The Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 7,711 residential sales through TREB’s MLS® System in August 2019. This result represented a 13.4 per cent increase compared to 6,797 sales reported in August 2018. On a month-over-month basis, after preliminary seasonal adjustment, sales were up by 0.8 per cent.
“GTA-wide sales were up on a year-over-year basis for all major market segments, with annual rates of sales growth strongest for low-rise home types including detached houses. This reflects the fact that demand for more expensive home types was very low in 2018 and has rebounded to a certain degree in 2019, albeit not back to the record levels experienced in 2016 and the first quarter of 2017. The OSFI mortgage stress test continues to keep some would-be home buyers on the sidelines,” said Mr. Collins.
Market conditions also became tighter in August 2019 compared to a year ago because, while sales were up year-over-year, new listings were down by three per cent over the same time period to 11,789. Year-to-date, growth in sales has well outstripped growth in new listings. This is why overall active listings counted at the end of August were down by more than 11 per cent compared to August 2018.
“The GTA’s strong economy, cultural diversity and internationally recognized quality of life continues to attract newcomers to the region each year. This needs to continue for it to remain competitive on the global stage. However, our housing supply has not kept up with population growth, which has led to pent-up housing demand. The Province of Ontario, City of Toronto and other GTA municipalities have recognized that housing supply is a key issue and are working toward solutions. With the federal election less than two months away, all political parties should be making their housing policy stance clear as well,” said TREB CEO John DiMichele.
The MLS® Home Price Index Composite Benchmark for August 2019 was up by 4.9 per cent on a year-over-year basis. The average selling price, at $792,611 in August 2019, was up by 3.6 per cent year-over-year. Both the MLS® HPI benchmark prices and average selling prices were up on an annual basis for major market segments. The condominium apartment segment continued to lead the way in terms of price growth, followed by higher density low-rise home types and finally detached houses.
“This year’s market through August has been characterized by receding listings and increasing sales relative to 2018. Competition between buyers has increased, which has led to stronger annual rates of price growth, most notably during this past spring and summer. Right now, the overall pace of price growth is moderate. However, if demand for ownership housing continues to increase relative to the supply of listings, the annual rate of price growth will accelerate further. This underpins the importance of solving this region’s housing supply issues, which will go a long way to insuring a sustainable pace of price growth over the long term,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Chief Market Analyst.