Toronto home sales climbed in October as new listings fell, pushing prices higher and signalling the city's real estate market is tightening.
The Toronto Real Estate Board said 7,492 homes sold in the Greater Toronto Area last month, a 6 per cent increase over October last year. The average sale price for all types of homes climbed 3.5 per cent on a year-over-year basis to $807, 340, TREB said.
The price gains came as the number of homes newly listed for sale fell 2.7 per cent in October compared to a year ago, which means market conditions tightened somewhat last month.
“Annual sales growth has outstripped annual growth in new listings for the last five months, underpinning the fact that listings supply remains an issue in the Greater Toronto Area,” Jason Mercer, TREB’s director of market analysis, said in a statement.
The number of homes sold in the GTA has been climbing on a year-over-year basis since the late spring. TREB said tougher mortgage qualification rules and rising interest rates may have kept sales below 2016’s record pace, but many people in the region are still keen to buy.
“A strong regional economy and steady population growth will continue to support the demand for housing ownership as we move into 2019,” TREB president Garry Bhaura said.
Sales of detached homes improved in October after lagging in the second half of 2017 and early 2018. TREB said the number of detached houses sold in the GTA in October climbed 7.1 per cent compared to last year, but the average price grew just 1 per cent to $1,019,416.
The volume of detached home sales climbed 10.1 per cent in the City of Toronto and 6 per cent in the suburban 905 region surrounding Toronto.
While the detached home market is showing signs of slow improvement, the less expensive housing categories are continuing to drive most of the price increase in the GTA.
The average sale price for condominiums, for example, climbed 7.5 per cent to $562,523 in October compared to a year ago. Semi-detached home prices rose 6.6 per cent to an average of $816,657 in October, while townhouse prices were up 4.1 per cent to an average of $655,777.