With noticeably fewer homes on the market last month -- especially compared to a year ago -- home sales in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) were down, while the average price of all housing types rose higher.

Realtors sold 9,783 throughout the GTA last month, down 6.9% compared to last October's record of 10,503 sales. However, despite the annual drop, it was still the second-highest level on record for the month of October, even as the number of new listings fell by about a third compared with a year ago, the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) said Wednesday.

Subsequently, TRREB says market conditions tightened across every housing type compared to a year ago -- when the stage was being set for the region's pandemic buying frenzy to begin to take off, peaking in Spring 2021.

At the same time, the annual rate of average price growth remained in the double digits, including in the resurging condo segment, which also mitigated the annual declines in low-rise home sales after a strong double-digit increase in sales last month.

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“The only sustainable way to address housing affordability in the GTA is to deal with the persistent mismatch between demand and supply. Demand isn’t going away. And that’s why all three levels of government need to focus on supply," said TRREB President Kevin Crigger.

"The federal government has stated that collaboration with provinces and municipalities is required. This collaboration could be spearheaded, at least in part, with housing-related incentives tied to federal infrastructure investment,” said Crigger.

TRREB’s October data showed new listings decreased to 11,740, a more than 34% drop from 17,806 during the same month last year. At the same time, active listings for last month totalled 7,750 compared with 17,313 in October 2020.

With fewer homes on the market, and buyer demand rising, the average price for a home sold soared by almost 20% to nearly $1.2 million in October, up 19.3% from $968,535 in the same month last year, while the MLS Home Price Index (HPI) Composite Benchmark was up by 24.2% year-over-year.

While the low-rise market continued to drive price growth in the GTA, the annual price growth for condominium apartments was also in the double digits as well.

According to the board, detached homes were up 27.7% year-over-year to an average of $1,540,432, semi-detached reached $1,151,770 (up 24.1%), while townhouses hit $957,103 (up 27.9%) and condos rose 13% to $703,698.

"The tight market conditions across all market segments and areas of the GTA is testament to the broadening scope of economic recovery in the region and household confidence that this recovery will continue," said TRREB Chief Market Analyst Jason Mercer.

"A key part of future economic development in the GTA will be the ability to provide adequate ownership and rental housing supply so that people can continue to move to the region to live, work, and spend money in the local economy,” said Mercer.

Real Estate News