Toronto home prices surge, again ‘outpacing family incomes’
Toronto home sales edged down in the bitter chill of January, but prices surged, again throwing up red flags. Sales fell 2.2 per cent from a year earlier to 4,135 as new listings plunged 16.6 per cent, the Toronto Real Estate Board said Wednesday
January price gains strain affordability in big city housing markets
The monthly tally of sales numbers and prices is rolling in from local real estate boards in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and other cities and the picture forming is that house hunters weren’t all that much deterred by Mars-like cold temperatures, and paid up for most housing types.
Another month, another healthy hike in how much a house will cost you in Canada’s biggest and priciest cities.
A new report from TD Bank says home prices have become stretched but not to the heights some outside observers suggest they have. Low interest rates mean many can afford to carry bigger mortgages, TD reiterated. Home prices stretched by 10%, bank report says
Home sales rose 17.2 per cent in Calgary and were up 30 per cent in Vancouver compared to the number of homes that were reported to change hands in January 2013.
“The Polar Vortex didn’t dissuade hardy Calgarians from house hunting in January,” BMO economist Sal Guatieri quipped in a note.
Prices in Calgary jumped 9.5 per cent and were up 3.2 per cent in Vancouver, by far the country’s most expensive real estate market where the average selling price of a single-detached home is approaching one million dollars ($929,700).
Of course, not-so-hardy Torontonians were less enthused about the extreme winter weather: existing home sales fell 2.2 per cent last month. But a tight supply of single-family houses continued to juice demand among buyers scared they’ll be priced out the longer they wait.
House prices still rising in Toronto, Vancouver
Detached homes up 12% in GTA, 3% in Greater Vancouver from January 2013 to 2014
‘Competition between buyers for singles, semis and town homes in the city of Toronto and surrounding regions will continue to exert upward pressure on selling prices,’
– Dianne Usher, Toronto Real Estate Board
There seems to be no end in sight to the housing bubble in two of Canada’s largest cities, with the real estate boards of Toronto and Vancouver reporting year-on-year price increases of two to 12 per cent for January.
In Toronto, the average selling price for a home in January was $526,528 – up by more than nine per cent from a year earlier.
|Property type||Toronto||Vancouver||Change 2013-2014Toronto | Vancouver|
|Source: Toronto Real Estate Board, Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver*Vancouver does not separate townhouses and semi-detached homes and uses the designation ‘attached properties.’|
On the west coast, the benchmark price for all residential properties rose 3.2 per cent since January 2013 to $606,800. Detached homes in Vancouver were fetching $929,700 on average last month, a 3.2 per cent increase over the previous year. Apartment properties averaged $371,500, a 3.7 per cent increase over 2013.
Sales of residential properties in Greater Vancouver were up by more than 30 per cent over January 2013 although not as strong as in December, which saw sales rise 7.2 per cent above the 10-year average for the month.
There were 5,345 new listings for Vancouver on the MLS listing service last month, a 4.2 per cent increase over the same time last year.
Toronto’s market saw fewer new listings in January than last year, with 8,822 properties in the Greater Toronto Area listed on MLS, a decrease of 16.6 per cent. Sales were down 2.2 per cent over January 2013. But that did not stop prices from continuing to rise in all property categories.
Detached homes were selling for 12 per cent more than in January 2013 while the prices of condominium apartments were up 9.7 per cent and semi-detached homes saw a 6.6 per cent increase.