Greater Toronto REALTORS® reported 7,570 sales in July 2012, representing a decline of 1.5 per cent compared to 7,683 sales reported in July 2011. In the City of Toronto, sales were down in all property types, led by condominium apartments which had a 13% decline. Total sales in the rest of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) were up compared to the same period last year.
On a year-to-date basis, total sales in GTA were up by about 2% compared to last year. Sales of detached and townhomes increased by about 5%, while sales of condos were down by 5%. In the City of Toronto, sales of detached home were up by 4% while sales of other property types were all down compared to 2011. In the 905 regions, Peel and Durham saw the strongest growth, especially in sales of townhomes.
“Very strong annual sales growth in the first half of 2012 and an earlier peak in sales this spring compared to 2011 help explain more moderate sales this summer. New mortgage lending guidelines and the additional upfront cost of the City of Toronto land transfer tax also prompted some households to put their buying decision on hold,” said Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) President Ann Hannah.
The average selling price in July 2012 was $476,947 – up by four per cent compared to July 2011. The MLS® Home Price Index (MLS® HPI)* composite index, which allows for an apples-to-apples comparison of benchmark home prices from one year to the next, was up by 7.1 per cent year-over-year.
Low rise homes continued to enjoy strong price growth, led by the Region of York which had double digit price growth in detached and semi-detached homes. Detached homes in Toronto also had a healthy price increase of 7.6% compared to July 2011.
Prices for condo apartments declined 1.6% in July compared to July 2011. In the City of Toronto, average selling price for condos was down 2% compared to July last year. This was the first decline in 2012 when compared to prices one year ago.
While the resale home market became better supplied in recent months, demand for low rise homes remained strong in July. Homes continued to sell faster in July compared to July 2011. Although the Sales-to-New Listings Ratio edged down to 0.59 in July from the peak of 0.67 in Apr, it remained close to the “seller’s market” benchmark point of 0.60, indicating the strength of the low rise home market.
On the condominium apartment market segment, demand for condos further softened in July. On average, it took 3 days longer to sell a condo apartment in July than last year, but sufficient demand remained in the market place to keep the condo market in balanced territory.
Overall, the Toronto housing market remained robust in July. In the months ahead, sales and price growth should further slowdown as a better supplied market will give buyers more choices and reduce upward pressure on the average selling price.