The Greater Toronto Area real estate market continued to experience robust activity throughout the late autumn, as the latest numbers reveal the strongest annual sales and price growth year to date across all home types in November.
According to the latest data from the Toronto Real Estate Board, home sales in the GTA soared 14.2% from the same month in 2018, with a total of 7,090 transactions. The average home price also saw an aggressive uptick, increasing 7.1% to $843,637 across the region, while the MLS Home Price Index – a measure of the value of homes changing hands – increased 6.8%. For both measures, it was the largest increase in the pace of growth experienced in 2019. Part of this is due to the increased volume in high-priced detached home sales, which led the market in terms of activity.
Meanwhile, the number of new listings continued to drop by -17.9%, putting increased pressure on a growing supply and demand gap. That’s resulting in a faster pace of price growth, as well as hotter competition among
GTA Real Estate Now a Steep Sellers’ Market
Real estate conditions for the GTA as a whole can be classified as a steep sellers’ market with a sales-to-new-listings ratio of 81%, indicating just under 20% of all new listed homes remained on the market by the end of the month. This ratio, which measures the level of competition among buyers, is calculated by dividing the number of sales by the number of new listings over the course of the month. A ratio between 40- 60% indicates a balanced market, while below and above that threshold indicate buyers’ and sellers’ markets, respectively.
Conditions were similarly steep within the City of Toronto, which experienced a 6.6% increase in sales with 2,718 transactions, while new listings fell 15% at 3,308. That pushed the city’s SNLR to 82%, while the average home price now approaches the $1-million-mark, rising 8.3% to $910,419. Sold house prices in Toronto are now well above that threshold, increasing 12.7% y-o-y to an average of $1,360,246.
The 905, which includes the Mississauga, Brampton, and Oakville real estate markets, saw the greatest increase in sales with a total of 4,372 homes trading hands, up a whopping 19.5%. Meanwhile, new listings plunged by the same percentage, pushing the SNLR to 81%, and the average home price by 6.8% to $802,120.
“Strong population growth in the GTA coupled with declining negotiated mortgage rates resulted in sales accounting for a greater share of listings in November and throughout the second half of 2019,” says Jason Mercer, TREB’s chief market analyst. “Increased competition between buyers has resulted in an acceleration in price growth. Expect the rate of price growth to increase further if we see no relief on the listings supply front.”
More Buyers Are Returning to Housing Market
As well, the number of qualified buyers entering the market has increased as the effects of recent market-cooling policies are receding; home buyers who were previously sidelined by tougher taxes and mortgage rules are now bouncing back, putting additional pressure on the scant supply of available homes.
Stated TREB President Michael Collins, “An increasing number of home buyers impacted by demand-side policies over the past three years, including the 2017 Ontario Fair Housing Plan and the OSFI mortgage stress test, have moved back into the market for ownership housing. Based on affordability and strict mortgage qualification standards, many buyers may have likely adjusted their preferences, changing the type and / or location of home they ultimately chose to purchase.”
Check out the infographics below to see how sales and prices have increased across all home types in the 905 and 416 markets in November: