Toronto Home Sales in September Up from Year Ago, Prices Also Rise

Toronto area home sales rose 22 per cent in September from a year earlier as the cost of buying a house also pushed higher, the Toronto Real Estate Board said Thursday.

The board said there were 7,825 sales in the Greater Toronto Area through its MLS System in September, compared with 6,414 sales reported in September 2018.

Sales were still well off the September 2016 peak of 9,800 sales, the board said.

The MLS home price index composite benchmark, which adjusts for different types of properties, was up by 5.2 per cent on a year-over-year basis in September for the biggest rise this year.

The average selling price for a home of any type was similarly up by 5.8 per cent from a year ago to $843,115.

TREB president Michael Collins said promises of help for first time buyers by campaigning federal parties is welcome, but a lack of supply is also a key issue.

“While these demand-side proposals are important, it is also important that all levels of government remain focused on promoting a sustainable supply of different housing types moving forward,” he said in a statement.

The board said the supply of listings continues to be a concern. The number of new listings in September was down 1.9 per cent compared with a year ago at 15,611.

A UBS report out earlier this week put Toronto as the city second most at risk globally of a real estate bubble, behind Munich. Vancouver was ranked sixth out of the 24 cities ranked for bubble risk.

The report noted that price increaes in major cities in recent years have “by far outpaced incomes” to make them unaffordable and put property values at risk.

UBS said that a major price correction seems unlikely in the short term for Toronto given improving mortgage conditions, a weakening Canadian dollar, and falling supply.

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