GTA Real Estate Market in Review: 2016
The Greater Toronto Area’s 2016 real estate market closed with record-breaking highs in housing prices and the lowest number of new listings in over a decade. High demand and low supply characterized the GTA’s 2016 housing sector, a trend we can continue to expect in 2017 as increasing foreign property investment and a swelling population combine with a lack of single family homes to push housing prices higher.
The Toronto Real Estate Board’s 2016 year-end market report quotes, TREB President Larry Cerqua as saying, “A relatively strong regional economy, low unemployment and very low borrowing costs kept the demand for ownership housing strong in the GTA as the region’s population continued to grow in 2016”. In fact, the report reveals that the GTA’s 2016 year-over-year housing sales were up by 11.8% compared to 2015. But while the demand for GTA housing has increased, the supply is lower than it has been in years. TREB’S report quotes Jason Mercer, TREB Director of Market Analysis, as saying ,“Price growth accelerated throughout 2016 as the supply of listings remained very constrained. Active listings at the end of December were at their lowest point in a decade-and-a-half. Total new listings for 2016 were down by almost four per cent.” Simply put, there haven’t been enough properties on the market to meet the demand for housing, and it has driven the cost of real estate to record levels and led to bitter bidding wars. The average residential sale price in the GTA for 2016 was an estimated $725, 857; that’s up 17% from $622, 217 in 2015. Torontonians considering larger, more affordable, or just plain available, properties, looked to real estate markets adjacent to the GTA in 2016, driving the average cost of single-family dwellings up by 16% in Barrie and 20% in Hamilton-Burlington, with similar results in other, neighboring areas.
Torontonians need housing, and the sky-rocketing cost of houses in the GTA is not deterring many from trying to purchase homes; moreover, foreign investors hesitant to pay Vancouver’s new 15% foreign investor’s tax are edging eastward to buy up more affordable property, increasing the competition in an already scarce market and driving the cost of housing to unprecedented levels. Torontonians can expect to see residential sales prices continue to increase and anticipate a strong and competitive housing market in the GTA for 2017.