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Market Watch Report: February 2017

POSTED ON March 3rd  - POSTED IN Featured News, Market Watch

Sales Up and Listings Down in February

March 3, 2017 — Toronto Real Estate Board President Larry Cerqua announced that Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 8,014 residential sales through TREB’s MLS® System in February 2017. Despite the fact that February 2016 had one more day due to the leap year day, this result was up on a year-over-year basis by 5.7 per cent compared to 7,583 sales reported last year.

“The February statistics tell me that many Greater Toronto Area households continue to view home ownership as a great long-term investment. The high demand for ownership housing we’re seeing is broad-based, with strong sales growth for most low-rise home types and condominium apartments. This makes sense given the results of a recent consumer survey undertaken for TREB by Ipsos, which found an even split between intending first-time buyers and existing homeowners who indicated that they were planning on purchasing a home in 2017,” said Cerqua.

While the demand for ownership housing grew over the past year, new listings entered into TREB’s MLS® System in February were down on a year-over-year basis by 12.5 per cent to 9,834.

The MLS® HPI Composite Benchmark Price was up by 23.8 per cent compared to February 2016. Similarly, the average selling price was up by 27.7 per cent year-over-year to $875,983. Annual rates of price growth continued to be strongest for low-rise home types, particularly detached houses. Growth rates for condominium apartment prices were also in the double digits, likely a result of strong demand from first-time buyers.

“The listing supply crunch we are experiencing in the GTA has undoubtedly led to the double digit home price increases we are now experiencing on a sustained basis, both in the low-rise and high-rise market segments. Until we see a marked increase in the number of homes available for sale, expect very strong annual rates of price growth to continue,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Director of Market Analysis.

Complete Report: February 2017

Market Watch Report: January 2017

POSTED ON February 6th  - POSTED IN Featured News, Market Watch

Strong Start to 2017

February 3, 2017 — Toronto Real Estate Board President Larry Cerqua announced that Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 5,188 residential transactions through TREB’s MLS® System in January 2017. This result was up by 11.8 per cent compared to 4,640 sales reported in January 2016. Annual rates of sales growth were higher for condominium apartments than for low-rise home types.

January 2017 picked up where 2016 left off: sales were up on a year-over-year basis while the number of new listings was down by double-digit annual rates for most major home types.

“Home ownership continues to be a great investment and remains very important to the majority of GTA households. As we move through 2017, we expect the demand for ownership housing to remain strong, including demand from first-time buyers who, according to a recent Ipsos survey, could account for more than half of transactions this year. However, many of these would-be buyers will have problems finding a home that meets their needs in a market with very little inventory,” said Cerqua.

The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) Composite Benchmark price was up by 21.8 per cent on a year-over-year basis in January. Similarly, over the same period, the average selling price was up by 22.3 per cent to $770,745, with double-digit gains in the average prices for all major home types.

“The number of active listings on TREB’s MLS® System at the end of January was essentially half of what was reported as available at the same time last year. That statistic, on its own, tells us that there is a serious supply problem in the GTA – a problem that will continue to play itself out in 2017. The result will be very strong price growth for all home types again this year,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Director of Market Analysis.

Full Market Watch Report: January 2017

Market Watch Report: December 2016

POSTED ON January 9th  - POSTED IN Featured News, Market Watch

Record Sales in 2016

January 5, 2017 — Toronto Real Estate Board President Larry Cerqua announced that 2016 was a second consecutive record year for home sales. Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 113,133 home sales through TREB’s MLS® System – up by 11.8 per cent compared to 2015. The calendar year 2016 result included 5,338 sales in December – an annual increase of 8.6 per cent.

The strongest annual rate of sales growth in 2016 was experienced for condominium apartments followed by detached homes.

“A relatively strong regional economy, low unemployment and very low borrowing costs kept the demand for ownership housing strong in the GTA, as the region’s population continued to grow in 2016,” said Mr. Cerqua.

The annual rate of growth for the MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) in the TREB market area accelerated throughout 2016 – from 10.7 per cent in January 2016 to 21 per cent in December 2016. The overall average selling price for calendar year 2016 was $729,922 – up 17.3 per cent compared to 2015. The pace of the annual rate of growth for the average selling price also picked up throughout the year, including a climb of 20 per cent in December.

“Price growth accelerated throughout 2016 as the supply of listings remained very constrained. Active listings at the end of December were at their lowest point in a decade-and-a-half. Total new listings for 2016 were down by almost four per cent. In 2016, we saw policy changes and policy debates pointed at the demand side of the market. If we want to see a sustained moderation in the pace of price growth, what we really need is more policy focus on issues impacting the lack of homes available for sale,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Director of Market Analysis.

