Toronto Real Estate Board President Garry Bhaura announced that Greater Toronto Area REALTORS reported 9,989 transactions through TREB’s MLS System in May 2019.
Although the results show an increase of 18.9 per cent over the 15-year low in May 2018, it is still below the average for May’s sales, which has stood at nearly 10,300 for the previous 10 years.
The year-over-year minor increase in sales experienced so far in the second quarter of 2019 reflects spring polling results from Ipsos (undertaken on behalf of TREB). These results suggest that the share of likely homebuyers in the Greater Toronto Area has edged upwards since the fall.
“After a sluggish start to 2019, the second quarter appears to be reflecting a positive shift in consumer sentiment toward ownership housing. Households continue to see ownership housing in the GTA as a quality long-term investment as population growth from immigration remains strong and the regional economy continues to create jobs across diversity of sectors. However, sales activity continues to be below the longer-term norm, as potential home buyers come to terms with the OSFI mortgage stress test and the fact that listings continue to be constrained relative to sales,” said Mr. Bhaura.
According to the report, the number of new listings entered into TREB’s MLS System in May 2019 grew moderately by 0.8 per cent to 19,386, in comparison to May 2018.
Year-over-year growth in new listings surpassed year-over-year growth in sales. This means that market conditions continued to tighten in favour of sellers, according to GTA Realtors.
The MLS Home Price Index (HPI) Composite benchmark price was up by 3.1 per cent on a yearover-basis, similar to the average selling price for all home types, which was up by a combined 3.6 per cent to $838,540.
The condominium apartment and townhouse market segments drove price growth. Jason Mercer, TREB’s Chief Market Analyst, said the annual rates of price growth are above the rate of inflation, and are largely sustainable in the GTA.
“If, however, we continue to see growth in sales outstrip growth in new listings, price growth will accelerate. This potential outcome underpins calls from TREB and other housing industry stakeholders to address roadblocks preventing a more sustainable and diverse supply of housing reaching the market. Many households are not comfortable listing their homes for sale because they feel that there are no housing options available to better meet their needs,” said Mercer.