The Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) says the Greater Toronto Area housing market is becoming increasingly “tighter” in its September report.
According to TREB, the number of new listings across the GTA were down in September, while home sale prices continued to be on the rise compared to a year ago.
TREB says home sales last month in the region were up 1.9% compared to September 2017, with the average selling price up 2.9% to $796,786 from $774,489.
In the board’s September report, it was revealed that sales through TREB’s MLS system totalled 6,455, up from 6,344 at this time last year.
Additionally, the MLS HPI composite benchmark price was up by 2% year-over-year.
Meanwhile, new listings totalled 15,920 in the GTA, down 3.1% compared with 16,433 in September 2017.
With sales up year-over-year and new listings down, market conditions in the GTA have become increasingly tighter and TREB says buyers may have found that it’s been more difficult to find a home that meets their needs.
“While higher borrowing costs and tougher mortgage qualification rules have kept sales levels off the record pace set in 2016, many households remain positive about home ownership as a quality long-term investment,” said TREB President Garry Bhaura.
Bhaura added that as the GTA population continues to grow, the real challenge in the housing market will be supply rather than demand.
“The Toronto Real Estate Board is especially concerned with issues affecting housing supply as we move towards municipal elections across the region.”
On a monthly basis, after preliminary seasonal adjustment, sales edged up by 0.2% in September compared to this past August.
The average selling price, after preliminary seasonal adjustment, edged lower by 0.5% month-over-month.
“Generally speaking, annual rates of price growth have been stronger for higher density home types in 2018, including condominium apartments, townhouses and semi-detached houses,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Director of Market Analysis.
This means in many neighbourhoods, these types of homes provide more affordable home-ownership options.
“This is why a policy focus on increasing mid-density housing options throughout the GTA is important,” added Mercer.