Full Market Watch Report: December 2016 – Year End Review

Market Watch Report: October 2016

POSTED ON November 9th  - POSTED IN Featured News, Market Watch

October Home Sales Up Year-Over-Year

November 3, 2016 — Toronto Real Estate Board President Larry Cerqua announced that Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported a record 9,768 sales through TREB’s MLS® System in October 2016 – up by 11.5 per cent compared to October 2015. For the TREB market area as a whole, the largest annual rate of sales growth was in the condominium apartment market segment. Detached home sales were up by 10 per cent year-over-year, driven predominantly by transactions in the regions surrounding Toronto.

“The record pace of GTA home sales continued in October, with strong growth observed throughout the month. As we move through November and December, we will be watching the sales and listings trends closely, in light of the recent policy changes announced by the Federal Minister of Finance. TREB will once again be conducting consumer survey work, in order to report on home buying intentions for 2017,” said Mr. Cerqua.

The MLS® Home Price Index Composite Benchmark was up by 19.7 per cent on a yearover- yeaThe MLS® Home Price Index Composite Benchmark was up by 19.7 per cent on a yearover- year basis in October 2016. Similarly, the average selling price for all home types combined was $762,975 – up 21.1 per cent over the same time period. Double-digit increases were experienced for all major home types for the TREB Market Area as a whole.

“New listings were up slightly in October compared to last year, but not nearly enough to offset the strong sales growth. This meant that seller’s market conditions continued to prevail as buyers of all home types experienced intense competition in the marketplace. Until we experience sustained relief in the supply of listings, the potential for strong annual rates of price growth will persist, especially in the low-rise market segments,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Director of Market Analysis.

Full Market Watch Report October 2016

Market Watch Report: September 2016

POSTED ON October 5th  - POSTED IN Featured News, Market Watch

Sales Growth Continues in September

Toronto Real Estate Board President Larry Cerqua announced that Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 9,902 sales through TREB’s MLS® System in September 2016. This result was up by 21.5 per cent compared to September 2015.

For the region as a whole, strong annual rates of sales growth were experienced for all major home types. The pace of detached sales growth was slower in the City of Toronto and the number of semi-detached sales was down compared to last year. In both cases, the year-over-year dip in new listings was likely the issue.

“We continued to see strong demand for ownership housing up against a short supply of listings in the Greater Toronto Area in September. The sustained lack of inventory in many neighbourhoods across the GTA continued to underpin high rates of price growth for all home types,” said Mr. Cerqua.

Both the MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) Composite Benchmark and the average selling price for all home types combined were up strongly on a year-over-year basis in September. The MLS® HPI Composite Benchmark grew by 18 per cent compared to September 2015. The average selling price was up by 20.4 per cent to $755,755. It is important to remember that the MLS® HPI provides a price growth measure for a benchmark home, thereby allowing for an apples-to-apples comparison from one year to the next. The average selling price can be influenced by changes in both market conditions and the mix of homes sold.

“The Toronto Real Estate Board will be closely monitoring how the recent changes to Federal mortgage lending guidelines and capital gains tax exemption rules impact the housing market in the Greater Toronto Area. While these changes are pointed at the demand for ownership housing, it is important to note that much of the upward pressure on home prices in the GTA has been based on the declining inventory of homes available for sale,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Director of Market Analysis.

Full Market Watch Report September 2016

Market Watch Report: July 2016

POSTED ON August 10th  - POSTED IN Featured News, Market Watch

Strong July Price Growth

Toronto Real Estate Board President Larry Cerqua announced that TREB REALTOR® Members reported 9,989 home sales through TREB’s MLS® System in July 2016. At just shy of 10,000 transactions, this was the best result on record for the month of July.

While sales were up on a year-over-year basis, the number of new listings was down over the same period, representing the continuation of a troubling trend in the GTA. “GTA REALTORS® have been working very hard on behalf of their buyer clients to help them find a home meeting their needs. Unfortunately, listings for single-detached and semi-detached houses and townhouses continue to be in short supply. The result has been an increase in pent-up demand and annual rates of price increases well above the rate of inflation. Housing policy is now top of mind for all levels of government. Policy makers need to be focusing on solutions to the sustained lack of low-rise inventory throughout the GTA,” said Mr. Cerqua.

