Is Toronto's supply crunch over?

Toronto’s supply diminution through the first two months of the year appears to be over.

“In Toronto, there weren’t many housing listings—they’d been delayed by about a month and a half—but we’ve been seeing more houses coming to market in the last couple of weeks,” said Ryan Roberts, a broker with Bosley Real Estate. “Condos is an entirely different market—it’s absolutely on fire. Every condo sells, and sells at a very high number. We’re going to see them hit $1,000 per square foot in the coming months.”

New mortgage qualification rules and, to a lesser extent, rising interest rates have cooled the housing market this year, even though the chill began with the Fair Housing Plan. But Roberts has noticed a market coming back to life.

“We’re basically on par with where we were in August,” he said. “I feel there’s actually quite a bit of strength returning to the housing market in the sub-$3mln range. I’m seeing quality housing coming out. I was personally involved with a house downtown that had five offers in the $3mln range. That tells me that the housing market isn’t weak. People are waking up from their winter hibernation.”

Jose Jafferji, a sales representative and real estate investment advisor with Rock Star Real Estate Inc., has similarly noticed a rejuvenating housing market, but he believes supply will be as much as 20% lower than it was last year.

“There are fewer people moving, especially in the ‘move-up’ category, but there’s more supply in the starter home category,” said Jafferji. “If you’re doing downtown condos, there’s still a lot of demand because that’s where the starter homes are for most people. If you’re looking in Peel and Halton Regions, the starter homes might not be condos, they might be a condo townhouse or a semi, so we’re seeing more inventory in that area.”

In spite of the various measures implemented to cool the housing market, Jafferji  is expecting the annual spring market frenzy.

“Springtime is the busiest time of the year in the real estate market, so I’m expecting more supply to come into the market,” he said. “By summertime, it may go down again, which is natural for that time of year because most people want to move by then so that they can enjoy the season with BBQs and settling into their homes before the school year starts.”

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