Sell high, to buy low or just stay put? That’s the deliberation many Ontario home owners must now be making as the Province’s Real Estate values, especially within the GTA, continue to skyrocket. According to a most recent Toronto Star report, the number of Canadian home sales hit a record high last month with the sizzling Toronto-area market pulling up the rest of the country, as indicated by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA).
“Toronto always swings the biggest bat in Canada, but even more so lately,” said CREA senior economist Shawn Cathcart on April 18.
Non-seasonally adjusted Canadian sales were up 6.6 per cent year over year in March, with Toronto climbing 17 per cent in that period.
That offset a 31.5 per cent decline in Vancouver sales, the latest drop since the introduction of a foreign investor tax and vacant homes taxes last year.
The monthly CREA statistics came On April 18 as the provincial and federal finance ministers and Toronto Mayor John Tory met to discuss the imposition of potentially using similar taxes to cool Toronto’s increasingly unaffordable property market.
CREA cautioned politicians, however, against destabilizing other Canadian markets in any attempt to temper Toronto prices.
“If Toronto is the only hot market in Canada, you don’t want to be throwing cold water on everybody,” said Cathcart.
He said the city’s “prices are as tight as they’ve ever been.”
“There’s a lot of interest for every listing that comes on and that’s all the way out basically in 200 kilometres in any direction from downtown Toronto at the moment.”
Cathcart noted that Toronto’s real estate trends now encompass the entire Greater Golden Horseshoe.
“So instead of being 20 per cent of Canada, we’re actually looking at a third of Canada that’s seeing these kinds of trends,” he said.
The average Canadian sale price increased 8.2 per cent year-over-year in March with a 9.3 per cent decline in Greater Vancouver and 33.2 per cent increase in the Toronto area, according to CREA.
“If you take the GTA or Greater Golden Horseshoe out of the numbers, the average price in the rest of Canada is actually down on a year-over-year basis,” he said.
The association said home sales over its Multiple Listings Service system increased by 1.1 per cent in March to top the previous monthly record set in April 2016. On a seasonally adjusted basis, sales totalled 46,353, up from 45,856 in February.
The actual national average price for homes sold in March this year was $548,517, up 8.2 per cent from a year ago. Excluding the Toronto and Vancouver areas, the average price was $389,726