October Home Sales and Prices on the Rise: TREB

The housing market is continuing to improve over the long-term trend reveals the latest October numbers from the Toronto Real Estate Board; sales in the Greater Toronto Area rose a solid 6 per cent with 7,492 homes sold, and prices up 3.5 per cent to an average of $807,340. The MLS Home Price Index also rose 2.6 per cent, with the majority of price growth driven by condo price increases.

Things are looking even more robust in the City of Toronto proper, with annual sales up 5.8 per cent at 3,031 homes sold, and an impressive 22.8 per cent from September’s numbers. The average home in the 416 now fetches a price of $869,870, up 6.1 per cent and 0.6 per cent year over year and month over month, respectively.

TREB President Garry Bhaura says that while the market has not yet recovered to pre-Fair Housing Plan conditions, this growth is proving positive in the medium-term and points to overall stabilization, despite additional mortgage qualification rules taking a bit out of home buyers’ purchasing power.

“Annual sales growth has been positive since the late spring. While the OSFI stress test and higher borrowing costs have kept sales below 2016’s record pace, many households in the Greater Toronto Area remain upbeat on home ownership as a quality long-term investment,” he stated. “A strong regional economy and steady population growth will continue to support housing ownership as we move into 2019.”

Fewer Listings Stoke Tougher Time for Buyers

Competition for home buyers also got a little tougher last month, as 14,431 new homes were listed for sale – a decline of 2.7 per cent from 2017. Tighter supply, combined with higher home sales, has pushed the GTA to a sales-to-new-listings ratio of 51 per cent. This ratio, which is calculated by dividing the number of home sales by new listings, determines the level of activity within a given market; based on this, the GTA remains firmly in balanced territory.

In fact, slightly fewer homes for sale remains a concern for Jason Mercer, TREB’s director of market analysis, who points out that supply continues to be the biggest factor behind eroding affordability and should be the point of focus for housing policy makers.

“Annual sales growth has outstripped annual growth in new listings for the last five months, underpinning the fact that listings supply remains an issue in the Greater Toronto Area,” he states. “With municipal elections in the rear view mirror, all levels of government need to concentrate on policies that could remove impediments to a better-supplied housing market, including facilitating the development of a broader array of medium-density housing choices.”

Toronto Home Sales by Property Type

Check out how October 2018 home sales have performed both year-over-year and month-over-month in the infographic below:


Sales and Prices by Housing Type

Semi-detached homes saw the greatest increase in sales throughout the total TREB region, up 12.7 per cent, with 774 sold. That’s followed by condo sales, which increased 7.5 per cent to a total of 2,177 units changing hands. Detached home sales clocked in at 3,328 – a 7.1-per-cent increase, while townhouses remained relatively flat at 1,154 sales (+0.8 per cent).

Condos for sale in Toronto continue to lead the market in terms of price growth, however, rising 7.4 per cent to an average of $562,523, followed by semi-detached homes at an average of $816,657 (+6.6 per cent). Townhouse prices rose 4.1 per cent to an average of $655,777, while detached home prices stayed flat, increasing just 1 per cent to an average of $1,019,416.

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.