After almost breaking an unenviable record in October 2018 due to a near total lack of sales activity, Toronto’s new single-family home market bounced back last month, soaring 178 percent.
There were 1,296 new detached, linked and semi-detached houses and townhomes sold this October, a good enough result to hit the 10-year single-family home sales average for the month, despite the market being in the doldrums just one year ago.
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The data, published by the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD) earlier this week, also showed that sales in the new condo market are still well above the 10-year average, but dipped by three percent compared to October 2018. There were 3,424 condo sales last month, 13 percent higher than the 10-year average.
“Pent-up demand is gradually being released, aided by favourable mortgage rates and some increase in the availability of single-family product that is affordable to a broader range of buyers,” said Patricia Arsenault, Altus Group’s executive vice president, data solutions. Altus Group is BILD’s new home data supplier.
The favourable mortgage rates Arsenault is referring to have been a boon to sales activity in the broader Canadian housing market all year. Mortgage rates remain much lower than they were at this time last year and bottomed out in August at a full percentage point lower than the December 2018 average rate. They have risen since, but homebuyers still have more buying power than they did in 2018 thanks to the lower rates.
On the pricing side, the benchmark for a new single-family home was $1,074,791 in October, down 3.6 percent compared to the same time last year. For new condos, the benchmark price was $833,827, up 7.5 percent from October 2018.
In a press release accompanying the October data, BILD pushed for more housing supply to be introduced to the market to help ease persistent affordability concerns that have plagued homebuyers for years, especially those entering the market for the first time.
“Based on population projections, it is clear that the demand for housing in the GTA is not going away,” said David Wilkes, BILD president and CEO.
“That’s why BILD is very supportive of the provincial government’s efforts to achieve long-term balance in the housing market. The math is simple. We need to make the process of bringing new homes to market simpler, faster and fairer to help create more housing supply and a more affordable market.”