month-to-month activity, the year-over-year stats for residential unit sales and listings in the GEA were significantly higher than December of last year.” 
 
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If you need to sell or buy a home, a local FairSquare Group Realty agent can help you navigate the market safely and with professional insight. FairSquare Group Realty supports Canadians by providing exceptional real estate experiences with incredible rewards: sellers save thousands in commission and buyers receive $2,000 cash back* when they purchase a home with one of our REALTORS®. Call 1-877-888-3131to learn more. 

Manitoba

After back-to-back record-setting months for Winnipeg, December was not able to continue the streak. Sales fell 26% month over month; however, sales figures only dropped 5% from the best performing month of December ever on record in 2020.  

Looking at inventory, new listings were down 16% year over year and down 45% month over month. Active listings were also down significantly year over year and month over month, dropping 27% and 26%, respectively. With sales decreasing at a slower rate than new listings, the tight market conditions drove the sales-to-new-listings (STNL) ratio up to 122% from 91% the previous month. These conditions point to a dominant seller’s market in December, as Winnipeg sellers continued to enjoy elevated year-over-year average selling prices due to prevalent buyer demand.  
 
Average selling prices saw year over year gains, particularly for detached and attached home types, up 12% and 20%, respectively. Condos have been a lesser desired product type since the start of the pandemic as people sought more space while working from home; nevertheless, average selling prices for condos are up a modest 3% year over year. 

The market is still being driven by large investments, the largest percentage of transactions took place in the $500K-$750K range (18%), with the $350K-$400K and $300K-$350K price ranges a close second and third, representing 14% each.  Winnipeg is firmly in a seller’s market as 2022 starts to unfold. 

Winnipeg 

The Winnipeg Regional Real Estate Board (WRREB) reports15 16: 

  • Market:Seller's Market    
  • Sales:926 (down 5% year over year and down 26% month over month)
  • New listings:757 (down 16% year over year and down 45% month over month)
  • Active listings: 1,676 (down 27% year over year and down 26% month over month)
  • Sales-to-new-listings ratio:122% (previous month was 91%)
  • Average detached selling price: $382,317 (up 12% year over year and down 1% month over month)
  • Average townhouse selling price: $340,816 (up 20% year over year and up 2% month over month)
  • Average condo selling price: $243,058 (up 3% year over year and at par month over month) 

Comments from WRREB President Kourosh Doustshenas: “For all the supply shortages we reported at the end of each month, the 23,093 MLS® listings entered in 2021 were down less than 2% from 2020. Demand clearly overwhelmed supply to create seller’s market conditions and many instances where desirable neighbourhoods throughout our regional market were left with few listings remaining at month end.” 

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If you need to sell or buy a home, a local FairSquare Group Realty agent can help you navigate the market safely and with professional insight. FairSquare Group Realty supports Canadians by providing exceptional real estate experiences with incredible rewards: sellers save thousands in commission and buyers receive $2,000 cash back* when they purchase a home with one of our REALTORS®. Call 1-855-953-9533to learn more. 

†The Canadian Real Estate Association calculates benchmark prices using the MLS® Home Price Index (HPI), which uses data from a region to define a “typical” home. Benchmark prices can reflect the changes to a region’s property value far more accurately than average or median prices. *Statistics presented herein are rounded to the nearest whole number for readability. Exact statistics can be found using the references provided.

On December 1, 2021, Purplebricks rebranded to FairSquare Group Realty. Blog articles published before this date were created under the Purplebricks brand but remain the property of FairSquare Group Realty.

In January 2019, ComFree Commonsense Network Brokerage rebranded to Purplebricks.