Home sales in February were surprisingly hot — even in the face of record-low temperatures — as sales climbed 11.3 per cent over the same period a year ago, and so did prices, with the average detached in the City of Toronto exceeding the $1 million mark.
Prices for all housing types — from condos to detached homes — were up 7.8 per cent in February across the GTA, bringing the average sales price to $596,193, according to figures released by the Toronto Real Estate Board Wednesday.
But detached homes in the 416 region remained in particularly high demand.
Sales were up a stunning 16.9 per cent, year over year and prices continued to climb into the stratosphere. While the average sale price for a detached in the City of Toronto briefly touched on $1 million last April, it had quickly dipped down by the end of that month to $965,670. It stayed roughly there — below $1 million — right up until now.
But unrelenting high demand coupled with a shortage of listings — the supply of homes for sale was down 8.7 per cent in February, year over year — continues to fuel bidding wars which show no signs of letting up.
And it’s still a few weeks until peak spring market.
“The strong year-over-year price growth we experienced in February points to the robust demand for ownership housing in the GTA, coupled with a constrained supply of homes for sale in some market segments, especially where low-rise home types like singles, semis and townhouses are concerned,” said Jason Mercer, the real estate board’s director of analysis in a statement.
Despite one of the most bitterly nasty winters in recent memory, some 6,338 houses and condos sold in February, up from 5,696 a year ago, according to TREB figures.
Top for transactions were detached homes in the 416 region, with sales up 16.9 per cent, no doubt further buoyed by the recent further drop in interest rates. Overall, detached home sales were up 13.9 per cent across the GTA.
The average sale price of a detached was up 8.9 per cent across the GTA, to an average of $782,166. But demand for the holy grail of housing — a detached house close to work and transit in the highly coveted City of Toronto — saw average sale prices average an unprecedented $1.04 million for the whole month. That compared to $694,285 in the 905 regions.
Townhouses — now highly sought after as the most affordable form of housing next to condos — were also in extraordinarily high demand with sales up 13.6 per cent in February over a year earlier.
Prices, however, were down 7 per cent in the 416 region, to an average of $507,843. In the 905 regions, the average sale price of a townhouse stood at $433,127 last month, up 8 per cent year over year.
Condo sales were surprisingly strong, up 10 per cent year over year, and prices held relatively steady despite escalating supply, up 2.4 per cent across the GTA.
That brought the average price of a condo in the 416 region to $369,655 in February, down 0.9 per cent year over year, while condos in the 905 regions saw sale prices climb by almost 11 per cent, to an average sale price of $322,055, significantly narrowing the gap between buying a condo in the city versus the suburbs.
The average days on market for all housing types dropped by 7.7 per cent in February — largely reflecting continued high demand in the face of a shortage of properties for sale — from 26 days in February of 2014 to 24 days last month.
Source: Pigg, S. (2015, March 4). Average GTA house price hits $547,107 as market starts to thaw. Retrieved March 28, 2015, from http://www.thestar.com/business/real_estate/2014/02/19/average_gta_house_price_hits_547107_as_market_starts_to_thaw.html#