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Cindie Carr-Harris
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TORONTO REAL ESTATE BOARD APRIL MARKET WATCH
Sunday, 12 May 2019, 10:30:00 AM

TORONTO, ONTARIO, May 6, 2019 – Toronto Real Estate Board President Garry Bhaura announced that Greater

Toronto Area REALTORS® reported a substantial year-over-year increase in home sales in April 2019. The number of

residential transactions jumped by 16.8 per cent to 9,042 compared to 7,744 in April 2018. On a preliminary

seasonally adjusted basis, sales were up 11.3 per cent compared to March 2019.

New listings were also up year-over-year by eight per cent. However, the annual growth rate for new listings was

much lower than that reported for sales. This suggests that market conditions continued to tighten which points

toward an acceleration in price growth.

“The strong year-over-year growth in sales is obviously a good news story and likely represents some catch-up from a

slow start to the year. TREB’s sales outlook for 2019 anticipates an increase relative to 2018. It should be noted,

however, that growth in new listings is not keeping pace with sales. This points to the ongoing housing supply issue in

the GTA. In this regard TREB welcomes the provincial government’s Housing Supply Action Plan announced last week

to reduce red tape and improve the mix of housing types. TREB provided input on the Plan through submissions and

participation on working groups,” said Mr. Bhaura.

The year-over-year rate of price growth generally edged up in April relative to the first three months of the year. The

MLS® HPI Composite benchmark was up by 3.2 per cent – the highest rate of growth in more than a year. The

average selling price was up by 1.9 per cent to $820,148, representing the strongest annual rate of growth so far in

2019. On a preliminary seasonally adjusted basis, the average selling price was also up by 1.1 per cent compared to

March 2019.

Price growth continued to be driven by the condominium apartment segment and higher-density low-rise segments.

The average price for detached houses dipped year-over-year, specifically in regions surrounding the City of Toronto.

The detached market segment, with the highest price point on average, has arguably been hardest hit by measures

such as the OSFI stress test.

“While sales were up year-over-year in April, it is important to note that they remain well-below April levels for much

of the past decade. Many potential home buyers arguably remain on the sidelines as they reassess their options in

light of the OSFI-mandated two percentage point stress test on mortgages. Longer term borrowing costs have

trended lower this year and the outlook for short-term rates, for which the Bank of Canada holds the lever, is flat to

down this year. Unfortunately, against this backdrop, we have seen no movement toward flexibility in the OSFI stress

test,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Chief Market Analyst.

Tight market conditions in the condominium apartment rental market remain in place. Year-to-date (January 2019

through April 2019) condominium rental transactions for one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments were up by

10.2 per cent and 9.7 per cent respectively compared to the same period in 2018. Average year-to-date rents for onebedroom

apartments were up by 7.3 per cent on an annual basis to $2,150. Over the same period, two-bedroom

apartment rents were up by 4.1 per cent to $2,815.

“The supply of ownership and rental housing is of paramount importance to the GTA, from the perspective of

affordability and economic competitiveness of the region, insofar as talented people are more likely to move to the

region if they can easily find housing that meets their needs within their budgets. With this in mind, it is also

important to think about housing supply through the lens of public transportation. TREB has been highlighting the

important links between housing and transportation for a number of years, including through research conducted for

TREB by CANCEA and the Pembina Institute dealing with transportation infrastructure’s impact on affordability and

transit supportive development respectively. TREB will continue research in these areas moving forward,” said TREB

CEO, John DiMichele.

 

 

 

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