Toronto’s housing market posted a small sales gain in September after far stronger growth in July and August, suggesting the city may still have to wait for definitive evidence of a strong market turnaround.
The Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) said 6,455 homes sold in the Greater Toronto Area in September, up 1.9 per cent over September last year. The modest increase came after home sales climbed 8.8 per cent in August and 18.6 per cent in July compared to the same months last year, raising hopes that Toronto’s market may finally have been in strong recovery mode after a weak first half of 2018.
TREB said one issue impacting sales in September was declining supply, with new listings falling 3.1 per cent compared to September last year. TREB said growing sales and falling listings means the market is getting tighter and many buyers have found it more difficult to get the home they want.
However, the total volume of active listings in the GTA was up 5.6 per cent compared to last September, and the average home sold in September was on the market for 26 days compared to 24 days last year, so supply is not as tight as it was earlier in 2017 before the Toronto market cooled sharply.
Home prices rose 2.9 per cent in September compared to the same month last year to an average sales price of $796,786 for all types of homes. But prices were down 0.5 per cent in September compared to August, based on TREB’s preliminary adjustment for seasonal variation.
Jason Mercer, TREB’s director of market analysis, said price growth has been strongest for condominiums, semi-detached homes and townhouses, which are more affordable options than detached homes.
The average detached house in the GTA sold for $1,008,361 in September, down 0.6 per cent over September, 2017. The average condominium meanwhile sold for $570,140, up 10 per cent compared to September last year.
TREB is hosting an election forum on Wednesday afternoon with Toronto mayoral candidates John Tory and Jennifer Keesmat, focused on housing issues. TREB is urging policy makers to focus on increasing the supply of mid-density housing options, such as townhouses.