Homebuyers in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) are showing no signs of slowing down, with limited listings and high demand continuing to push average home prices back up.
This was fulled by the 9,012 sales that took place last month -- a sizeable jump of 24.7% year over year -- as new listings, although up 33% from April's 11,364, were still down 18.7% compared to the same time last year.
“The demand for ownership housing has picked up markedly in recent months," said TRREB Chief Market Analyst Jason Mercer. "Many homebuyers have recalibrated their housing needs in the face of higher borrowing costs and are moving back into the market. In addition, strong rent growth and record population growth on the back of immigration has also supported increased home sales. The supply of listings hasn't kept up with sales, so we have seen upward pressure on selling prices during the spring."
Unlike in April, May saw Toronto hold a higher average selling price than the rest of the GTA, coming in at $1,197,021. This was led by pricy detached homes, which saw their Toronto sales jump by more than 200 compared to April.
Interestingly, a few housing types saw their average sale prices not only meet but surpass where they were one year ago, including 905-area detached and semi-detached homes, as well as both Toronto and 905-area townhouses.
As demand keeps climbing, and supply clearly isn't keeping up, TRREB President Paul Baron underscored the necessity of governments taking action against the growing unaffordability of housing.
“Despite the fact that we have seen positive policy direction over the last couple of years, governments have been failing on the housing supply front for some time," Baron said. "Recent polling from Ipsos found that City of Toronto residents gave Council a failing grade on housing affordability and pointed to lack of supply as the major issue. This issue is not unique to Toronto. It persists throughout the Greater Golden Horseshoe. If we don't quickly see housing supply catch up to population growth, the economic development of our region will be hampered as people and businesses look elsewhere to live and invest."
TRREB CEO John DiMichele, however, warned against municipalities looking to generate revenue through increased property taxes -- a hot topic in Toronto's upcoming mayoral election.
“The high cost of housing, brought about by short supply and high borrowing costs, is part of the broader increases in the cost of living," DiMichele said. "Municipalities, including the City of Toronto, need to be mindful of this when considering their revenue generation options. TRREB believes households will have little patience for higher taxes, including unreasonable property tax hikes and increases to prohibitive upfront land transfer taxes."