2021 was a banner year for Toronto's housing market.

Data from the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) released on Thursday show home sales in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) hit an all-time high of 121,712 last year, up 7.7 per cent from the previous record of 113,040 set in 2016. It also marked a 28 per cent increase compared to 2020 sales numbers.

TRREB pointed out there was a resurgence of sales activity in the City of Toronto compared to the suburbs last year. The increase in sales was led by a rebound in demand for urban condos.

The flurry of housing activity came amid an ongoing slowdown in the number of houses available for sale – in 2021, new listings only rose 6.2 per cent.

The tight market conditions helped push the average selling price of a residential property in the GTA in 2021 up by 17.8 per cent year-over-year to $1,095,475, a figure that may exacerbate concerns about Canada’s housing affordability crisis.

“Looking forward, the only sustainable way to moderate price growth will be to bring on more supply,” Jason Mercer, chief market analyst for TRREB, said in a release. 

“History has shown that demand-side policies, such as additional taxation on principal residences, foreign buyers, and small-scale investors, have not been sustainable long-term solutions to housing affordability or supply constraints.”

For December, the GTA market showed signs of a slowdown as active listings plummeted by 59 per cent to 3,232.

Sales fell nearly 16 per cent in December compared to the same month in 2020 with 6,031 homes changing hands. All property segments in both the city and suburbs posted sales declines. The average selling price of a home in the GTA in December jumped 24.2 per cent to $1,157,849.