Toronto real estate sales up 45.6% in February

Toronto real estate sales reached 7,256 in February 2020, representing a 45.6-per-cent increase compared to February 2019, when home sales fell to a 10-year low. This is according to the latest housing market data released by the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB).

While home sales are way up compared to last February’s 4,982 transactions, February 2020 still fell short of the peak levels seen in 2017.

February’s year-over-year sales growth in the Greater Toronto Area was dominated by single-family homes.

Month-over-month, Toronto real estate sales increased by 14.8 per cent in February 2020.

New listings were up year-over-year, numbering at 10,613 in February 2020. This is up 7.9 per cent from February 2019. TRREB notes that this moderate increase in listings was much smaller than the sales reported, signalling even tighter market conditions ahead.

Active listings in February 2020 numbered 8,816, a 33.6-per-cent decline compared to the 13,284 active listings on the market in February 2019.

Tighter market conditions have prompted even greater competition between buyers, with multiple-offer scenarios becoming a common occurrence.

“Toronto real estate is extremely active, and we expect a busy spring housing market ahead,” says Christopher Alexander, Executive Vice President and Regional Director, RE/MAX of Ontario-Atlantic Canada. “A cut in interest rates, in an effort to boost the global economy, will only add fuel to Toronto’s already-hot housing market.”

Rising sales and low inventory have resulted in further acceleration of home prices year-over-year. The average residential selling price was up by 16.7 per cent, to $910,290. Double-digit average price growth was experienced for most major market segments, including detached houses and condominium apartments.

Toronto’s housing prices are expected to continue rising, due to the shortage of listings. “We won’t see significant change until inventory levels are addressed in hot markets like Toronto,” Alexander adds. “We need to continue to push for housing affordability, as well as an increase in housing supply for buyers and renters, but we have yet to see a comprehensive national housing strategy to help facilitate this shift.”

Toronto Market Stats Archive

Toronto real estate sales and prices up in January, inventory down

Toronto real estate prices continue to rise in a face of falling inventory. According to the latest data from the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB), 4,581 homes changed hands in January 2020 – a 15.4-per-cent increase year-over-year. On a month-over-month basis, sales rose by 4.8 per cent. Active listings, meanwhile, are down 35 per cent. Strong sales coupled with constrained supply resulted in double-digit price growth last month.

“We started 2020 where 2019 left off, with very strong growth in the number of sales up against a continued dip in the number of new and available listings,” TRREB President Michael Collins noted in the Toronto real estate board’s release this morning. “Tighter market conditions compared to a year ago resulted in much stronger growth in average selling prices. Steady population growth, low unemployment and low borrowing costs continued to underpin substantial competition between buyers in all major market segments.”

In lockstep with the rising rate of home sales and dwindling inventory, average Toronto real estate prices were up in January. The Greater Toronto Area, prices were up 12.3 per cent, driven by single-family home and condominium apartment sales in Toronto proper. The average selling price in the GTA was $839,363 (compared to $747,175 at this time last year). Meanwhile in Toronto proper, the average price in January was $884,385.

TRREB notes that the key price differentiator between January 2020 and January 2019 was in the low-rise property market, particularly with regard to detached houses. Many buyers who were previously priced out of the market due to the mortgage stress test are re-entering, driving strong year-over-year detached price growth.

In its 2020 Housing Market Outlook, RE/MAX calls for home prices in Toronto proper to rise by six per cent throughout 2020, to $933,691. This expectation is based on continued demand for detached housing, higher employment rates and economic growth, as well as improved affordability compared to the last three years.