Toronto home sales accelerate, even as supply remains scarce

Toronto’s residential property sector has recently been characterized by accelerating sales and tight inventory, according to TREB’s latest data.

The market saw 9,989 home sale transactions close through the Board’s MLS System last month. This was 18.9% above the 15-year low for May, which was seen last year.

“Sales activity continues to be below the longer-term norm, as potential home buyers come to terms with the OSFI mortgage stress test and the fact that listings continue to be constrained relative to sales,” TREB president Garry Bhaura said.

“After a sluggish start to 2019, the second quarter appears to be reflecting a positive shift in consumer sentiment toward ownership housing. Households continue to see ownership housing in the GTA as a quality long-term investment as population growth from immigration remains strong and the regional economy continues to create jobs across diversity of sectors.”

Bhaura warned, however, that the May numbers are still considerably lower than the long-term average of 10,300 for that month.

The number of active home listings crept up by just 0.8%, for a total of 19,386 properties. Sales prices went up by 3.6% annually, reaching an average of $838,540. The cost increase was much larger compared to April (1.9% year-over-year gains) and March (0.5%).

TREB chief market analyst Jason Mercer cautioned that price growth might become unsustainable if supply continues to be an issue.

“This potential outcome underpins calls from TREB and other housing industry stakeholders to address roadblocks preventing a more sustainable and diverse supply of housing reaching the market,” Mercer stated.

“Many households are not comfortable listing their homes for sale because they feel that there are no housing options available to better meet their needs.”

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