A sharp-about face in the Toronto market

The region continues to see a resurgence in housing market activity, seemingly undeterred by price spikes

A sharp-about face in the Toronto market

After several months of considerable market deceleration, the Toronto housing segment saw a sharp 15% month-over-month increase in sales in August, totalling 5,627 transactions completed through the region’s MLS system.

Sales accounted for the larger share of new listings compared to the previous three months, according to the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board.

This is despite the August figure representing a year-over-year decline of 34.2%, which TRREB said was a lower annual drop compared to the four months prior.

“If this trend continues, it could indicate some support for selling prices in the months ahead,” the TRREB said in its latest report. “On a seasonally adjusted basis, sales rose 11% sequentially.”

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The MLS home price index in Toronto went up by 8.9% in August, while the average selling price across all residential asset classes ticked up by 0.9% to more than $1.079 million.

This might be a troubling direction for the region’s home owners, TRREB officials said.

“While higher borrowing costs have impacted home purchase decisions, existing homeowners nearing mortgage renewal are also facing higher costs,” said Kevin Crigger, president of TRREB. “There is room for the federal government to provide for greater housing affordability for existing homeowners by removing the stress test when existing mortgages are switched to a new lender, allowing for greater competition in the mortgage market.”

“Further, allowing for longer amortization periods on mortgage renewals would assist current homeowners in an inflationary environment where everyday costs have risen dramatically.”