GTA Home Sales Up 362% Since Last April, But Market is Starting to Slow: TRREB

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A real estate sale sign is shown in a west-end Toronto neighbourhood Saturday, March 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy

April delivered a record number of home sales for the Greater Toronto Area, but the market is starting to slow from the intense pace seen earlier this year, the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board said Wednesday.

The Ontario-based board revealed 13,663 homes were sold in the region last month, a 362 per cent increase from the 2,957 properties sold during the prior April, which was the first full month of the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, home sales in April were down 12.7 per cent from 15,652 in the month prior.

 

While sales remained strong, TRREB president Lisa Patel called them a “marked slowing” and said they signal a pullback in activity in a market that has been overheating since last year, despite the ongoing health crisis.

“We’ve experienced a torrid pace of home sales since the summer of 2020, while seeing little in the way of population growth,” she said in a release.

“We may be starting to exhaust the pool of potential buyers within the existing GTA population.”

Patel’s remarks came as TRREB said new listings in April soared by 237 per cent, when compared with last year but dropped by 8.4 per cent when compared with March 2021.

The average selling price amounted $1,090,992, up 33 per cent from $820,226 last April but down from $1,097,565 in March 2021.

The decrease between March and April was a stark contrast to previous years when average prices typically increased between the two months and signalled the start of a flurry of spring sales.

However, TRREB’s chief market analyst Jason Mercer described the decrease seen this year as “modest slowing” and pointed out that prices across all major home types remain very high.

They were boosted in recent months by low borrowing costs during COVID-19, which sparked demand for housing, he said.

“While the pace of price growth could moderate in the coming months, home prices will likely continue on the upward trend,” he said in a release.

“Renewed population growth over the next year coupled with a persistent lack of new inventory will underpin home price appreciation.”

In Toronto alone, April delivered 4,694 sales, 7,481 new listings and an average price of $1,088,02.

The remaining area covered by the board and often referred to as the 905 saw 8,969 sales, 13,344 new listings and an average price of $1,090,992.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 5, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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