Market

7 stats that explain why the GTA housing market was heating up in February

Photo: James Bombales

After a slow January, things seem to be heating up in the GTA housing market. Home prices were up 4.2 per cent month-over-month in February, while sales jumped 29 per cent month-over-month.

“As we move further into the spring and summer months, growth in sales and selling prices is expected to pick up relative to last year,” writes Toronto Real Estate Board director of market analysis Jason Mercer, in the board’s latest report.

While activity isn’t as strong as it was at this time last year, strong economic fundamentals seem to be pushing sales and prices steadily upwards.

For a closer look at last month’s market boost, BuzzBuzzNews has rounded up 7 stats that put things in perspective:

1. While sales were up month-over-month in February, they were down 34.9 per cent year-over-year, with 5,175 sales last month compared to 7,955 in February 2017.

2. Listings were up 7.3 per cent year-over-year from 9,801 in February 2017 to 10,520 last month. But, as TREB notes in its report, that number is still below the 10-year February average.

3. “When TREB released its outlook for 2018, the forecast anticipated a slow start to the year compared to the historically high sales count reported in the winter and early spring of 2017,” writes TREB president Tim Syrianos, in a statement. “Prospective home buyers are still coming to terms with the psychological impact of the Fair Housing Plan, and some have also had to reevaluate their plans due to the new [mortgage rules].”

4. The MLS Home Price Index Composite Benchmark was up 3.2 per cent year-over-year, driven primarily by the apartment and townhouse market segments, which saw annual price increases of 18.8 per cent and 7.5 per cent, respectively.

5. Meanwhile, single-family detached homes prices were down 12.4 per cent year-over-year to $767,818, down from $876,363 in 2017.

6. In its report, TREB notes that while single-family home prices are down year-over-year, they’re still 12 per cent higher than they were in February 2016, representing an increase well above the rate of inflation for the past two years.

7. “Expect stronger price growth to continue in the comparatively more affordable townhouse and condominium apartment segments,” writes Mercer. “This being said, listings supply will likely remain below average in many neighbourhoods in the GTA, which, over the long-term, could further hamper affordability.”

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