Toronto ended the year 2016 with record-high home sales
Toronto is considered to have the largest real-estate market in all of Canada. Ending 2016 with record-high sales figures, according to the Toronto Real Estate Board, only solidifies this claim. This is in stark contrast to Vancouver’s market behavior, which slowed down as the year ended. The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver reported a decline in sales versus 2015 at 5.6 percent.
The Toronto Real Estate Board reported an 11.8 percent increase in residential property sales as compared to the previous year 2015. This total 113,133 residential property sold via the MLS system. December contributed significantly to annual sales with an increase of 8.6 percent versus the previous year, with 5,338 sales. This is despite the fact that there is a scarcity in properties for sale. TREB president Larry Cerqua attributes this growth in residential property sales to three factors: strong economy across the region, low unemployment rate, and minimal borrowing costs. These three factors combined drives the housing ownership demand across the GTA.
Results from an online survey conducted by Ipsos participated in by Realtors, revealed that 4.9 percent of all home sales were by foreign buyers. The City of Toronto reflected a 5 percent contribution by foreigners showing that it isn't as high an amount as some seem to think.
Further, according to MLS, there was a short supply of active listings for the year, resulting in an increase in average selling price by 17.3 percent. Also, total new listings went down by almost 4 percent.
The federal government, on the other hand, aimed to stabilize the real estate market by implementing new rules. Despite the changes these rules brought about, sales activity around the GTA remains strong, having rebounded from a short slump following the implementation of the new rules. Included in these new rules is the stress test applied to insured mortgages. This aimed to ensure that Canadians are buying only within their capacity.
The average price of a home for sale in the GTA is now at $730,472, with a 20 percent increase versus December 2015