GREATER TORONTO – While any real estate market watcher will admit that the GTA’s record-breaking 2015 might be a tough act to follow, newly-released survey numbers have revealed that home buyers and sellers are looking forward to another busy sales year in 2016.
Released on January 18, the first-ever edition of the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREV) ’s Market Year in Review & Outlook Report was created with the help of a TREB-commissioned Ipsos Reid survey conducted in November 2015. In it, TREB’s research and analysis team attempts to make predictions for 2016 based on the major 2015 market trends revealed by the survey.
For the benefit of our readers who may not have time to wade through the 73 pages of TREB’s official report, here’s a breakdown of some of the report’s most interesting statistics and predictions:
2015’s Real Estate Trends
- Across the GTA, 80 per cent of new homes completed in 2015 were high-rise properties. Condominium apartment sales were strongest in the City of Toronto – where they represented 45 per cent of sales activity.
- Across the GTA, low-rise (detached, semi-detached, and townhouse) properties continued to dominate the market, accounting for 88 per cent of all home re-sales.
- As previously reported, first-time buyers played a huge role in the real estate market – accounting for 53 per cent of GTA-wide transactions, and 60 per cent of those in the City of Toronto.
- As of 2015, the average GTA homeowner had lived in their home for 10 years. An unwillingness to move – which, among survey respondents, was associated primarily with upfront moving costs – played a major role in driving up the prices for detached properties, especially in the urban “416” region.
The Forecast for 2016
- TREB predicts that strong sales activity will continue throughout this year, and estimates a final home sale tally of somewhere between 96,500 and 105,000 – the accuracy of which will depend upon changes to borrowing costs, and the number of homes listed for sale.
- Continuing “seller’s market” conditions are predicted to keep the average sale price at an elevatedlevel, somewhere between $655,000 and $665,000.
- Mortgage rates are expected to either remain at their current levels, or fall even further due to federal-level economic considerations.
- 12 per cent of surveyed GTA households are “very likely” to purchase a home by year’s end (with 18 per cent of those home hunters eyeing condo apartments).
- Roughly 83 per cent of those planning to buy homes will be using a mortgage to finance the purchase.
Overall, the GTA is expected to be one of Canada’s strongest economic markets in 2016 – with the real estate market showing positive levels of activity, as eager buyers continue to take advantage of low interest rates.
For a more detailed look back at the year 2015 in real estate sales, be sure to check out the archive of our previous Market Update features.