February 7, 2019 | Market Update

There were a reported 4,009 homes sold in the GTA in January, and the average selling price was $748,328. While these numbers don’t reflect dramatic year-over-year increases, there’s reason to find them encouraging as we consider the year ahead.

Modest sales and price growth

When it comes to overall transactions, the number of home sales in the GTA rose from 3,987 in January of 2018 to 4,009 last month. This discrepancy represents a moderate year-over-year increase of 0.6 per cent. Likewise, the average home price went up by 1.7 per cent, hitting $748,328. In comparison, the average was $735,874 for the same month of last year.

The Home Price Index (a measurement of the overall value of homes sold) saw an increase of 2.7 per cent. While this growth is slight, it’s part of a positive start to the year.

Increases as predicted

The Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) has stated that it expects moderate year-over-year price and sales increases in 2019. So far, this prediction has proven accurate.

Generally speaking, the January market wasn’t full of surprises. In line with what we saw in 2018, the condo market continued to lead the way in terms of price appreciation. Condos saw a 7.9 per cent boost in average prices as compared to January of 2018. This market segment provided significant support for the overall growth we saw in home sales. Townhouse prices were also up—albeit at a lesser rate of 4.6 per cent.

TREB expects sales and prices to continue increasingly moderately for the rest of year. The board predicts that by the end of 2019, the average home price will be $820,000—and that 83,000 home transactions will have occurred.

Heading into spring…

Weather in the GTA was far from ideal in late January, and heavy snowfalls likely reduced the number of overall buyers out in the market. That said, the fact that we still saw an increase in sales should be considered a positive sign.

There’s also reason for optimism when it comes to housing inventory. New listings for the month were up by 10.5 per cent year-over-year. At the same time, conditions are becoming tighter with regard to higher-density home types. This is especially true when it comes to condos, which continue to be the GTA’s primary price-growth driver due to their relative affordability.

For the remainder of 2019, the board forecasts a continued uptick in the number of GTA residents who intend to purchase homes. The region’s population is on the upswing, and employment rates are strong. That said, many potential buyers continue to grapple with affordability issues. In addition to an increase in new listings, a more diverse mix of home types is needed as we move further into 2019.

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