Price Increases and Lower Sales Shape February Housing Market

Toronto Real Estate News

The housing market in the Greater Toronto Area showed lower sales and listing activity in February 2014. These are the same trends we've been observing over the last couple of months. A lack of inventory for detached houses, semi-detached properties, and townhouses often forces buyers into bidding wars, which result in higher average prices for the whole area. Almost 44 per cent of surveyed people declared that they would bid in order to buy the house they want. We can expect that the upcoming spring will put even more pressure on the market, which could result in a further listings decrease.

TD Centre In Toronto By James G
TD Centre In Toronto By James G

Adding my own realtor's opinion, I can see that properties are selling faster and there are more clients who visit them. There's a sharp difference between last year's predictions and the current market situation. This proves that if anything, the housing market is highly unpredictable, with constant price fluctuations. 

JS data2014 FEBRUARY 1
JS data2014 FEBRUARY 1

Jason Mercer, the Toronto Real Estate Board's (TREB) senior manager of market analysis, comments on the price increases for the housing properties in the Greater Toronto Area:

"Home prices, on average, will trend upwards at a pace well above the rate of inflation. The impact of strong price growth on affordability will be mitigated by low borrowing costs"

February 2014 finished with 5,731 recorded sales. This figure was 2.1 per cent higher than the 5,613 sales in February 2013. Despite increased year-over-year activity, the number of new listings decreased 1 per cent, from 11,005 in February 2013 to 10,897 in February 2014. The overall number of active listings in the Greater Toronto Area in February 2014 was 14,019, which was 12.2 per cent fewer than February last year. As we've pointed out in previous reports, this trend puts considerable pressure on buyers and makes bidding wars more likely. As a result, the average price for February 2014 stayed reached $553,193 — an increase of 8.6 per cent from February 2013.

JS data2014 FEBRUARY 2
JS data2014 FEBRUARY 2

Except for condo apartments, there was a shortage of inventory in the Toronto housing market. Detached house sales reached 668 for the City of Toronto in February 2014. This represents a decrease of 8 per cent from last February. Semi-detached house sales totalled 202, decreasing 11.8 per cent from February 2013. Townhouse property sales in February 2014 fell to 207, which was an 8.8 per cent drop from the same month last year. Only condo apartments sales have increased, by 9.6 per cent since last year, reaching 1,031 sales in February 2014.

TREB president Dianne Usher commented on the current situation:

  "If we see renewed growth in listings for low-rise home types, the pace of sales growth will accelerate as we move through the year."

Average housing prices in Toronto for all four types of properties increased substantially year-over-year. The average price of detached houses amounted to $955,314, which was 15.7 per cent more than in February 2013. Semi-detached properties increased 8 per cent from the same month last year, reaching $668,298. Townhouses experienced the highest year-to-year increase of 20.7 per cent, climbing to $545,043. Condo apartments were worth $372,628 on average — which represents an increase of 6 per cent.

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JS data2014 FEBRUARY 3

Toronto Central

There were a total 1,059 sales in the Toronto Central area in February 2014. Of these, 49 sales were recorded in the C02 area, with an average price of $1,094,870. New listings for the whole of Toronto Central reached 2,315, with active listings at 3,339. In the C02 area, 121 new listings were recorded in February 2014. The number of active listings for the C02 area was 204 in February 2014.

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JS data2014 FEBRUARY 4

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