TORONTO - Re/Max says a record number of Toronto homes priced over $3 million were sold last year, even amid the economic downturn during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The brokerage says real estate agents sold 1,062 Toronto homes over $3 million in 2020, up 55.7 per cent from the 682 sold in 2019.

Re/Max executive Christopher Alexander says spiking sales of high-end homes in the greater Toronto regions of Halton, Peel and York drove the record-setting market, as even luxury buyers tried to stretch their price-per-square-foot and take advantage of low interest rates.

Alexander says Canadians led the buying spree of Toronto's multimillion-dollar homes, as the COVID-19 pandemic limited international homebuying.

At an annual breakfast hosted virtually by the Economic Club of Canada today, CIBC Chief Economist Avery Shenfeld said that the strong appreciation of high-end homes in Toronto could make it harder for middle-income homeowners to trade up.

Re/Max's report comes after yesterday's news from the Toronto Real Estate Board, which found that Toronto average home prices hit a new high of $929,699 in 2020.