Spring Market Capped Off With Strong June
July 6, 2016 - Toronto Real Estate Board President Larry Cerqua announced that Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 12,794 residential transactions through TREB's MLS® System in June 2016. This result was 7.5 % hi
gher than the 11,905 sales reported in June 2015. In line with the prevailing trend so far this year, the number of new listings was down by 3.8 %.
"As I start my term as TREB President, we are certainly in an interesting environment for ownership housing. There is no doubt that demand is at a record level, but would-be home buyers continue to face an uphill battle against a constrained supply of listings, which has perpetuated strong price growth. Buyers and sellers alike continue to benefit from the value a REALTOR® brings to a transaction," said Mr. Cerqua.
"As the federal, provincial and local levels of government discuss housing policy in the coming months, issues affecting the lack of supply in the GTA should be of paramount importance. TREB will be undertaking, and making public, results of additional research in the second half of 2016, with the goal of proactively adding to the housing policy discussion," added Mr. Cerqua.
The MLS® Home Price Index Composite Benchmark was up by 16 % on a year- overyear basis. The average selling price for all home types combined was up by a slightly higher annual rate of 16.8 % to $746,546. The single-detached, semi- detached and townhouse market segments led the way in terms of price growth.
"When TREB surveyed consumer intentions for 2016, we found that the majority of GTA households who were likely to purchase a home continued to be pointed towards some form of ground oriented housing. This is why we continue to see strong competition between buyers in many neighbourhoods where supply remains constrained," said Jason Mercer, TREB's Director of Market Analysis.
Strong Sales growth Continues In May
June 3, 2016 – There were 12,870 home sales reported through TREB’s MLS® System in May 2016. This result represented a new record for the month of May and a 10.6 % increase over the same period last year.
In contrast, the number of new listings was down over the same time frame by 6.4 %. The decline in listings was experienced in both the low-rise and condominium apartment market segments.
“Whether we’re talking about existing homeowners or people looking to purchase for the first time, there is no shortage of buyers in the marketplace today. So, while the record number of home sales through the first five months of 2016 is not necessarily surprising, it does sometimes mask the larger story in the GTA: the shortage of listings, which has resulted in strong upward pressure on home prices,” said Mr. McLean.
The MLS® Home Price Index Composite Benchmark was up by 15 % year-overyear in May 2016. Similarly, the average selling price for all home types combined was up by 15.7 % over the same period. Low-rise home types, which remained in short supply in many GTA neighbourhoods, experienced the strongest price growth. “Widespread competition between buyers of singles, semis and townhouses across the GTA has underpinned the robust annual rates of price growth experienced so far this year. With this said, however, it is also important to understand that tighter market conditions for condominium apartments have resulted in price growth well above the rate of inflation in this market segment as well,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Director of Market Analysis.
Record February Sales - Up by 21.1% Compared to February 2015, With Average Selling Price Up By 14.9% Annually
March 3, 2016 - Toronto Real Estate Board President Mark McLean announced Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported a record number of home sales through TREB's MLS® System in February 2016. There were 7,621 transactions reported this past February – up 21.1 % compared to February 2015.
The number of new listings entered into TREB's MLS® System was also up on a year-over-year basis, but by a lesser 8.2 %. The fact that the annual rate of sales growth outstripped the annual rate of new listings growth shows a tightening of market conditions compared to last year.
"Even after accounting for the leap year day, sales were above the previous record for February set back in 2010. Sales were up strongly from the 15th day of the month onward as well, despite the new federal mortgage lending guidelines coming into effect that require at least a 10 % down payment on the portion of purchase prices between $500,000 and $1,000,000," said Mr. McLean.
Seller's market conditions continued throughout the GTA in February. Strong competition between buyers resulted in a healthy growth in selling prices. The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) Composite Benchmark was up by 11.3 % year-overyear. The average selling price was up by 14.9 % annually to $685,278.
"Recent polling conducted for TREB by Ipsos suggested that GTA households will remain upbeat about purchasing a home in 2016. Early sales results for January and February certainly support this view. With strong sales up against a constrained supply of listings, home prices continued to trend strongly upward," said Jason Mercer, TREB's Director of Market Analysis.
Strong start to 2016, Average Selling Price up by 14.1%
February 3, 2016 - Toronto Real Estate Board President announced Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 4,672 residential transactions through TREB's MLS® System in January 2016. This result represented an 8.2 % increase compared to January 2015. It is clear that the handoff from 2015 to 2016 was a strong one. This is not surprising given that recent polling conducted for TREB by Ipsos suggested 12 % of GTA households were seriously considering the purchase of a home in 2016. Buying intentions are strong for this year as households continue to see home ownership as an affordable long-term investment.
The MLS® Home Price Index Composite Benchmark Price for January 2016 was up by 10.7 % on a year-over-year basis. The average selling price over the same period was up by 14.1 %.
