Population growth a major driver in Toronto housing activity – TREB

Supply, rather than demand, would be the Toronto market’s major challenge in the near future

Population growth a major driver in Toronto housing activity – TREB

Earlier this week, Toronto Real Estate Board president Garry Bhaura attributed the city’s September sales numbers to the steadily growing number of individuals and families settling down in the region, along with a healthy influx of immigrants and skilled workers.

“As the GTA population continues to grow, the real challenge in the housing market will be supply rather than demand,” Bhaura said, as quoted by The Canadian Press.

The last census conducted by Statistics Canada found that the city’s population posted an annual growth rate of 0.86% from 2011 to 2016, expanding by a total of 4.3% over that time frame.

New home listings in Toronto are getting snapped up by eager buyers at a frantic pace despite a noticeable increase in prices over the past year, according to the TREB.

The Board’s latest data showed that home sales activity in September grew by 1.9% on a year-over-year basis, up to 6,455 transactions. Meanwhile, new for-sale listings fell by 3.1% compared to the same month last year, down to 15,920.

The average selling price rose by 2.9%, up to $796,786.

Read more: Recent GTA activity shows gains in almost all housing types

“With sales up year-over-year and new listings down, market conditions became tighter. Many buyers may have found it more difficult to find a home meeting their needs,” the TREB noted in its data release.

In a note to investors, BMO senior economist Sal Guatieri assured that the GTA housing segment “continues to stabilize” despite considerable shrinkage earlier this year in the wake of tighter federal mortgage regulations.

“The market should remain on a steady footing in coming months as healthy demographic demand tempers the downward pull from rising interest rates.”