Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) announced that the strong rebound in Greater Toronto Area (GTA) home sales continued with a record result for the month of August. GTA REALTORS® reported 10,775 residential sales through TRREB’s MLS® System in August 2020 – up by 40.3% compared to August 2019.
Sales were up on a year-over-year basis for all major home types, both in the City of Toronto and surrounding GTA regions. It should be noted that the low-rise market segments, including detached and semi-detached houses and townhouses, were the drivers of sales growth. Condominium apartment sales were up on an annual basis for the second straight month but to a lesser degree.
“Increased demand for ownership housing has been based on improving economic conditions, in terms of monthly GDP growth and job creation, and the continuation of very low borrowing costs. In addition, fewer households have chosen to go on vacation as a result of COVID-19 and instead have remained in the GTA and been active in the housing market, satisfying pent-up demand from the spring,”
Both the number of new listings entered into TRREB’s MLS® System during the month and the number of active listings at the end of August 2020 were up on a year-over-year basis. While new listings were up strongly for all home types, growth in new condominium apartment listings far outstripped growth in the other market segments.
Generally speaking, market conditions remained very tight in the GTA resale market in August. Competition between buyers was especially strong for low-rise home types, leading to robust annual rates of price growth. However, with growth in condominium apartment listings well-outstripping condo sales growth, condo market conditions were comparatively more balanced, which was reflected in a slower pace of price growth in that segment,” said Jason Mercer, TRREB’s Chief Market Analyst.
The MLS® Home Price Index Composite Benchmark was up by 11.1% in August 2020 compared to August 2019. Over the same period, the overall average selling price was up by 20.1% to $951,404. Annual detached and semi-detached sales growth was stronger in the comparatively more-expensive City of Toronto compared to the surrounding GTA regions, which helps explain why growth in the overall average selling price outstripped growth in the MLS® HPI Composite Benchmark.
“With demand for ownership housing continuing to recover, it will be important for policy makers to remain focussed on the longer-term goal of bringing more housing supply on line, especially as we return to a normal cycle of immigration. We have to focus on supply both in the aggregate and in terms of a greater diversity of home types. This will be key in addressing housing affordability in the GTA moving forward and keeping the region competitive in attracting businesses and talent from around the world,” said TRREB CEO John DiMichele.