The Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) has released their monthly figures for resale homes in the Greater Toronto Area, showing a resurgence in the housing market's strength. Most notably, sales and price increases on a year-over-year basis were recorded in August, with 6,839 sales marking an 8.5% increase over August 2017’s figures and the average selling price climbing 4.7% year-over-year to $765,270.
A statement from TREB President Garry Bhaura included in the release states “It is encouraging to see a continued resurgence in the demand for ownership housing. Many home buyers who had initially moved to the sidelines due to the Ontario Fair Housing Plan and new mortgage lending guidelines have renewed their search for a home and are getting deals done much more so than last year. In a region where the economy remains strong and the population continues to grow, ownership housing remains a solid long-term investment.”
The strongest price growth was recorded in the detached home market, with prices rising 1.2% year-over-year, reaching a staggering $977,187. The 3,001 detached home sales recorded GTA-wide represents a 17.7% increase over the previous August. Month-over-month sales in August were up 2% from July, while the seasonally-adjusted August 2018 average selling price dropped slightly by 0.2% as a side effect of strong monthly gains recorded in May through July.
“Market conditions in the summer of 2018, including this past August, were tighter than what was experienced in the summer of 2017. In August, the annual rate of sales growth outpaced the annual rate of new listings growth. We only have slightly more than two-and-a-half months of inventory in the TREB market area as a whole and less than two months of inventory in the City of Toronto," stated Jason Mercer, TREB’s Director of Market Analysis. "This means that despite the fact the sales remain off the record highs from 2016 and 2017, many GTA neighbourhoods continue to suffer from a lack of inventory. This could present a problem if demand continues to accelerate over the next year, which is expected.”
TREB attributes price growth to an increasingly undersupplied housing market, and aims to highlight the shortage as a voter issue in advance of upcoming elections for GTA municipalities with a newly-launched website: UnLockMyHousingOptions.ca.
“One of the key issues facing home buyers and renters in the GTA is inadequate housing supply and choice, and one of the main reasons for this is municipal policy that unnecessarily locks up housing options. Whether it is approval delays, inflexible and outdated zoning rules, or market distorting taxes like Toronto’s Land Transfer Tax, current municipal policies are a big part of the reason why there is not enough gentle density housing, like semis, row homes, and multiplexes, in the GTA. This ‘missing middle’ option is critical for a healthy real estate market and we are encouraging home buyers and renters to let municipal election candidates know their views through our new election campaign web site: UnLockMyHousingOptions.ca,” stated TREB President Garry Bhaura.
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