Toronto has rebounded

Good news for Toronto mortgage brokers—the market appears to have rebounded

Toronto has rebounded

Good news for Toronto mortgage brokers—the market appears to have rebounded.

Numbers released by the Toronto Real Estate Board for the month of August reveal an 8.5% boost in sales over the same month last year, signifying an adjustment to market realities spurred by B-20 and the Fair Housing Plan.

In total, 6,839 homes were sold throughout the Greater Toronto Area last month for an average selling price of $765,270—a 4.7% increase over August 2017.

Even more positive is the fact that August marked the third consecutive month of year-over-year sales growth in the GTA.

Garry Bhaura, TREB’s president, credits the buoyant sales figures to homebuyers who held off on purchasing, because of stricter mortgage qualification criteria and the Fair Housing Plan, entering the market.

“It is encouraging to see a continued resurgence in the demand for ownership housing,” he said in a statement.

Much of the load is being carried by Toronto’s hot condominium market, which managed to slog through the languid sales cycle that chilled the city earlier this year.

“The condo market is still on fire—it never slowed down,” said Mortgage Outlet’s Principal Broker Shawn Stillman. “Even month-over-month, the price per square foot is hitting new highs, and they’ve always been strong. Where the weakness is, however, is in the 905 area. People who bought preconstruction within the last year are being hit hard because of the glut of inventory in the 905.”

Last year, the federal government increased its immigration quota by a third and now welcomes 300,000 newcomers. Stillman estimates 40% of them move to the GTA, and that doesn’t even account for migration from within the country.

“Suddenly you have 30,000 to 40,000 more units that are needed,” he said. “I’ve had a lot of clients who are new to Canada, but from the U.S.—I’ve done five of those deals in the last month—and they moved up to Canada for whatever reason, but they’re buying things. These are educated, skilled people making over $100,000 a year and they’re happy to put money down.”

The summer market in Toronto was better than most observers expected. While inventory in the city is low, units moved quickly.

“We’ve had a fantastic summer,” said Shawn Zigelstein, a realtor with Royal LePage Your Community Realty. “I’ve been talking with some other agents and they all had a really good summer because inventory levels are relatively low in the city. Once you get into the suburbs, a few pockets have a high amount of inventory, but in the City of Toronto there’s only two months’ worth of inventory.”

With files from The Canadian Press