Toronto benchmark housing price veering ever-closer to record high

by Ephraim Vecina08 Oct 2019

Toronto’s benchmark home price is edging steadily towards its historic high reached in 2017, according to the latest figures from the city’s real estate board.

Ever-stronger demand along with supply scarcity has led to a 5.2% increase in the city’s benchmark housing price in September, up to approximately $805,500. This reading was just around $10,000 lower than the record peak observed by TREB.

Market strength has been largely driven by lower interest rates and immigration-driven population growth, TREB added.

Meanwhile, the average home price grew by 5.8% to $843,115 – indeed, the highest seen so far this year.

Active listings fell by 14% annually to 17,254 units, while sales accelerated by 22% during the same time frame to 7,825 transactions. Detached homes drove much of the dynamism, with a 29% increase in sales.

However, while Toronto’s homes have remained at exorbitant prices over the past few years, tens of thousands of these dwellings remain unoccupied.

A recent report by Point2 Homes found that approximately 1.34 million homes across Canada lie vacant or merely hold temporary occupants.

The 2016 figure, the most recently available batch, represented 8.7% of the units available in the national market. This share was noticeably larger than the 8.4% proportion seen a decade prior, and was far larger than the 2.8% peak registered in the U.S. market during the same time frame.

Toronto accounted for 66,000 of those empty homes, while Montreal had 64,000. Markets with more than 20,000 unused residential properties include Vancouver, Calgary, Ottawa, and Edmonton.

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