The difference in the annual growth rates for the MLS® HPI and average price was largely due to a greater share of high-end detached homes sold in the regions surrounding the City of Toronto this year compared to last. The MLS® HPI removes the impact of shifts in the share of different property types sold from one year to the next. "Market conditions in January were tighter compared to a year earlier, with an annual increase in sales up against a decline in listings. This is why growth in the MLS® HPI benchmarks continued to be strong, especially for singles, semis and townhouses, where there has been a persistent lack of inventory," said TREB's Director of Market Analysis.
Condo Market Tightened in Q4 2015; Average Selling Price Up By 4.1% To $382,079
January 27, 2016 -Toronto Real Estate Board President announced that Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 5,595 condominium apartment sales through TREB's MLS® System during the fourth quarter of 2015. This result wa
s up by 12.6 %compared to the same period in 2014.
Over the same pe riod of time, the number of new condominium apartment listings entered into TREB's MLS® System was also up, but by a substantially lower annual rate compared to sales, at 3.3 %. The result was tighter market conditions compared to a year earlier. The condominium apartment segment is integral to the overall housing market in the Greater Toronto Area. Over the past decade, the trend has been to increasingly build up due to provincial land use policies. As new projects have completed, a number of investor-held units have been listed for sale on TREB's MLS® System. These units have been absorbed quite rapidly, with enough demand relative to supply to prompt continued price growth.
The average selling price for condominium apartments in the fourth quarter was up by 4.1 % year over year to $382,070. Throughout the fourth quarter, the MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) Apartment Benchmark Price was up by between 4 % to 6 % on an annual basis. "First-time buyers account for approximately half of all buyers in the GTA and even more so in the City of Toronto. Condominium apartments represent an important entry point into home ownership for a lot of households. This is a key reason why we experienced continued growth in sales for this home type over the past year," said TREB's Director of Market Analysis.
Federal Government Announces Change to Minimum Down Payment Rules
December 11, 2015 - Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced changes to the rules for government-backed mortgage insurance. Effective February 15, 2016, the minimum down payment for new insured mortgages will increase from 5 % to 10% for the portion of the house price above $500,000.
The 5 % t minimum down payment for properties up to $500,000 remains unchanged.
For example, on a $625,000 property (2015 average GTA price), Buyers will now require a minimum of 6% down, an additional $6,250.
- The minimum down payment will increase gradually with the price of a house, varying from 5 per cent for homes priced at or below $500,000 to 7.5 per cent just below $1 million. Properties priced at $1 million and higher will continue to require a minimum down payment of 20 per cent. For example, a person buying a $600,000 property would be required to pay a down payment of 5 per cent on the first $500,000 and 10 per cent on the remaining $100,000, resulting in a total minimum down payment of $35,000, or 5.8 per cent of the total purchase price.
- The announced measure will take effect on February 15, 2016 and apply to new mortgage loan applications received on February 15, 2016 or later. Any mortgage insurance application received between December 11, 2015 and before February 15, 2016 that does not conform to the measures announced today must have a mortgage in place by July 1, 2016.
- This measure applies only to new insured mortgage loans. Homeowners with an existing insured mortgage or those renewing existing insured mortgages will not be affected by this policy change as mortgage insurance is good for the life of any existing insured mortgage.
- The issue of an increase to minimum down payments is something CREA has effectively and successfully fought against since 2011. CREA has communicated concerns with today’s announcement to the government and will continue to advocate on this issue.
More information is available at the Department of Finance website: News Release: http://www.fin.gc.ca/n15/15-088-eng.asp ; Frequently Asked Questions: http://www.fin.gc.ca/afc/faq/hdpmeh-mfperpc-eng.asp
RECORD SALES IN NOVEMBER 2015
December 3, 2015 - Toronto Real Estate Board President announced that Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 7,385 home sales through TREB's MLS® System in November 2015 – up by 14 % compared to November 2014. This result also represented the best result on record for the month of November. Sales through the first eleven months of 2015 amounted to 96,401.
"Not only did we see a record sales result for November, but with one month left to go in 2015, we have already set a new calendar year record for home sales in the TREB market area, eclipsing the previous record set in 2007. Sales were up on a year-over-year basis for all major home types, both in the City of Toronto and surrounding regions. This suggests that the demand for ownership housing is widespread, from first-time buyers to long-time homeowners across the GTA," he said.
The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) Composite Benchmark was up by 10.3 % year over year in November. The average selling price for all transactions was also up by a similar annual rate of 9.6 % to $632,685. Annual rates of average price growth for November and the first eleven months of 2015 were similar, with the strongest rates of increase being reported for low-rise home types, including detached and semi-detached houses and townhouses.
"Demand for ownership housing has remained strong in the GTA throughout 2015, with sales generally increasing at a greater annual rate compared to new listings. This means that competition between buyers has strengthened in many neighbourhoods in the City of Toronto and surrounding regions. The end result has been upward pressure on home prices well above the rate of inflation in most cases," said Jason Mercer, TREB's Director of Market Analysis.
STRONG CONDOS SALES AND PRICE GROWTH IN Q3 2015
October 16, 2015 -- Toronto Real Estate Board President announced strong year-over-year growth in condominium apartment sales reported through TREB's MLS® System in the third quarter of 2015. Sales were up by close to 11 % to 6,586 compared to Q3 2014. New listings entered into the System duri
ng the quarter and active listings at the end of the quarter were also up on an annual basis, but by a lesser rate compared to sales. "The condominium apartment market segment has been a key contributor to overall growth in GTA home sales this year. With continued sales growth expected in the fourth quarter, we are on track for a new record in condo transactions through TREB's MLS® System this year."
