Condo sales in the Greater Toronto Area are soaring, but that doesn’t mean there’s a lack of interest in detached homes.

A new report by RE/MAX of Ontario-Atlantic Canada found that detached home sales were up in almost 88 per cent of GTA markets in the first half of 2019. This suggests the market is on the rebound from its slow pace in 2017 and 2018. 

READ: High House Prices Aren’t Stopping Canadians From Buying. Here’s Why.

Between January and June this year, more than half (51 per cent) of GTA neighbourhoods saw a rise in prices of detached homes. The 905 districts were particularly popular for home-buying. All 30 areas reported an increase in home sales. Similarly, 20 out of 35 districts in the 416 area experienced a jump in sales, according to the report.  

“Detached housing is finally back on track, with year-to-date sales almost 17 per cent ahead of last year’s levels, signaling a return to more normal levels of home-buying activity,” Christopher Alexander, Executive Vice President and Regional Director of RE/MAX of Ontario-Atlantic Canada, said in a statement. 

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“Market share is also climbing, with detached homes now representing 45.7 per cent of all home sales in the Greater Toronto Area, up from 43.1 per cent one year ago.”

Affordability is the biggest reason for the renewed interest in detached homes in the GTA, RE/MAX reports. This makes sense considering the high prices in the downtown core. The average price of a detached home in the City of Toronto is now $1.23 million, according to the latest figures from the Toronto Real Estate Board. 

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More first-time buyers are looking outside urban centres for more affordable homes, which is increasing demand in these areas and causing prices to rise.

Scarborough’s E04 district, specifically, saw the biggest jump in prices outside the downtown core in the first half of 2019. The average home price in the district -- which includes Dorset Park, Wexford-Maryvale, Clairlea-Birchmount, Ionview and Kennedy Park -- now sits at $836,585, which is an increase of 7.8 per cent. 

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Low interest rates are also a contributing factor in the uptick in detached home sales in the GTA. Not only has the Bank of Canada kept their rates steady for six consecutive announcements, but mortgages rates on have reached their lowest levels in two years.

And to top that all off, “the possibility of more relaxed mortgage rules down the road – in conjunction with today’s low interest rate environment – may serve to spark up the GTA housing market yet again,” Alexander noted.

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