GTA Housing Market Continues to Cool From Peak, Still Third-Best August on Record
While the Toronto real estate market cooled with the spring and summer heat — as it typically does — demand for housing in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) remained strong for August.
The Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) reported the third-best sales result on record for August.
Those wishful thinkers looking to enter the market who hoped prices may cool are faced with the grim reality that the average selling price for all homes combined was up by 12.6% year-over-year to $1,070,911.
Demand for homes remains strong, while supply remains tight. “The result has been tighter market conditions and sustained competition between buyers, resulting in double-digit annual increases in selling prices,” said TRREB in a press release.
GTA realtors reported 8,596 sales through TRREB’s MLS® System in August 2021 — down by 19.9% compared to the August 2020 record of 10,738. The condo market segment bucked the overall sales trend, with year-over-year growth in sales, continuing a marked resurgence in 2021.
But the number of new listings entered into the System was down year-over year by a notable 43%.
“The fact that new listings were at the lowest level for the past decade is alarming. It is clear that the supply of homes is not keeping pace with demand, and this situation will become worse once immigration into Canada resumes,” said TRREB President Kevin Crigger in a press release.
Crigger didn’t shy away from sharing his thoughts regarding Canada’s current political climate, where housing issues are front and centre on campaign platforms.
“The federal parties vying for office in the upcoming federal election have all made housing supply and affordability a focal point,” said Crigger. “Working with provincial and municipal levels of government on solving supply-related issues is much more important to affordability than interfering with consumer choice during the home buying and selling offer process or revisiting demand-side policies that will at best have a short-term impact on market conditions.”
The August 2021 MLS® Home Price Index Composite benchmark was up by 17.4% year-over-year, with the strongest annual rates of price growth still being experienced for low-rise home types. However, average condominium apartment price growth is now well-above inflation as well, notes TRREB. On a seasonally adjusted basis, the average selling price continued to trend upward in August.
“Sales have accounted for a much higher share of new listings this year compared to last, and the story was no different in August. There has been no relief on the supply side for home buyers, in fact, competition between these buyers have increased. As we move toward 2022, expect market conditions to become tighter as population growth in the GTA starts to trend back to pre-COVID levels,” said TRREB Chief Market Analyst Jason Mercer.
With the election date now coming close, TRREB is calling for meaningful change.
“With a federal election just weeks away, we are calling on all political parties to continue focusing on housing policies that address supply and affordability across the country. Bold action, not promises, are needed to ensure that Canada has a stable and sustainable housing market now and in the decades to come. This will ensure that the Greater Golden Horseshoe remains competitive on the global stage, in terms of attracting businesses and households to the region,” said TRREB CEO John DiMichele.