"As the absorption rate for condos accelerated over the last year, tighter market conditions have resulted in sustained price growth."
Annual growth in the average and median selling prices and the MLS® HPI Benchmark for apartments exceeded the annual rate of inflation in the third quarter. For the TREB market area as a whole, the average selling price for condo apartments was up by 5.4 % yearover- year. The median selling price was up by 4.4 %. The MLS® HPI Benchmark for apartments was up by 5.6 % at the end of September.
"The condominium apartment market has certainly benefited from an increase in the supply of listings over the past year. However, through the first three quarters of 2015, growth in sales has actually outstripped growth in listings. This suggests that there was a certain amount of pent-up demand for condominium apartments. As new projects have completed, investor-held units listed for sale have been absorbed very quickly by end users, to the point where price growth has remained strong," said Jason Mercer, TREB's Director of Market Analysis.
SALES AND AVERAGE PRICE UP IN AUGUST
September 4, 2015 - Toronto Real Estate Board President announced that Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 7,998 residential transactions through the TREB MLS® System in August 2015. This result represented a 5.7 % increase compared to 7,568 sales reported in August 2014. On a GTA-wide basis, sales were up for all major home types.
The annual growth rate in new listings was greater than the annual growth rate in sales, but active listings at the end of August were still down compared to last year. This suggests that sellers' market conditions remained in place, especially where low-rise home types like singles, semis and townhouses were concerned.
"Buyers in the GTA remain confident in their ability to purchase and pay for a home over the long term. They see ownership housing as a quality investment that has historically produced positive returns while at the same time providing owners with a place to live in their chosen community," he said.
Both the MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) Composite Benchmark and the average selling price for all home types combined were up substantially in August compared to the same period in 2014, with both increasing by approximately 10 % year-over-year.
"A record year for home sales continued to unfold in August as competition between buyers exerted upward pressure on selling prices. It was encouraging to see annual growth in new listings outstrip annual growth in sales, but we will need to see this for a number of months before market conditions become more balanced," said TREB's Director of Market Analysis
CONDO SALES AND PRICE UP Q2 2015
July 17, 2015 - Toronto Real Estate Board President announced that there were 7,656 condominium apartment transactions reported through TREB’s MLS® system in the second quarter of 2015, representing a yearover- year growth rate of 17 % relative to Q2 2014. Sales growth greatly outpaced growth in listings, with new listings up by a lesser rate of 7.3 % year-over-year and active listings at the end of the second quarter down by 1.3 %. "Much of the new condominium apartment inventory that has been brought to bear on the market in the recent past has been absorbed. In fact, market conditions have tightened with months of inventory trending lower. This suggests that recent condominium apartment completions, while strong from a historic perspective, simply helped satisfy a growing demand for this housing type. Absorption rates and price growth statistics point to a healthy market," said Mr. McLean.
The average selling price for condominium apartments in the TREB market area as a whole grew by 5.8 % year-over-year to $388,066. In the City of Toronto, which accounted for 70 % of sales in the GTA, the average selling price of $416,728 represented a 6.1 % increase compared to Q2 2014.
"Condominium apartment prices have been appreciating at a moderate pace, on average, over the past year, especially when compared to low-rise home types like detached and semi-detached houses and townhouses. However, it is possible that we could see an acceleration in condo price growth in the second half of this year, as growth in sales remains strong relative to growth in listings," said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Director of Market Analysis.
GREATER TORONTO REALTORS® REPORT MID-MONTH RESALE HOUSING STATISTICS
April 17, 2014 – Toronto Real Estate Board President Dianne Usher announced that the spring market started off on a strong note in the Greater Toronto Area, with a 10.8 % year-over-year sales increase reported by Greater Toronto REALTORS® during the first two weeks of April. Sales through the TorontoMLS system
over this period amounted to 4,541 units.
“The robust increase in sales speaks to the fact that home ownership remains affordable in the GTA. The majority of home buyers purchase a home using a mortgage. A household earning the average income in the GTA can comfortably afford a mortgage on an average priced home,” said Ms. Usher. “While the persistent listings shortage in the GTA, coupled with strong demand, has led to a brisk pace of price growth, very low advertised mortgage rates have gone a long way to mitigating the effect of upward trending home prices,” continued Ms. Usher.
The average selling price for April mid-month sales was $583,697, representing an annual increase of 11 %. This increase was due to both tight market conditions and a change in the mix of homes sold. At month-end, the MLS® HPI benchmark price will provide more insight into price growth attributable solely to the change in market
conditions. “The overall average price increase was driven by single-detached, semi-detached and townhouse sales in the City of Toronto. There was a substantial increase in higher-end home sales this year compared to last,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Senior Manager of Market Analysis.
