The Toronto Real Estate Board released its resale market results for October 2018, reporting tightening conditions in the Greater Toronto Area with sales up and new listings down.
In October 2018, there were 7,492 sales reported through the MLS system, which is 6% higher than the same month last year. While sales grew, new listings fell 2.7% with just 14,431 in the month.
“Annual sales growth has been positive since the late spring. While the OSFI stress test and higher borrowing costs have kept sales below 2016’s record pace, many households in the Greater Toronto Area remain upbeat on homeownership as a quality long-term investment,” says TREB President Garry Bhaura. “A strong regional economy and steady population growth will continue to support the demand for housing ownership as we move into 2019.”
The detached market accounted for the most sales, finishing October with 3,328 transactions, which is 7.1% year-over-year growth. But, the greatest sales jump was in the semi-detached market, increasing 12.7% with 774 sales. This is likely a response to the high price of detached homes.
The average selling price of a detached home in the GTA last month was $1,019,416, a 1% increase compared to the same period last year. The average selling price of a semi in October 2018 was $816,657; much lower, making it a relatively more affordable low-rise option.
Based on average selling price, the most affordable housing type was a condo apartment, finishing the month at $564,523. While this is the lowest average price, the condo market experienced the largest price growth year-over-year, jumping 7.5%. Condos usually have the lowest average selling price because of the lower average square footage.
“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,” says Jason Mercer, TREB’s Director of Market Analysis. “With municipal elections in the rear view mirror, all levels of government need to concentrate on policies that could remove impediments to a better-supplied housing market, including facilitating the development of a broader array of medium density housing choices.”
The overall average selling price for all housing types in the GTA was $807,340 in October 2018, which is 3.5% higher than last year. As you can see from the average prices above, the growth is primarily driven by the condo market. TREB does mention that high-density low-rise homes were a hot ticket item in October.