The Greater Toronto Area housing market is on the rise and appears to have emerged from the slump it has been experiencing since last April when the Ontario Fair Housing Plan came into effectand the bank regulator tightened lending rules.
“Home buyers are starting to move back into the market, with sales trending up from last year’s lows. Market conditions appear to be tightening, with sales accounting for a greater share of listings, as new listings have dropped compared to last year,” says Garry Bhaura, the new president at the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB).
Sales are up 2.4 per cent this June year-over-year. TREB reports 8,082 transactions this June compared with 7,893 last year. This is also the the first increase in sales seen so far in 2018 — on a month-to-month basis, sales are up 17.6 per cent from May 2018.
Prices are also up, by almost the same degree, 2 per cent,to $807,871.
Toronto appears to be bucking the trend of some other major urban centres in Canada. Vancouver real estate and Edmonton real estate, for example, both declined 3.9 per cent this June to about $1.3 million and $378,000, respectively, according to each city’s real estate board. Compared to some other cities in Ontario, however, Toronto’s growth is a bit slow. Prices of Ottawa homes for sale, for example, increased 3.4 per cent from last year to reach nearly $450,000, or 1 percentage point faster than Toronto.
Expensive detached houses are the only market segment still experiencing a price decline, but even that is slight, at just 1.9 per cent. The average price for a detached home in the GTA is about $1,033,600. All other property types have grown in price. As has been the case all year, condo prices are growing the fastest. Prices are up 7.9 per cent to about $561,000.
Properties are still selling a bit slower than last year, but faster than they have so far in 2018. Houses are spending an average of 21 days on market, compared to last years 15.
TREB expects this hot streak to continue.
“The expectation is to see improvement in sales over the next year. Over the same period, however, it is likely that issues surrounding the supply of listings will persist. This suggests that competition between buyers could increase, exerting increased upward pressure on home price,” says Jason Mercer, director of market analysis for TREB.
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