Toronto home sales spring back to highest levels since 2017
Toronto's housing market came storming back in May.
Sales in Canada's biggest city soared 19% from the same month a year earlier to 9,989 transactions, while prices rose, the Toronto Real Estate Board reported Wednesday. While a substantial jump, sales are picking up from a 15-year low last May, and are still below the 10-year average of about 10,300 for the month.
May sales were the highest on a seasonally adjusted basis since December 2017, just before new stress tests came into place. The market took a deep dive after the government tightened mortgage lending rules in January 2018. While 2019 got off to a 'sluggish' start, sales picked up in the second quarter and the market continues to stabilize, according to the report.
Benchmark prices, which adjust for the type of home sold, rose 3.1% in May from last year to C$794,800 ($593,267). The average price of a home grew by 3.6% to C$838,540, largely driven by the condo and townhouse segments.
"We are experiencing annual rates of price growth that are largely sustainable right now in the GTA — above the rate of inflation, but in single digits," Jason Mercer, the board's chief market analyst, said. "If, however, we continue to see growth in sales outstrip growth in new listings, price growth will accelerate."
While condo price gains are leading the pack, they slowed to an increase of 4.9% for the month. And condo sales in the Toronto core dropped by 0.2% in May from last year, the only drop all the segments.
New listings for all homes rose 0.8% in May from last year to 19,386.