Mid-February GTA Home Sales See Dramatic Pick Up

The start of the new year was icy indeed for real estate demand in the Greater Toronto Area, but that appears to be thawing fast as the first two weeks of February reveal booming month over month sales growth.

Sales were up from January levels across all home types, though still trending between 33 – 43 per cent lower than the same time last year in the GTA, and 30 – 56 per cent lower in the City of Toronto – a consistent trend in the months following the introduction of the Ontario Fair Housing Plan.

The market remains largely balanced, as a flurry of new listings revitalize both buyers and sellers, who appear to be re-entering the market in droves.

Check out the infographic below to see how mid-month February’s sales and listings activity has changed since this time last year.

Related Read: GTA January Real Estate Off to a Slower Start


Condos – Up and Running

The appetite for high-rise and multi-family housing is anticipated to lead the 2018 market, as new mortgage rules limit affordability and qualification options for many prospective home buyers. While off to a relatively quiet start in January, the condo segment is now in full swing, with 92- and 96-per cent sales upticks in the GTA and City of Toronto, respectfully.

While 33- and 56-per cent lower than the uber-hot conditions of February 2017, it’s evident buyers currently seeking units are making serious forays into the market. There’s also considerably more new inventory to work with, as new listings increase 22 and 27 per cent compared to the first two weeks of last month. This has led to continued balanced conditions in both the GTA and 416, at 40- and 42-per-cents.

Townhouses – Steadily Growing Demand

Condo townhouses and rowhouses saw solid month-over-month recovery, with sales up 47 per cent in the GTA, and a whopping 70 per cent in the 416. Listings also rose moderately from January, with 13 per cent and 29 per cent more coming to market, effectively offsetting steeper sales activity and keeping the segment from entering sellers’ territory. However, while softer than last year by 43 and 48 per cents in the GTA and 416 respectively, townhomes remain limited by much smaller available quantities, with only 293 brought to market this month in the total GTA region, compared to 1,277 condo units.

Detached – Back with a Vengeance in the 416

Detached dwellings – by far the priciest segment, and the one that has seen the greatest softening due to new real estate rules – are off to a booming start this month, with sales up 179 per cent in the 416, and 34 per cent throughout the whole TREB region compared to January. While still 30 per cent below last year’s scorching activity, it’s clear buyers are navigating OSFI’s new mortgage hurdles and, with preapproval in hand, are clamouring for what’s available.

With 67 per cent more houses added to 416 inventory, it’s also evident that sellers have shaken off the post-holiday blues, and are keen to drum up interest as buyers re-enter the market.

However, this burst of new listings has countered new demand, keeping the detached segment technically within a buyers’ market, with ratios of 30 per cent in the GTA and 37 per cent in the City of Toronto.

Related Read: These Toronto Neighbourhoods are now Buyers’ Markets

Semi-Detached: Sales and Inventory on the Rise

Semi-detached homes have also seen a healthy increase in interest, with sales up 116 per cent in Toronto, and 33 per cent in the GTA from last month (-38 and -36 per cent below last year’s levels). This housing type remains in firmly balanced territory, with ratios of 44 and 45 per cents, as an infusion of new listings (+34 and +69 per cents) offset rising demand.

About Penelope Graham

Penelope Graham is the Managing Editor at Zoocasa, and has over a decade of experience covering real estate, mortgage, and personal finance topics. Her commentary on the housing market is frequently featured on both national and local media outlets including BNN Bloomberg, CBC, The Toronto Star, National Post, and The Huffington Post. When not keeping an eye on Toronto's hot housing market, she can be found brunching in one of the city's many vibrant neighbourhoods, travelling abroad, or in the dance studio.

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