A recent report released by the Toronto Real Estate Board highlights a 24.3 per cent increase in sales in July 2019. On a month-over-month basis, sales were up by 5.1 per cent, after preliminary seasonal adjustment.
New listings entered into TREB’s MLS System in July 2019 were up by 3.7 per cent compared to July 2018. TREB states that market conditions tightened with annual growth in sales far outstripping annual growth in new listings compared to last year.
Active listings at the end of July were down by 9.1 per cent year-over-year, further reflecting tightening market conditions.
TREB CEO, John DiMichele, suggests that while the OSFI mortgage stress test has had an impact on the number of home sales over the last year-and-a-half, the goal of home ownership has not diminished for most GTA residents.
DiMichele says that the TREB is seeing a growing demand for ownership housing, as the number of GTA households continues to increase by 40,000 to 50,000 each year due to strong population growth.
“As more and more households come to terms with the stress test and move back into the market in the coming months and years, they could suffer from a chronically under-supplied marketplace and an acceleration of home price growth to unsustainable levels. Fortunately, policy makers have acknowledged the housing supply issue and are working toward solutions,” said DiMichele.
Michael Collins, TREB’s President, says it has been encouraging to see both the City of Toronto and the Ontario Government working on solutions to bring more supply on-line.
“Based on Mayor John Tory’s motion, Toronto City Council gave City staff a strong mandate to report back on how to develop a greater diversity of housing options in traditional single-family neighbourhoods, including timelines. Similarly, we’ve seen the Provincial Government launch consultations to spur on, and speed up, the development of different forms of housing in conjunction with their ‘More Homes, More Choice’ Plan. TREB looks forward to working with the City and the Province to turn their initiatives into reality,” said Collins.
As market conditions continued to tighten in July, the average selling price increased by 3.2 per cent on a year-over-year basis to $806,755. The MLS Home Price Index Composite benchmark was up by 4.4 per cent.
Higher density home types continued to drive price growth, whereas detached home prices remained down in many communities throughout the GTA.
“Broadly speaking, increased competition between buyers for available properties has resulted in relatively strong price growth above the rate of inflation for semi-detached houses, townhouses and condominium apartments. However, the single-detached market segment, which has arguably been impacted most by the OSFI stress test, has experienced a slower pace of price growth, with average detached prices remaining lower than last year’s levels in some parts of the GTA,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Chief Market Analyst.