Toronto By Chris Cheung
The first of the full spring months have kept up the tradition of strong after-winter prices and sales growth on the real estate markets. Despite fewer listings, a significant number of Torontonians found the homes of their dreams on April's market.
The market for April 2014 is pretty much on par with April 2013 — except that while the 2013 season had a late start, 2014 has never recovered from the fall selling season. Growth for 2014 has been hampered by a lack of inventory in detached and semi-detached homes especially. This has led to many multiple-offer situations, as we can see in the significant rise in average prices. Condo sales have a good inventory level and are seeing steady but less significant rises.
Greater Toronto Area Sales
The overall number of sales in the GTA last month increased 1.8 per cent compared to April last year's 9,535 sales, reaching 9,706 sales in April 2014.
City of Toronto Sales
The City of Toronto's total sales reached 3,544 sales last month, compared to 3,498 sales in April last year.
Detached house sales increased 6.9 per cent compared to last year's numbers, with 1,296 units sold. Semi-detached houses sales fell 10.8 per cent year-over-year, to 364 units. Condo apartment sales marked a 3.2 per cent rise compared to April 2013, with 1,505 units sold. Townhouse properties fell 2.7 per cent below last year's numbers, to 353 properties.
Toronto Real Estate Board president Dianne Usher confirmed that despite the shortage of listings last we saw last month, sales remained very high, as they usually do during spring. She also added:
A number of factors underlie the constrained supply of listings. Studies and polling suggest that the additional upfront land transfer tax in the City of Toronto has prompted some households to stay put and renovate rather than list their home and move. In the broader GTA context, above-trend home sales in the years leading up to the recession have meant that many households who purchased during this period simply aren't ready to move again.
The Greater Toronto Area
The average selling price in April 2014 in the GTA reached $577,898, a 10.1 per cent increase compared to April 2013's average selling price of $524,868.
The MLS® HPI Composite Benchmark Price was $502,700 last month. The benchmark price rose 7.02 per cent year-over-year.
The City of Toronto
Last month's average selling price in the City of Toronto reached $641,666, representing a significant increase compared to the $573,875 we saw in April last year.
Condo apartment properties' average price rose 1.8 per cent year-over-year, reaching $384,758 per unit last month. Semi-detached houses marked an 18 per cent increase in prices compared to April last year, with an average $702,332 per unit. Detached houses increased 13.2 per cent, with an average price of $965,670 per unit. The April 2014 townhouse property market, with an average price of $498,083, jumped 14.7 per cent compared to April last year.
Jason Mercer, TREB's senior manager of market analysis, explained that the GTA was driven by the single-detached, semi-detached, and townhouse market segments in the City of Toronto itself. He added:
So far this year, there has been no relief on the listings front for these home types in many neighbourhoods in Toronto and surrounding regions. Until we see a marked and sustained increase in listings, we should expect to see the annual rate of price growth above the long-term norm.
Toronto Central: C02 Area
The real estate market saw 164 new listings throughout last month, raising the overall number of active listings in the C02 area to 247. The total sales in the C02 area reached 89 units. The average price in the C02 area dropped to $1,093,809 compared to last month's $1,139,617 average price per unit.