January 2017 continued what 2016 had started: sales were up on a year-over-year basis while the number of new listings was down by double-digit annual rates for most major home types.
Toronto Real Estate Board President Larry Cerqua announced that Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 5,188 residential transactions in January 2017. This result was up by 11.8 per cent compared sales in January 2016. Annual rates of sales growth were higher for condominium apartments than for low-rise home types. Mr. Cerqua added:
As we move through 2017, we expect the demand for ownership housing to remain strong, including demand from first-time buyers who, according to a recent Ipsos survey, could account for more than half of transactions this year. However, many of these would-be buyers will have problems finding a home that meets their needs in a market with very little inventory.
The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) Composite Benchmark price was up by 21.8 per cent on a year-over-year basis in January. Over the same period, the average selling price was up by 22.3 per cent to $770,745, with double-digit gains in the average prices for all major home types. As the TREB's Director of Market Analysis Jason Mercer explained:
The number of active listings on TREB's MLS® System at the end of January was essentially half of what was reported as available at the same time last year. That statistic, on its own, tells us that there is a serious supply problem in the GTA – a problem that will continue to play itself out in 2017. The result will be very strong price growth for all home types again this year.