SALES AND AVERAGE PRICE UP IN MARCH
April 3, 2014 - Toronto Real Estate Board President Dianne Usher announced that Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported strong year-over-year increases in TorontoMLS home sales and the average selling price in March 2014. Home ownership affordability, backstopped by low borrowing costs, continued to be a key factor underlying this growth.
A total of 8,081 sales were reported in March 2014 – up by 7.2 % in comparison to March 2013. Sales growth was much stronger in March compared to the first two months of the first quarter. Sales for Q1 as a whole were up by 3 % compared to the first three months of 2013.
“Sales activity in the GTA accelerated last month. Compared to last year, a greater number of buyers found affordable home ownership options, as evidenced by sales growth for all major home types. Against this backdrop, however, overall inventory at the end of March remained lower than last year. This means competition between buyers increased, which is why the average selling price continued to climb,” said Ms. Usher.
The average selling price for March 2014 sales was $557,684 – an increase of almost eight per cent compared to the average reported for March 2013. The average price for the first quarter of 2014 was up by 8.5 per cent year-over-year.
“With borrowing costs remaining low, and in fact declining, strong home ownership demand will continue to butt up against a constrained supply of listings. Strong price growth will be the result for the remainder of 2014. If the pace of price growth experienced in the first quarter is sustained, TREB may revise its outlook for the average selling price,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Senior Manager of Market Analysis.
CONDO MARKET REPORT - STRONG DEMAND PROMPTS ROBUST PRICE GROWTH IN Q1
April 15, 2014 - Home buyers remained confident in purchasing condominium apartments during the first three months of 2014. This included first-time buyers and seasoned home owners looking to change their housing situation. Despite the condo market segment being well-supplied, strong sales growth translated into a robust increase in the average selling price,” said Toronto Real Estate Board President Dianne Usher.
Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 4,454 condominium apartments sold through the TorontoMLS system in Q1 2014 – up 9 % compared to 4,085 sales reported in Q1 2013. The average selling price for Q1 2014 transactions was up by 5.6 % year-over-year to $351,213.
The City of Toronto accounted for 70 % of all condo apartment transactions, with 3,121 sales reported. The average selling price in the City was $376,226.
The supply of condo apartments listed for sale also edged up in the first three months of 2014. New listings reported during the quarter were up by 3.1 % year-overyear. Active listings at the end of the quarter were up by 1.8 %.
“The number of new condominium apartment completions was up substantially in 2014. Because of this, we could see stronger growth in listings in the second half of 2014 as some investors choose to list their units for sale. If this occurs, buyers would benefit from more choice in the marketplace and thus could have more negotiating power with regard to price,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Senior Manager of Market Analysis.
COMMERCIAL REALTY INFO: LEASE & SALE - Q1 2014
April 3, 2014 - LEASE: Toronto Real Estate Board Commercial Network Members reported a year-over-year increase in the total amount of combined industrial, commercial/retail and office space leased through the TorontoMLS system in the first quarter of 2014. In Q1 2014, total space leased amounted to 4,517,411 square feet – up by 3.6 per cent in comparison to 4,363,905 square feet leased during the first three months of 2013. The largest annual rate of growth was reported for the office market segment (+29 per cent), followed by the commercial/retail segment (+6.9 per cent). The total amount of industrial space leased was down by less than one per cent year-over-year. Annual change in average lease rates was mixed. The average commercial lease rate, for properties leased on a per square foot net basis for which pricing was disclosed, was up by almost 23 per cent. Some of this change was due to a different mix of properties leasing this year compared to last. The average industrial lease rate was down only slightly compared to last year and the average office lease rate was down by approximately six per cent.
“Since coming out of the recession, we have certainly seen a few false starts as it relates to economic growth, particularly where business investment and exports are concerned. However, the first GDP data point for 2014 was very encouraging. Hopefully, the positive result for first quarter leasing activity in the GTA points to continued economic growth, as businesses take on more space in response to anticipated growth in demand for goods and services produced in southwestern Ontario,” said Commercial Committee Chair Cynthia Lai.
SALE: There were 197 combined industrial, commercial/retail and office property sales through the TorontoMLS system in the first quarter of 2014. Average selling prices on a per square foot basis for transactions where pricing was disclosed were up for industrial and commercial/retail properties and down for office properties. In addition to market forces, annual price changes also resulted from changes in the mix of properties sold, in terms of both size and geography. “Conditions are in place to support an increase in commercial real estate investment in the GTA. The expectation is that the US economy will continue to pick up steam, which should help facilitate the long-awaited recovery in the Canadian export sector. All of this, coupled with the continuation of accommodative borrowing costs, could prompt an increase in sales activity moving forward,” continued Ms. Lai.
COLD AND BUSY MID-DECEMBER RESALE
December 17, 2013 - Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 2,483 residential sales through the TorontoMLS system during the first two weeks of December 2013. This number of transactions represented an 18 % increase compared to 2,104 sales reported during the same period in 2012. The number of new listings entered into the TorontoMLS system was basically unchanged from a year ago.
