GTA housing sales up 24.3% in July

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The home price index around the GTA was up 4.4 per cent in July as the supply of properties for sale tightened and the number of sales jumped 24.3 per cent from July last year, the Toronto Real Estate Board reports.

The overall average selling price for properties in the Greater Toronto Area was up 3.2 per cent year-over-year to $806,755, TREB said in a monthly report issued Tuesday.

The number of properties sold increased to 8,595 from 6,916, with sales of all four categories of housing up by double digits.

On the other hand, he said, sales of fully detached homes have been more affected by a stress test required for federally regulated mortgages and the average price for that category of housing was down 0.9 per cent overall.

In the City of Toronto itself, the average price for fully detached homes fell 9.1 per cent to $1.23 million, offsetting a 2.5 per cent increase in the surrounding 905 area to an average of $929,633.

TREB says that the supply of properties for sale in the Greater Toronto Area was also tighter than it was last year.

There were 14,393 new listings in the GTA during the month, up from 13,873 in July 2018, but the total number of active listings at the end of July was down 9.1 per cent from a year ago.

The board said it welcomes a move by Toronto Mayor John Tory and the city council, which instructed staff to report on ways to increase housing options in neighbourhoods that traditionally have had single-family dwellings.

TREB also said it supports provincial government consultations to “spur on and speed up” the development of different forms of housing.

What is really needed are smaller homes in more densely packed neighborhoods that would allow for residents to forego cars and opt for public transit. Smaller homes would be more affordable for new families and also senior empty nesters who have no more need for big homes.

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