The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) Composite Benchmark was up by 16.7 per cent in July 2016 compared to the same month a year earlier. Similarly, the average selling price for all home types combined was up by 16.6 per cent year-over-year to $709,825.

“Relatively strong labour market conditions, above-inflation average income growth, and record low borrowing costs have kept many households confident about purchasing a home. As long as very strong buying intentions are up against an extreme shortage of listings, expect home price growth to greatly outpace the rate of inflation,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Director of Market Analysis.

Market Watch Report July 2016

Market Watch Report: June 2016

POSTED ON July 8th  - POSTED IN Featured News, Market Watch

Spring Market Capped Off with Strong June

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 per cent higher 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 per cent.

“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 per cent on a year- over-year basis. The average selling price for all home types combined was up by a slightly higher annual rate of 16.8 per cent 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.

Market Watch Report June 2016

Market Watch Report: May 2016

POSTED ON June 8th  - POSTED IN Featured News, Market Watch

Strong Sales Growth Continues in May

Toronto Real Estate Board President Mark McLean announced that 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 per cent increase over the same period last year. In contrast, the number of new listings was down over the same time frame by 6.4 per cent. 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 per cent year-overyear in May 2016. Similarly, the average selling price for all home types combined was up by 15.7 per cent 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.

Market Watch Report May 2016

Market Watch Report: April 2016

POSTED ON May 10th  - POSTED IN Featured News, Market Watch

Record Home Sales in April

May 4, 2016 — Toronto Real Estate Board President Mark McLean announced that there were 12,085 sales reported through TREB’s MLS® System in April 2016. This result, which represented a record for the month of April, was up by 7.4 per cent in comparison to April 2015.

For the TREB market area as a whole, annual sales growth was experienced for all major home types except semi-detached houses. In the City of Toronto, sales were down for detached and semi-detached houses as well as townhouses on a year-over-year basis. This dip in sales in the ‘416’ area code was due to a lack of low-rise listings. Many would-be buyers were not able to find a home that met their needs.

“While April’s sales result represented a new record for sales, that number could have been even higher if we had benefitted from more supply. In the City of Toronto in particular, some households have chosen not to list their home for sale because of the second substantial Land Transfer Tax and associated administration fee. The lack of available inventory, coupled with record sales, continued to translate into robust annual rates of price growth,” said Mr. McLean.

Home selling prices continued to trend upward in April. The MLS® Home Price Index Composite Benchmark was up by 12.6 per cent year-over-year. The average selling price was up by 16.2 per cent. The higher growth rate reported for the average home price, as compared to the MLS® HPI, points to a greater share of high-end home sales this year compared to last.
“As we move into the busiest time of the year, in terms of sales volume, strong competition between buyers will continue to push home prices higher. A greater supply of listings would certainly be welcome, but we would need to see a number of consecutive months in which listings growth outpaced sales growth before market conditions become more balanced,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Director of Market Analysis.

Market Watch Report: April 2016

Market Watch Report: March 2016

POSTED ON April 5th  - POSTED IN Featured News, Market Watch

Strong Growth in Home Sales in March/Q1

Toronto Real Estate Board President Mark McLean announced record TREB MLS® home sales for the first quarter of 2016 following a strong result for March transactions. There were 10,326 sales in March and 22,575 sales in the first quarter. The year-over-year growth rate for sales was 15.8 per cent for Q1 2016 and 16.2 per cent for March 2016. For the TREB market area as a whole, double-digit year-over-year rates of sales growth were experienced for all major home types during the first quarter.

The positive annual growth in sales was not mirrored on the listings front. The number of new listings entered into TREB’s MLS® System during March and the first quarter were down compared to the same periods in 2015.

“At the beginning of 2016, TREB’s outlook for the year pointed to a strong possibility of a second consecutive record year for home sales. This outlook was based, in part, on upbeat consumer survey results pointing to robust home buying intentions. It is clear that these upbeat intentions have translated into record first quarter results,” said Mr. McLean.
The MLS® Home Price Index Composite Benchmark for March 2016 was up by 11.6 per cent compared to March 2015. The average selling price for all home types combined was up 12.1 per cent year-over-year in March and 13.6 per cent in the first quarter.

“Demand was clearly not an issue in the first three months of 2016, regardless of the housing market segment being considered. The supply of listings, however, continued to aggravate many would-be home buyers. We could have experienced even stronger sales growth were it not for the constrained supply of listings, especially in the low-rise market segments. The resulting strong competition between buyers has underpinned the double-digit rates of price growth experienced so far this year,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Director of Market Analysis.

Market Watch Report: March 2016