Some 7,385 houses and highrise condos changed hands in November, up 14 per cent year over year. The average sale price of a home climbed to $632,685, up 9.6 per cent from a year earlier. The GTA set a new record for home sales in November, catapulting the region to a new annual sales record — and there’s still a month of frantic house hunting to go before 2015 is even over.
Some 7,385 houses and highrise condos changed hands in November, up 14 per cent year over year, according to figures released by the Toronto Real Estate Board Thursday.
The average sale price of a home — stand-alone houses and condos combined — climbed to $632,685 in November, up 9.6 per cent from a year earlier, says TREB. The MLS composite benchmark price, which factors out sales at the extreme ends of the spectrum, climbed by 10.3 per cent.
That record November brought sales so far this year to 96,401 homes across the GTA — shattering the previous sales record of 93,193 for all of 2007, set before the recession knocked the steam out of Canada’s real estate market.
Since then, it’s been an unrelenting climb back, with bidding wars and bully bids now almost a given for stand-alone houses — and even some condos — across the sought-after City of Toronto and booming regions within a relatively easy commute of the core, such as York and Durham.
“Demand for ownership housing has remained strong in the GTA throughout 2015, with sales generally increasing at a greater annual rate compared to new listings,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s director of market analysis, in a statement.
Toronto MLS average price, 2014 and 2015
|JANUARY 1, 2014 - $526,965||JANUARY 1, 2015 - $552,575|
|FEBRUARY 1, 2014 - $552,859||FEBRUARY 1, 2015 - $596,163|
|MARCH 1, 2014 - $557,684||MARCH 1, 2015 - $613,933|
|APRIL 1, 2014 - $578,354||APRIL 1, 2015 - $635,932|
|MAY 1, 2014 - $584,946||MAY 1, 2015 - $649,599|
|JUNE 1, 2014 - $569,174||JUNE 1, 2015 - $639,184|
|JULY 1, 2014 - $550,625||JULY 1, 2015 - $609,236|
|AUGUST 1, 2014 - $546,482||AUGUST 1, 2015 - $602,607|
|SEPTEMBER 1, 2014 - $574,424||SEPTEMBER 1, 2015 - $627,395|
|OCTOBER 1, 2014 - $587,945||OCTOBER 1, 2015 - $630,876|
|NOVEMBER 1, 2014 - $577,502||NOVEMBER 1, 2015 - $632,685|
Source: Toronto Real Estate Board
“This means that competition between buyers has strengthened in many neighbourhoods in the City of Toronto and surrounding regions. The end result has been upward pressure on home prices well above the rate of inflation in most cases.”
As has been the case since the recession, listings remain a major issue: There simply aren’t enough properties being listed for sale to keep up with demand as baby boomers opt to largely stay put in their family homes.
While new listings were up in November by 10.2 per cent — some 9,609 properties came up for sale last month compared to 8,716 in November of 2014 — the total number of homes for sale, known as “active listings,” were actually down 8.6 per cent over November of 2014, according to TREB.
Semi-detached homes lead the sales and price parade in November, with sales surging 18.3 per cent year over year, and prices up 11.8 per cent across the GTA as first-time buyers and condo dwellers looked for their best chance to break into the house market.
That brought the average price of a semi-detached house to $750,608 in the City of Toronto and $504,928 in the suburban 905 regions.
But condos more than held their own, as surging stand-alone house prices continue to skyrocket out of reach: Sales were up 16 per cent in November over a year earlier, making condos the second most-popular housing purchase last month next to semis.
The average sale price of a condo was up a healthy 5.4 per cent in the City of Toronto to $415,316 and up 1.5 per cent in the 905 regions to $315,223.
Townhouse sales were up by 14.6 per cent across the GTA, bringing the average price to $549,649 in the city (up 9.1 per cent) and to $460,274 in the 905 regions (up 12 per cent.) Detached houses in the City of Toronto maintained their firm foothold in the $1 million-plus range, with sales in the 416 region up just 0.7 per cent — likely reflecting the lack of supply and decreasing affordability.
Sales were up a whopping 18.5 per cent in the 905 regions, however, as more house hunters are finding themselves forced to drive further to find a detached house they can afford.
The average price of a detached house in the City of Toronto was $1.019 million in November, compared to $762,326 in the 905 regions.
While Toronto and Vancouver remain the standouts in the Canadian housing market, with prices and sales continuing to surge, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation has predicted that things should moderate across the country over the next two years, based on an expected rise in the inventory of unsold homes, higher prices, mortgage rates and an increase in the supply of rental units.