Detached Homes

Market Update: Scorching-hot August market mobilizes GTA home buyers

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GTA REAL ESTATE – August was one of the busiest months of 2013 for home sales in Toronto, with the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) reporting 7,569 residential transactions – representing a huge 21 per cent increase over 6,249 GTA homes sold in August 2012.

These numbers are reflective of Toronto area home buyers’ willingness to participate in the real estate market, despite recent Bank of Canada moves to restrict mortgage lending.

“Sales were up strongly this past August for all major home types compared to last year,” TREB president Dianne Usher said in a release. “Many households have accounted for the added costs brought on by stricter mortgage lending guidelines and have reactivated their search for a home.”

Some of the key highlights for August included:

  • An impressive 19.2 per cent year-over-year increase in sales of townhouses throughout the GTA’s 905 region. This upward shift in the region’s townhome popularity was accompanied by a 6.7 per cent year-over-year increase in price.
  • Condos in Toronto’s central 416 region experienced a dramatic comeback, with 1,280 sales in August – representing a 21.4 per cent year-over-year increase.
  • Detached houses experienced an incredible sales month across the entire GTA this August, with 24.4 per cent year-over-year increase in sales accompanying a 4.9 per cent year-over-year increase in average home price.

Strong August markets in both Toronto and Vancouver have gotten the attention of news publications both at home and abroad – even the Wall Street Journal got in touch with TREB’s Jason Mercer to ask him why the numbers are promising. Here’s an excerpt from that portion of the article:

Jason Mercer, senior market analyst for TREB, told Canada Real Time that while summer home sales in Toronto have seen a steady monthly decline, the high spike in August activity reflects “pent up demand” in the city’s housing market.

“We’re still seeing sales that were quite a bit lower earlier on in the year, so as we see that level out a little bit, that suggests we’re accounting for some of the pent up demand that built up over the course of the last year as people adjusted to new lending guidelines,” he said.

Mercer also added that in his view, “Worries of the housing market bubbling up to frothy levels are overblown.”

These numbers will certainly be encouraging for homeowners who have been thinking of trading up (or downsizing) to a different home, as Canadian real estate markets generally see a boost in sales activity during early autumn.

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