While the economic problems of the last several years scared many people out of the real estate market, indications are things may be turning around in the Greater Toronto area housing market. Toronto is Canada’s largest city and as such it is also usually the most watched by financial experts trying to gauge the economy. The current trends should give hope to those who work the housing market in Toronto.
The housing sales picture around Toronto has improved over the last few months. Here are several of the key indicators that have begun to show a positive turnaround.
1. Monthly sales
Though the 10,182 single-family homes sold in May of this year were three percent fewer than those sold in May of 2012, it was six percent higher than the sales for April of 2013.
Monthly home sales have been higher each month this year when compared to the previous month, and May’s totals were the highest yet this year. It appears those buyers who were leery of stricter lending regulations are being enticed back into the market now.
The average price of homes sold in Toronto has steadily been increasing since the prices leveled off in 2008.
The increase is not as dramatic as what happened in the 1980s, but that was also followed by a quick drop in sales prices. The average sale prices now are consistently moving in the right direction.
While the number of sales each month this year have been lower than those for the same time period a year ago, those average monthly sale prices have been higher in 2013.
In May, the average selling price was $542,174, compared to the $497,136 average selling price of 2012. When looking at what price range sold the most houses, the majority fell between $300,000 and $499,000.
3. Increased listings
More homes are being listed as for sale this year than last. Nearly 23,000 properties were listed for sale in May of 2013, which was nearly 11 percent more than were listed in May of last year.
The number of listings has increased each month this year, and every month in 2013 has had more properties listed than for the same time period in 2012.
4. Types of homes
Single-family detached homes make up about 51 percent of the homes sold in the Toronto area, and this share has been increasing recently. Coming in second with about 20 percent of the market share is condominium apartments.
Building of high-end homes has slowed a bit lately, but many experts believe this is only temporary. Neighborhoods known for higher prices, such as Lawrence Park, Forest Hill and Rosedale are still attracting buyers who have the income to afford modern amenities and high ceilinged-homes.
Property is still in high demand around Toronto and the building of rental properties may have stalled the housing market temporarily. Some areas, such as Halton, reported an increase in housing starts in April.
The trends are pointing to a continued strong housing market in the Greater Toronto area. Sales have increased each month this year and the average selling price is currently higher this year than last, suggesting the industry will remain strong for investors through 2014.
All statistics are sourced from the Toronto Real Estate Board’s website.
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Claire Atkinson writes for a Canadian financial services site where you can get more information on Toronto mortgage rates.