Feb 18 | Posted by Barry Cohen

With the Spring real estate market still officially a couple of months away, the housing market in the GTA is booming. Buyers in both the 416 and 905 zones must be guided by the old adage “why wait for spring, do it now”.  This robust market situation is unique to two major Canadian cities, Toronto and Vancouver.  For example, across Canada home prices rose 0.6 percent between September 2014 and 2015, yet prices climbed 10.4 percent in Vancouver and 8.6 percent in Toronto over the same time period.

Prices in the City of Toronto (416 area code) rose 11.6 percent over the previous year, and broke records as the price for a single family home surpassed the one million dollar mark, with an average selling price of $1.06 million.  Even more remarkable is the increase in the price of suburban properties (905 area code) which jumped by 20.9 percent with an average selling price of just over seven hundred and eighty thousand dollars.  

Last month’s sales were up by 8.2% over January 2015, as Toronto area realtors reported 4,672 sales through TREB’s MLS system. The average selling price in January was up by 14.1% over January 2015 for all home types across the entire GTA coming in at $631,092. Detached homes were responsible for 2,109 sales, semi-detached totaled 452, townhouses accounted for 731 and apartment style condos registered 1302 sales.

The following chart indicates how many million dollar plus transactions were reported in January 2015.

Transactions Price Range
181 $1 – $1.25 Million
103 $1.25 - $1.5 Million
68 $1.5 - $1.75 Million
36 $1.75 – $2 Million
84 $2 Million Plus

As prices continue to escalate in the core areas of Canada’s two hottest real estate markets, Toronto and Vancouver, there is a noticeable increase in the number of suburban properties changing hands, and as a result of this higher demand a substantial price escalation is taking place in suburbia. The areas surrounding Vancouver have seen such dramatic price hikes that many observers are calling it a serious affordability crisis, as many first time buyers are being totally priced out of the market with no chance of home ownership in their future.

Suburban areas of the GTA are also experiencing increased demand and corresponding price escalation.  For example, the median price of a two-storey home in the third quarter of 2015 was up by 17.1 percent in the city of Toronto, a similar home in Richmond Hill rose by 18.6 percent and by Vaughn reported an 18 percent price increase during the same period. 

These statistics have many people wondering if the market can sustain such growth, and I am asked that question on an almost daily basis.  The way I see it, the GTA is a fantastic place to live and more and more people are being attracted to our world-class reputation, our vibrant yet safe lifestyle and the unbeatable opportunities for work, play and education.  The demand for housing is high, the availability of housing is low, it’s simple economics, when demand surpasses supply prices go up.  As long as there is a high and constant demand for housing in the GTA our market will stay strong.

If you are thinking about buying or selling, the expertise of a professional realtor is invaluable in these market conditions.  I would be happy to meet with you, answer your questions, address your concerns and use my expertise to make sure your real estate experience is happy and hassle free.