Springtime on Spadina by Susannah van der Zaag
Toronto real estate still stands strong in the terms of sales. Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 12,077 residential sales through TREB’s MLS® System last month. This represented a 17.7 per cent increase compared with March 2016 that had only 10,260 sales reported. The biggest sellers were condos with 23.9 per cent growth and detached houses with 19.8 per cent. Townhouse sales were also rising, by 12.2 per cent and semi-detached houses only by 1.9 per cent.
Number of new listing were also doing better than last year. With 17,051 new listings in the system, there was 15.2 per cent change for the better. Unfortunately, the sales growth greatly outpaced the listing growth on the market and average price continued to grow. In year-over-year comparison average price grew by 33.2 per cent, from $688,01 to $916,567. The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) Composite Benchmark Price was up by 28.6 per cent. Jason Mercer, TREB’s Director of Market Analysis commented the situation:
Annual rates of price growth continued to accelerate in March as growth in sales outstripped growth in listings. A substantial period of months in which listings growth is greater than sales growth will be required to bring the GTA housing market back into balance. As policy makers seek to achieve this balance, it is important that an evidence-based approach is followed.
TREB’s President Larry Cerqua announced that TREB is in negotiations with government official in regard of new policies for GTA real estate. He noted that it’s very important to understand the dynamics of high demand and short supply that Toronto is facing right now and act with this situation in mind:
It has been encouraging to see that policymakers have not implemented any knee-jerk policies regarding the GTA housing market. Different levels of government are holding consultations with market stakeholders and TREB has participated and will continue to participate in these discussions. Policy makers must remember that it is the interplay between the demand for and supply of listings that influences price growth.