Photo: George Kelly/Flickr
The Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) is vowing to look into factors causing a for-sale housing shortage across the Greater Toronto Area following a further drop in new listings in June during a period of “record” demand.
A total of 12,794 existing homes changed hands via TREB’s multiple listing service (MLS) system in June, an increase of 7.5 per cent compared to that month a year ago, according to the board’s latest monthly stats, released today.
At the same time, 3.8 per cent fewer homes — 16,980, to be exact — were listed last month than in June 2015, which is pushing prices higher as more buyers compete for fewer properties, notes TREB’s report.
And by the end of June, there were 17,972 homes listed for sale on TREB’s MLS system, representing a 31.4 per cent decline from a year earlier.
Accordingly, the average sale price of a GTA home soared 16.8 per cent year-over-year to $746,546 in June, with low-rise homes (including detached and semi-detached homes as well as townhouses) being the main drivers of growth.
In an environment where “would-be homebuyers continue to face an uphill battle against a constrained supply of listings,” Larry Cerqua, TREB’s inbound president, touches on the board’s plans for researching the GTA’s housing market.
“TREB will be undertaking, and making public, results of additional research in the second half of 2016, with the goal of proactively adding to the housing policy discussion,” he adds.
“As the federal, provincial and local levels of government discuss housing policy in the coming months, issues affecting the lack of supply in the GTA should be of paramount importance,” he says in a statement.
Recently, Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced a new housing market working group including provincial and municipal levels of government in Ontario and British Columbia, reports the CBC.
“The working group will review the broad range of policy levers that affect both supply and demand for housing, the issue of affordability, and the stability of the housing market,” says Morneau, according to the CBC.
TREB currently releases annual outlook reports, including surveys of homeowners and buyers. The most recent edition was published in January.
BuzzBuzzHome News contacted TREB for more information about what its ramped up research would involve and received an emailed statement in response.
“Generally speaking, TREB’s plans for future research projects/reports include more homebuyers/buying surveys, taking advantage of third-party research, as well as expanding on TREB’s housing outlook report,” writes Jason Mercer, TREB’s market analysis director, in an email.
While low supply was cited the cause of price increases, TREB’s latest numbers show condos remain a far more affordable option on average for buyers.
Condos sold for an average price of $421,456 in June, up 7.7 per cent from the same point last year.
Meantime, the average price for a detached home in the GTA climbed 19.9 per cent year-over-year to $979,445 in June.
Looking only at Toronto — the entire GTA also encompasses the outlying York, Peel, Halton and Durham Regions — that number in June rises to $1,259,486, up 19.6 per cent year-over-year.
Yet Toronto condo prices track more closely with the GTA-wide figure, with the average Toronto condo having a sale price of $448,002 in June, a 6.9-per-cent increase from a year ago.
“When TREB surveyed consumer intentions for 2016, we found that the majority of GTA households who were likely to purchase a home continued to be pointed towards some form of ground oriented housing,” says Mercer in a separate statement.
“This is why we continue to see strong competition between buyers in many neighbourhoods where supply remains constrained,” he adds.