“The key story in the GTA housing market continues to surround the availability of listings, or lack thereof. With the cost of homeownership remaining affordable, we have seen a resurgence in buying activity in the second half of 2013. However, growth in listings has not matched growth in sales. The result has been more buyers competing for fewer listings. This is why we continue to experience strong price growth,” said Toronto Real Estate Board President Dianne Usher.
The average selling price for December mid-month transactions was up 10 % to $520,379, compared to $471,602 reported for the first 14 days of December 2012.
“Inventory levels will remain low in many parts of the GTA in 2014, especially where low-rise home types are concerned, including single-detached and semi-detached houses and townhomes. Expect above-inflation price growth to continue next year,” said Jason Mercer, the Toronto Real Estate Board’s Senior Manager of Market Analysis.
CANADIAN REAL ESTATE ASSOCIATION PREDICTS A STRONG YEAR IN 2014
December 16, 2013 - Canada’s largest real estate association says this year is turning out better than expected and 2014 will be even stronger.
The Canadian Real Estate Association’s 2013 sales projections have been increased slightly upward in Ontario and the four western provinces and that prices have been generally firmer than expected.
“Most housing markets are well balanced, including many large urban centres,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s chief economist.
“Housing price gains are always stronger in places where supply is tight relative to demand, such as we’re seeing in Calgary and in parts of southern Ontario including the low rise market in Toronto.
“Prospects for price appreciation will be limited in parts of Quebec and some areas in the Maritimes, where competition among sellers has increased.”
Nationally, CREA is projecting 458,200 homes will be sold through its members this year — eight-tenths of a per cent more than in 2012.
CREA also anticipates next year will be even stronger, with 475,000 homes nationally.
The updated numbers are slightly ahead of a forecast in September by the association that predicted 449,900 homes sold this year and 465,600 in 2014.
CREA said Monday the 2013 projected national average price is $382,200, a 5.2 per cent increase from last year. The projected national average price for 2014 is $391,100, a 2.5 per cent increase from this year.
CREA says November’s home sales dipped slightly from October but were up substantially from the same month last year, when the industry was going through a soft patch attributed to changes in federal rules for mortgage lenders and borrowers.
Home sales edged 0.1 per cent lower from October on a seasonally adjusted basis. Actual activity was 5.9 per cent above November 2012 levels.
The national average sale price rose 9.8 % on a year-over-year basis in November while the MLS Home Price Index, which CREA says is a better indicator, rose 4.1 % year-over-year in November.
BIDDING WARS PICKING UP BEFORE NEW YEAR AND DRIVING PRICES HIGHER
December 16, 2013 - GTA house prices were up 11.3 % over last year’s soft November and sales were up by almost 14 %, lead by sales of detached homes and condos, says TREB.
According to the TREB figures, the average sale price of a home in the City of Toronto, in November was $590,366, up from $516,426 a year ago. That compared to $505,190 in the 905 regions, up from $462,907 a year ago. Condo sales showed somewhat mixed results depending on where people were buying. Sales remained strong in both the city and suburbs, up 12.7 % and 14.2 % respectively.
Resale condo prices were up 10 %, year over year, in the 416 region, but they were down just slightly, 0.4 %, in the 905 regions.
The average sale price of a detached house in Toronto was a whopping $855,188 in November.
That means that despite concerted efforts by Ottawa to cool the housing market, the average price of a home in the GTA hit $538,881 last month, up from $484,208 in November of 2012. But what’s really pushing up prices — in addition to exceptionally low interest rates — is the worsening shortage of properties for sale that has plagued the Toronto market for more than three years now. The number of new “for sale” signs dotting the region was down 4.4 % in November, year over year, and month-end active listings were down 12.1 %, according to TREB.
No one really knows why so few folks are listing their homes now. But CIBC deputy chief economist Benjamin Tal believes it’s because moving up has simply become difficult and costly, especially in Toronto, where two land transfer taxes can add tens of thousands of dollars to the cost.
The supply problem has been exacerbated, especially in sought-after city neighbourhoods that are close to transit and good schools, by an unexpected rush of buyers into the market over the summer and fall, who were worried about possible interest rate increase, while at the same time sellers seemed less and less interested to put their homes for sale. That created the lack of inventory in September, October and November which has been influencing the market with bidding wars and rising prices.
One modest simple semi detached home on Hazelwood Ave, near Pape and Danforth, sold for more than $135,000 over the asking price, and other detached home on a Davisville and Mount Pleasant area had four bids and sold for $951,000, more than $100,000 over the $849,900 asking price. Houses in the $750,000 to $850,000 range are now considered entry-level homes in some parts of the city, and they may need $100-200,000 worth of renovations and updates.
Interest rates are also driving the market. Money is so cheap and the inventory is so low that buyers are saying, If they don’t do what it takes to get the house they want, it may be a while until they get another one they like and can afford.
HOME PRICES IN THE GTA CONTINUE TO CLIMB DESPITE OTTAWA'S EFFORT TO COOL DOWN REAL ESTATE MARKET
TORONTO, October 8, 2013 - Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 7,411 residential sales through the TorontoMLS system in September 2013, representing a 30 % increase compared to 5,687 transactions reported in September 2012. Year-to-date, total residential sales reported through TorontoMLS amounted to 68,907 during the first nine months of 2013 – down by 1 % compared to the same period in 2012.
