Toronto

Toronto home sales up 18.9% in May from last year, TREB report says

The Toronto Real Estate Board says the market is shifting to favour sellers as the number of home sales jumped in May and the number of listings barely budged.

Market beginning to favour sellers, number of listings is lagging, says Toronto Real Estate Board

The Toronto Real Estate Board says there were 9,989 sales in May, up 18.9 per cent from the 15-year low in May 2018, while listings grew by only 0.8 per cent to 19,386. (Graeme Roy/Canadian Press)

Toronto's housing market could be shifting to favour sellers as home sales growth outpaces listings growth, the Toronto Real Estate Board said Wednesday.

There were 9,989 sales in May, up 18.9 per cent from the 15-year low for the month hit last year, while listings grew by only 0.8 per cent to 19,386.

The increase in May follows a 16.8 per cent jump in year-over-year sales in April.

"After a sluggish start to 2019, the second quarter appears to be reflecting a positive shift in consumer sentiment," TREB president Garry Bhaura said.

A tightening market helped lead to a 3.6 per cent year-over-year increase in the average selling price for all housing types to $838,540, compared with a 1.9 per cent increase in April and 0.5 per cent for March, the board said.

Condos saw the largest price increase at 4.9 per cent to $590,876, while the average detached home prices rose by 1.1 per cent to $1.04 million. Condo sales, meanwhile, lagged in growth with a 6.4 per cent increase in sales for May, compared with a 25.1 per cent increase in detached home sales.

The single-digit price increases are largely sustainable, but if listings continue to lag it could accelerate price growth, the board said.

Home sales in May, while up from last year, were still off the average of 10,300 for the month for the previous 10 years.

"Sales activity continues to be below the longer-term norm," Bhaura said in a statement.

Many households aren't listing their homes because they don't feel there are housing options available to better meet their needs, the board said.

Buyers, meanwhile are still coming to terms with more stringent mortgage stress test rules and the lack of listings, it said.

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