2016 was a second consecutive record year for home sales, announced Larry Cerqua, Toronto Real Estate Board President. Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 113,133 home sales through TREB’s MLS® System, which is an increase of 11.8 per cent compared to 2015. The calendar year 2016 result also included 5,338 sales in December – an annual increase of 8.6 per cent.
Condominium apartments followed by detached homes experienced the strongest annual rate of sales growth in 2016. Mr. Cerqua explained the strong demand for housing:
A relatively strong regional economy, low unemployment and very low borrowing costs kept the demand for ownership housing strong in the GTA, as the region’s population continued to grow in 2016.
The annual rate of growth for the MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) in the TREB market area accelerated throughout 2016 from 10.7 per cent in January to 21 per cent in December.
The overall average selling price for calendar year 2016 was $729,922, up 17.3 per cent compared to 2015. The pace of the annual rate of growth for the average selling price also picked up throughout the year, including a climb of 20 per cent in December. Jason Mercer, TREB’s Director of Market Analysis, talks about the future of the market:
Price growth accelerated throughout 2016 as the supply of listings remained very constrained. Active listings at the end of December were at their lowest point in a decade-and-a-half. Total new listings for 2016 were down by almost four per cent. In 2016, we saw policy changes and policy debates pointed at the demand side of the market. If we want to see a sustained moderation in the pace of price growth, what we really need is more policy focus on issues impacting the lack of homes available for sale