“It’s great news that households have found that the costs of home ownership, including mortgage payments, remain affordable. This is why the third quarter was characterized by renewed growth in home sales in the GTA. We expect to see sales up for the remainder of 2013, as the pent-up demand that resulted from stricter mortgage lending guidelines continues to be satisfied,” said Toronto Real Estate Board President Dianne Usher.
The average selling price for September transactions was $533,797 – up by 6.5 % year-over-year. Through the first three quarters of 2013, the average selling price was $520,118 – up by over 4 % compared to the first nine months of 2012.
- Condos continued a surprising surge, which started this past summer, with sales up 28.8 % year over year — up 31.5 % in the City of Toronto and 22.3 per % in the 905 regions. Average condo sale prices in September, however, were down 3.7 % in the city (416 region) to an average of $363,149, but up 2.9 % in the suburbs (905 regions) to an average of $290,239. That resulted in an almost 2 % decline in condo prices overall across the GTA from September of 2012 to the same month this year.
- Detached sales were up almost 34 % year over year across the GTA, and prices up 7.9 %, bringing the average sale price of a detached home in the 416 region to $856,169 and $608,866 in the 905 regions, says TREB.
- Semi-detached sales were up more than 20 %, with average prices hitting $616,049 in the city and $405,920 in the suburbs.
- Townhouse sales climbed by almost 31 %. The average 416 townhouse sold for $455,518 in September and $388,727 in the suburbs, up 9.7 % overall from September of 2012.
The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark for September was up by 4 % year-over-year. The annual rate of growth for the composite benchmark has been accelerating since the spring of 2013. “The price growth story in September continued to be about strong demand for low-rise home types, coupled with a short supply of listings. Even with slower price growth and month-to-month volatility in the condo apartment market, overall annual price growth has been well above the rate of inflation this year. This scenario will continue to play out through the remainder of 2013,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Senior Manager of Market Analysis.
TORONTO REAL ESTATE SALES SOAR IN JULY
August 2, 2013 - House sales across the GTA in July reached their highest levels for that summer month since 2009, with a 16 % surge in sales compared to July 2012. It was the best July result since 2009, and third best July for sales on record, says the Toronto Real Estate Board. Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 8,544 residential sales through the TorontoMLS system in July 2013. The average selling price also spiked in July, up 8 %, to $513,246 (on a year to year basis), largely based on sales of low-rise homes.
“We are a year removed from the onset of stricter mortgage lending guidelines and many households who put their decision to purchase a home on hold have reactivated their search. An increasing number of these households are getting deals done,” said Ms. Usher, Toronto Real Estate Board President. The low-rise market segment continued to be the driver of overall price growth.
It should be noted, however, that even the condo sector is seeing increase in both transactions and prices, despite the fact that the number of units for sale remains high. Condo sales increased approx 10.5% across the GTA over last year, and transactions increased in both 906 and 416 areas. The average selling price of condos sold in July was also up, by 3.4%, from last year, more then the rate of inflation on annual basis, to $338,854. The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) was also up on a year-over-year basis for all major home types.
While surprising on the surface, the sudden surge can be explained by a few factors: This year’s strong July is being compared to last year’s weak sales figures. A year ago the market was softening significantly, especially condo sales, in the wake of tougher mortgage lending rules that had been imposed that month by Ottawa, sidelining many first-time buyers. As well, July’s sales were pushed upward by a rush of buyers into the market, armed with 90-day pre-approved mortgages at rates often under three per cent, concerned that a slight uptick in mortgage rates in June was just the beginning of what might become a steady upward trend.
Weather may have also be a contributing factor: The spring market was pretty much a wash-out across the GTA this year as the cold, wet weather kept buyers at bay. Many realtors are anticipating that this trend could see an extension of the spring market into the summer, and perhaps even into this fall. On the price side, some of the upward pressure in July can be attributed, quite simply, to a lack of inventory for sale, mostly single-family homes, especially in the some high-demand areas of City of Toronto.
Highest growth in demand, by far, was for semi-detached homes where sales were up 26.4 % in July over the same month of 2012, according to the TREB statistics. Sales spiked almost 29 % in the City of Toronto and 25.2 % in the 905 regions.
Average prices hit $584,499 (up 11.1 %) in the 416 areas and $416,420 (up 6.5 %) in the 905 areas.
Detached home sales were up 20.7 % in the 416 areas and 19.6 % in the 905 areas. The average price of a detached home in the 416 regions rose 6.5 %, to $793,842, in the City of Toronto, and 8 % in the 905 regions, to an average of $597,404.
Condo sales were up 10.6 % in the City of Toronto and 10.2 % in the suburbs. Average sale prices, that had largely flatlined over the last year because of fears the condo market was headed for a crash, rose 4.1 % in the City of Toronto to about $362,000, and just 1 % in the 905 regions, to an average of $281,044.
First-time buyers appear to have adjusted a year later to the mortgage lending rule changes. They’ve had saved up bigger downpayments, seem to have more confidence that the condo market is holding up much better than some observers had expected a year ago, and seem to be out buying again, realtors say, and Toronto Real Estate Board statistics show.
