TREB predicts strong demand for homes will continue into 2016
TORONTO – In news unlikely to shock real estate market watchers, GTA home sales activity numbers for 2015 – which had already reached a new high water mark as of November – have officially shattered the previous record set in 2007.
In its newest Market Watch report issued January 6, the Toronto Real Estate Board reported that the GTA’s total of 4,945 December home sales brought the year’s final sales total to 101,299 – a figure that not reflects not only a 9.2 per cent increase over 2014’s total, but also an impressive 8 per cent increase over 2007’s record-breaking tally of 93,192 sales.
“A relatively strong regional economy in the GTA, coupled with low borrowing costs, kept a record number of households – first-time buyers and existing homeowners alike – confident in their ability to purchase and pay for a home over the long term,” explained TREB president Mark McLean.
“As it stands, we begin 2016 with a substantial amount of pent-up demand.”
Indeed, a limited number of low-rise listings across the GTA – and the resulting competition between buyers – played a major role in spurring the year’s average home sale price to an impressive $622,217, reflecting a 9.8 per cent increase over that of 2014.
Zooming in on the month itself, December finished the year on a strong note, showing year-over-year increases of 11.9 per cent for total sales, and 9.5 per cent for average price. Townhouses were arguably the hottest home type for the month, achieving year-over-year sales increases of 23.6 per cent in the “416” region, and 16.6 per cent in the suburban “905.”
When it comes to predictions for 2016, TREB’s analysis team is staying quiet for now, but plans to release an official outlook by the end of January.
“Suffice to say that the demand for ownership housing is expected to remain very strong in 2016,” hinted Jason Mercer, Director of Market Analysis at TREB.
“Despite stricter mortgage lending guidelines and the possibility of slightly higher borrowing costs, on average, there will be many buyers who remain upbeat on the purchase of ownership housing.”