Toronto CNE by Paul Bica
With the beginning of a new year it’s time to look back at the old one and count all the ups and downs. Toronto real estate was breaking records in the sales field through the 2016. Greater Toronto Area REALTORS reported 113,133 home sales in TREB’s MLS System. This number represents an 11.8 per cent rise in sales compared to 2015. The strongest annual rate of sales growth in 2016 was recorded for condominium apartments followed by detached homes. Toronto Real Estate Board President Larry Cerqua announced that 2016 was a second consecutive record year for home sales thanks to our thriving economy:
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.
The December sales have risen by 8.6 per cent in comparison to December 2015. TREB’s MLS System recorded 5,338 sales. The most popular major home type were detached houses with 2,259 sales and $1,016,145 average price. They experienced 6.8 per cent rise in year-over-year sales comparison and 23.1 per cent rise in prices. Semi-detached and townhouses experienced a drop in sales by -3.4 and -0.9 per cent respectively mostly due to the lack of listings on the market. Condos experienced the biggest change in sales in year-over-year comparison with 18.5 per cent rise. Average price for condo was $440,669.
Listings, on the other hand, dropped even lower this year. The number of new listings decreased by -11.7 per cent. The Number of existing listings was critically reduced almost to half (exactly 48.1 per cent) of existing listings in December 2015. Jason Mercer, TREB’s Director of Market Analysis commented the situation as follows:
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.
With his words in mind, we start the new year awaiting new regulations that could resolve the lack of listings and help Toronto’s economy to thrive even more.