“We are forecasting continued average price growth for the remainder of 2013 and through 2014 as well. Months of inventory for low-rise homes remains near record lows, suggesting that sellers’ market conditions will remain in place in the second half of 2013. An increase in listings in 2014 would lead to more balanced market conditions and a slower pace of price growth next year, albeit still above the rate of inflation,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Senior Manager of Market Analysis. “Despite recent increases in average borrowing costs, home buyers are still finding affordable home ownership options in the GTA,” said Toronto Real Estate Board President Dianne Usher.
TORONTO RESIDENTS SUPPORT ELIMINATING LAND TRANSFER TAX
Aug 6, 2013- A poll conducted for the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) is showing strong public support for eliminating the city’s Land Transfer Tax.
“Torontonians know that the land transfer tax is bad for our city, and they want City Council to follow through on commitments to phase it out,” says Ann Hannah, president of TREB.
The poll, conducted by Ipsos Reid, found that:
- Two-thirds of Torontonians support plans to eliminate the Toronto Land Transfer Tax;
- Support for eliminating the Land Transfer Tax with a gradual phase-out approach, as suggested by Mayor Rob Ford, is strong (65 per cent);
- 90 per cent of recent home buyers feel that they received little or no added value in municipal services for the Land Transfer Tax that they paid to the city;
- 74 per cent of home buyers in Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area say they are more likely to purchase a home outside of Toronto specifically because of the Toronto Land Transfer Tax;
- 65 per cent of home buyers who currently live in Toronto say they are more likely to leave Toronto when they purchase their next home, specifically because of the Toronto Land Transfer Tax.
PRICE GROWTH ACROSS ALL MAJOR HOME TYPES IN MAY
June 5, 2013 - Greater Toronto Area (GTA) REALTORS® reported 10,182 sales through the TorontoMLS system in May 2013, representing a dip of 3.4 % compared to May 2012. Sales of single-detached homes in the GTA were up by almost 1 % compared to the same period last year, including a 3 % year-over-year increase in the City of Toronto.
“The sales picture in the GTA has improved markedly over the past two months. While the number of transactions in April and May remained below last year’s levels, the rate of decline has been much smaller. A growing number of households who put their decision to purchase on hold as a result of stricter lending guidelines are starting to become active again in the ownership market,” said Toronto Real Estate Board President Ann Hannah.
The average selling price for May 2013 sales was $542,174 – up by 5.4 % in comparison to $514,567 in May 2012. The annual rate of price growth was driven by the tight low-rise segment of the market and particularly by single-detached and semi-detached home transactions in the City of Toronto. Average condominium apartment prices were also up slightly in comparison to last year.
The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) Composite Benchmark was up by 2.8 % year-over-year.
“The annual rate of price growth in May was not surprising given the competition that still exists between buyers, particularly for low-rise home types such as single-detached and semi-detached houses. We remain on track for a three-and-a-half per cent increase in the average selling price for 2013 as a whole,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Senior Manager of Market Analysis.
LOW-RISE HOME TYPES DRIVE JUNE PRICE GROWTS
July 5, 2012 - Greater Toronto REALTORS® reported 9,422 home sales through the TorontoMLS system in June 2012. The number of transactions was down by 5.4 % in comparison to June 2011. The year-over-year decline was largest in the City of Toronto, where sales were down by 13 % compared to June 2011. Sales in the rest of the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) market area were comparable to a year ago.
“Buyers continue to face the substantial upfront cost associated with the City of Toronto’s unfair Land Transfer Tax,” said TREB President Ann Hannah. “Recent polling by TREB suggests that many households are considering home purchases outside of the City of Toronto to avoid paying the Land Transfer Tax. This goes a long way in explaining the disproportionate decline in sales in the City versus surrounding regions.”
The average selling price in June was $508,622 – up by 7.3 % compared to June 2011. The mortgage payment associated with the average priced home in June, assuming 5 % down and a five-year fixed rate mortgage amortized over 25 years, would account for approximately 35 % of the average household’s income in the GTA after adding property tax and utility payments.
“According to new mortgage lending guidelines set out by Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, the GTA housing market remains affordable. The share of the average household’s income going toward major home ownership payments for the average priced home remains below the 39 % ceiling recently announced by Mr. Flaherty,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Senior Manager of Market Analysis.
“The average household in the GTA continues to benefit from a considerable amount of flexibility to account for higher interest rates moving forward,” continued Mercer.
CONDO PRICES GROW AT MODERATE PACE IN Q2
July 18, 2012- Greater Toronto REALTORS® reported 6,435 condominium apartment transactions during the second quarter of 2012 – down by 2.6 % compared to 6,609 transactions reported in the second quarter of 2011. New listings for condominium apartments were up substantially on a year-over-year basis, climbing by 19 % in comparison to 2011.
“The condominium apartment market has been the best-supplied market segment in the GTA this year. Many condominium projects have completed over the past year and this has resulted in a substantial increase in listings and ultimately more choice for buyers,” said Toronto Real Estate Board President Ann Hannah. “The greater degree of choice in the condo market translated into a moderate rate of price growth compared to what was experienced in the low-rise market segment.”
