Toronto homes sales and prices were up in October as population growth helped drive a hotter housing market, according to the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB).
There were a total of 8,491 residential sales through TREB’s MLS System in October 2019, compared to the 7,448 home sales reported in October 2018 representing a 14% increase.
The benchmark home sale price across the GTA was up by 5.8% on a year-over-year basis — the strongest annual rate of growth reported since December 2017. The average selling price for all home types combined was up 5.5% to $852,142, compared to $807,538 in October 2018. But more than two years later, average prices still remain below the record $920,791 hit in April 2017.
GTA-wide, sales were up on a year-over-year basis for all major home types. Condo sales saw the biggest jump with a 9.6 % increase while detached houses saw the lowest results at 3%.
Immigration helping to drive price growth
A recent survey by Royal LePage shows that new Canadians will drive up housing demand in the GTA as the region continues to be one of the most desirable locations in Canada.
"A strong regional economy obviously fuels population growth. All of these new households need a place to live and many have the goal of purchasing a home,” said TREB President Michael Collins in the board’s press release.
Collins explains that the problem is the supply of available listings continues to drop, resulting in tighter market conditions and accelerating price growth. New listings were down 9.6 % compared to October 2018, according to TREB’s latest market watch.
TREB predicts housing-related policy options will be brought forth in the new minority parliament in its press release.
During the recent federal election, some parties committed to more flexibility on the mortgage lending front, including the reintroduction of a 30-year amortization period for insured mortgages and more flexibility in the application of the OSFI mortgage stress test,” Collins said.
"All levels of government affecting the GTA plus many international organizations have recognized that we continue to face a supply issue in our region for all types of housing,” TREB CEO John Di Michele added.
"TREB looks forward to continuing its work with policymakers at all levels to bring more supply online, which will help ensure a sustainable pace of price and rent growth over the longer term.”