Home Prices Skyrocket in York Region with Demand
Toronto MLS average price, 2015 and 2016
- JANUARY 1, 2015 $552,575
- JANUARY 1, 2016 631,09
- FEBRUARY 1, 2015 $596,163
- FEBRUARY 1, 2016 $685,278
- MARCH 1, 2015 $613,815
- MARCH 1, 2016 $688,181
Source: Toronto Real Estate Board
By: Sunny Freeman
The Greater Toronto Area real estate market is on pace for another year of record-breaking sales and double-digit price growth as buyers bid aggressively for the few houses on the market. According to the Toronto Real Estate Board, sales in the first quarter of 2016 rose 15.8 per cent from the opening three months of last year.
Lack of housing supply is pushing more buyers to make hard-to-resist deals days before the seller is slated to accept bids. These are also known as bully offers.
The 10,326 homes sold in March was a 16.2-per-cent increase from the year earlier and accounted for nearly half the 22,575 homes that changed hands in the first quarter. The average selling price across all housing types in the Greater Toronto Area rose 12.1 per cent year-over-year in March to $688,181.
The market could have experienced even stronger sales growth if it were not constrained by a deficit of new listings, said Jason Mercer, TREB’s director of market analysis.“That’s why we’re seeing strong increases in selling prices, yet on the other side, if we did see more listings come online, they’d be absorbed in short order because of pent-up demand,” he said.“I think the first quarter certainly suggests that we could be on track for another record year and likely the only thing that could slow that down is if we continue to see a dip in listings.”
The number of new listings was down compared to the same period last year, meaning there were more buyers competing for fewer homes. The number of homes listed for sale in the first quarter fell to its lowest level for a first quarter in at least 12 years, according to an analysis by National Bank.
A competition among buyers for fewer homes often results in bidding wars that drive prices higher. In March, the average detached GTA home inched closer to the $1 million mark, sitting at $910,375.
Nearly half of the 23 agents’ open houses listed for Tuesday in Toronto’s central core were for properties valued between $3.5 million and $16.8 million.
Toronto is a seller’s market and it will remain that way for some time as strong jobs and population growth in the GTA will continue to drive demand, while few new detached homes are being built.