Photo: James Bombales
The GTA recorded 11,706 sales of existing homes in May, a 6.3 per cent increase over the same time last year and a new record for the month.
Despite the flurry of activity, the market remains quite tight with the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) reporting a 10.1 per cent drop in active listings, year-over-year, and a 0.8 decline in new listings. The lack of stock was felt in the low-rise sector in the City of Toronto especially. Detached house sales in the city fell 6 per cent from last May and were the only property type to measure an annual decline in sales. However, the increase in sales for semi-detached homes in the city was tiny, edging up by just 0.4 per cent.
Tight supply and high sales led to yet another increase in prices. The average selling price for an existing home in the GTA rose 11 per cent annually to $649,599. In the 905 region, the average now sits at $611,287, while the City of Toronto is $718,350.
The MLS House Price Index also saw a significant increase, rising by 8.9 per cent, year-over-year. Since the average came out higher than the price index, it indicates more high-priced properties were sold in May.
“With no relief so far on the listings front, expect similar rates of price growth as we move through the remainder of 2015. At this point, a number of months where listings growth outstrips sales growth would be required to satisfy pent-up demand,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Director of Market Analysis.
Just how much has pent-up demand pushed up prices in the GTA? As sales dropped for detached houses in the City of Toronto, prices rose an astonishing 18.2 per cent, year-over-year, to an average of $1,115,120. Semi-detached houses in the city followed with an increase of 13.7 per cent to $779,523.
Here’s a look at how the monthly average for homes sold in the GTA has risen since the start of 2014: