Toronto house prices up 5% but analysts say market stable
Sales fall slightly, but short supply hikes prices by 4.7%, Toronto Real Estate Board says
Home prices in the Greater Toronto area were up 4.7 per cent in June compared to a year ago, according to a report by the Toronto Real Estate Board that also showed a slight drop in sales over the same time period.
The rise in prices was driven by single-detached and semi-detached homes — particularly in the city of Toronto. The board called the price growth "in line with the 2013 norm," in its report.
The report shows a housing market that continues to be balanced, according to RBC senior economist Robert Hogue.
"It's been quite clear that the market is stabilizing," Hogue told CBC News.
Toronto housing is leveling off, he said, "but at a lower level than we've seen at the beginning of 2012."
Condo sales down
The city's condo market, which has long marred Toronto's skyline with construction cranes, saw a 0.3 per cent price hike while sales decreased by four per cent.
"The challenge will be later on when those condos under construction are completed and entering the resale market," Hogue says, "but time will tell if it's oversupply"
The average price of a condo in the city of Toronto was $366,532 while one in the outlying areas known as the "905" region after the local telephone area code, is priced at $288,604.
In the overall market, the number of new listings dropped more than sales, which, the board says, suggested that market conditions became tighter. New listings in the city of Toronto dropped by 11.7 per cent while listings in the 905 area slipped by just 2.3 per cent.
The outlook for the Toronto market remains good, according to BMO Chief Economist Doug Porter.
"It's tough to see a scenario where [mortgage] rates spike," he said. "I'm not in the doom and gloom camp."
Supply shortfall pushes up prices
Jason Mercer, the board's senior manager of market analysis, said the rise in prices was in large part a result of inadequate supply of detached and semi-detached homes in many parts of the GTA, particularly in the city of Toronto.
"We have also seen enough buyers in the better-supplied condo apartment market to provide support for selling prices at current levels," Mercer said in remarks accompanying the board's report.
The report's breakdown by market segment showed that detached home sales in Toronto's 416 area code were down 6.9 per cent at 1,137 in June, but the average price was up 8.1 per cent at $866,326.
That compared with a 3.2 per cent increase in sales to 3,411 in the 905 area, where year-over-year prices were up 4.9 per cent at $598,708.
The semi-detached market in the 416 area saw a 3.1 per cent decrease in sales to 380, but a 9.5 per cent increase in prices to $618,194, and a 0.8 per cent increase to 623 in the 905 area where prices were up 3.7 per cent at $411,877.
With files from The Canadian Press