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Toronto and Vancouver See Huge Improvements!

June wasn’t a terrible month for Toronto home sales, but it still did see some declines due to the fact that last year at the same time, the mortgage rules hadn’t yet gone into effect. It was only a week into July 2012 when they did though, providing for a much better year-over-year comparison for July 2013. That’s helped push those same Toronto home sales to 16 per cent above home sales last year. And another overheated market, Vancouver, did even better with a whopping 40 per cent increase from where they stood a year ago.

“Demand has strengthened in our market in the last few months, which can, in part, be attributed to pent-up demand from the slowdown in sales activity we saw at the end of last year,” said Sandra Wyant, president of the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver.

But what about right here in Toronto?

The 16 per cent increase was due to 8,544 sales in the month of July alone in the City of Toronto. That’s not only a large increase (16 per cent) from last year, but it’s also the best the city has seen since 2009. It’s also the third best year that’s on record. TREB acknowledges that home listings are increasing too, putting more inventory on the market, but that they still aren’t near the level of sales.

“Despite recent increases in average borrowing costs, home buyers are still finding affordable home ownership options in the greater Toronto area,” says Diane Usher, president of TREB. “We are a year removed from the onset of stricter mortgage lending guidelines and many households who put their decision to purchase a home on hold and have reactivated their search. An increasing number of these households are getting deals done.”

It’s not just sales that have increased in the city, but prices too. TREB stated that the overall average price in the GTA moved to $513,246, an increase of 8 per cent when compared with a year ago. Condos are slower to see any gains, with only a 3.4 per cent increase from last year.

“The low-rise market segment continued to be the driver of overall price growth,” TREB noted.

They also expect to see price gains throughout the remainder of 2013, and for most of next year.

“Months of inventory for low-rise homes remains near record lows, suggesting that sellers’ market conditions will remain in place in the second half of 2013. An increase in listings in 2014 would lead to more balanced market conditions and a slower pace of price growth next year, albeit still above the rate of inflation,” said Jason Mercer, senior manager of market analysis.

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