toronto-home-sales-march-2017

Photo: bettie_xo/Flickr

Each of the 25 incorporated municipalities in the Greater Toronto Area saw double-digit annual growth in home prices this March, according to Realosophy Realty.

Realosophy, a local brokerage, published last month’s resale statistics to its Move Smartly blog this week.

Numbers suggest the GTA’s housing market continues on a tear and has Realosophy’s president calling on policymakers to intervene.

The average sale price of a GTA home in March was $922,757, up an incredible 33 per cent from that month last year.

Meantime, in Toronto proper, the average price hit $898,988, up 28 per cent over the same period.

GTA transactions totalled 11,596 this March — up 17 per cent over the 9,890 homes that changed hands over the same period in 2016 — with some 4,293 sales taking place in Toronto proper.

The greatest appreciation was in East Gwillimbury, where the average price in March surged 69 per cent on a year-over-year basis to $1,125,129.

Halton Hills, where the average sale price was $717,481, recorded the smallest annual change at 11 per cent. See how the rest of the GTA’s markets performed below.

march-2017-toronto-home-sales

Table: Realosophy

Along with the data, Realosophy President John Pasalis included his recommendation for policymakers looking to tame the increasingly heated market.

“I’m hopeful our governments will realize that the only way to cool the GTA’s housing market is to cool down the demand for houses,” says Pasalis in the blog post.

Pasalis says a vacant-home tax, which Vancouver has already implemented and Mayor John Toronto has floated for his city, will “do nothing” to temper price gains.

Real estate industry support for steps to increase supply is “reasonable,” but, like BMO Chief Economist Douglas Porter, Pasalis says it won’t help the market immediately.

“We are not going to benefit from changes to the supply side of Toronto’s real estate market for at least five years, and likely longer,” he writes.

“If we want to cool our market down, our government has to make it harder for investors (domestic and foreign) to buy single-family homes — it’s that simple,” Pasalis continues.

Realosophy reports sales recorded through the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB)’s multiple listing service (MLS) system. But the totals will likely differ from what the board reports later this month.

Unlike TREB, Realosophy doesn’t filter out any housing types, Pasalis explains. “It’s also possible that an MLS listing changed after it was reported as sold, in which case our respective numbers may be out of sync a bit depending on when the change happened.”

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