The average price for second quarter condominium apartment sales was $342,212, representing a 3.2 % increase over the same period in 2011.
“Sellers seemed to be well-aware of condo market conditions in the second quarter. On average, units were priced in line with buyer expectations, with apartments selling for 98 % of the asking price in less than a month’s time,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Senior Manager of Market Analysis.
TIGHT MARKET PUSHES THE AVERAGE PRICE ABOVE $500K
Greater Toronto REALTORS® reported 7,032 sales in February 2012 - up 16 % compared to February 2011. New listings were also up over the same period, but by a lesser 11 % to 12,684. It is important to note that
2012 is a leap year, with one more day in February. Over the first 28 days of February, sales and new listings were up by 10 % and 6 % respectively.
"With slightly more than two months of inventory in the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) market area, on average, it is not surprising that competition between buyers has exerted very strong upward pressure on the average selling price. Price growth will continue to be very strong until the market becomes better supplied," said Toronto Real Estate Board President Richard Silver.
"It is important to note that both buyers and sellers are aware of current market conditions. This is evidenced by the fact that homes sold, on average, for 99 % of the asking price in February," continued Silver.
The average selling price in the TREB market area was $502,508 in February - up 11 % compared to February 2011. The Composite MLS® Home Price Index for TREB, which provides a less volatile measure of price growth compared to the average price, was up by 7.3 % compared February 2011.
"If tight market conditions continue to result in higher than expected price growth as we move into the spring, expectations for 2012 as a whole will have to be revised upwards," said Jason Mercer, TREB's Senior Manager of Market Analysis. "While price growth remains strong, the average selling price remains affordable from a mortgage lending perspective for a household earning the average income in the GTA."
SECOND-BEST YEAR ON RECORD FOR SALES
January 5, 2012 - The December result capped off the second-best year on record under the current Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) boundaries. Greater Toronto REALTORS® reported 4,718 transactions through the TorontoMLS® system in December 2011. Total sales for 2011 amounted to 89,347 – up 4 % cent in comparison to 2010.
“Low borrowing costs kept Buyers confident in their ability to comfortably cover their mortgage payments along with other major housing costs. If Buyers had not been constrained by a shortage of listings over the past 12 months, we would have been flirting with a new sales record in the Greater Toronto Area,” said TREB President Richard Silver.
For all of 2011, the average selling price was $465,412, an increase of 8 % in comparison to the average of $431,276 in 2010.
The average selling price in December was $451,436 – up 4 % compared to December 2010.
“Months of inventory remained below the pre-recession norm in 2011. Very tight market conditions meant substantial competition between Buyers and strong upward pressure on selling prices. TREB’s baseline forecast for 2012 is for an average price of $485,000, representing a more moderate four per cent annual rate of price growth. This baseline view is subject to a heightened degree of risk given the uncertain global economic outlook,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Senior Manager of Market Analysis.
BUSY - FIRST TWO WEEKS OF DECEMBER
TORONTO, December 16, 2011 - Greater Toronto REALTORS® reported 2,699 transactions through the TorontoMLS® system during the first 14 days of December. This result was 11 % above the number of transactions recorded during the same period in 2010. On a year-to-date basis, sales amounted to 87,407 – up 4.3 % compared to 2010.
"We have had the second best year on record for transactions under the current Toronto Real Estate Board boundaries. Households have continued to take advantage of affordable home ownership options across the diverse array of housing types available in the Greater Toronto Area," said TREB President Richard Silver.
The average selling price during the first two weeks of December 2011 was $460,967 – up 6 % in comparison to December 2010.
"Strong average price growth, driven by seller’s market conditions, has been largely mitigated by the continuation of very low borrowing costs this year. The share of average household income going toward mortgage principal and interest has increased only marginally and remains in line with accepted mortgage lending standards," said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Senior Manager of Market Analysis.
HEALTHY FALL MARKET CONTINUES IN NOVEMBER
December 6, 2011 - Greater Toronto REALTORS® reported 7,092 residential transactions through the TorontoMLS® system in November – up 11 % in comparison to November 2010. At the same time, the number of new listings was up by 14 % in comparison to last year.
“We have seen strong annual sales growth through the 2011 fall market. The increase in transactions has been broad-based, with strong growth across low-rise and high-rise home types throughout the Greater Toronto Area. The market has also become better supplied, with annual new listings growth outstripping that of sales. As this trend continues into 2012, we will see more balanced market conditions”, said Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) President Richard Silver.
The average price for November transactions was $480,421, representing an increase of almost 10 % in comparison to $437,494 in November 2010.
"Despite strong price growth this year, the housing market remains affordable in the GTA, said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Senior Manager of Market Analysis. "The correct method of assessing affordability is to consider the share of the average household’s income that is dedicated to mortgage principal and interest, property taxes and utilities. Currently, this share remains in line with generally accepted lending guidelines.
Given this positive affordability picture, average price growth is forecast to continue in 2012, albeit at a more moderate pace."