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Toronto defying headlines

Toronto skyline at dusk.

The headlines about Toronto’s real estate market might not be favourable these days, and according to REMAX Integra, they’re a little misleading.

“There has been a lot of negativity surrounding the Toronto market for the first six months of the year—except for condos, which have overshadowed the quiet success of single-family detached homes—but the majority of the GTA has been on an upward trajectory since the end of the first quarter,” said Christopher Alexander, REMAX Integra’s vice president and regional director for Ontario-Atlantic Region.

Sales and listing prices have slowly crept up on a monthly basis, with June the first month to shine year-over-year. In Toronto proper during the second quarter of 2018, Palmerston-Little Italy saw 17% price gains, the Brock area appreciated 15%, The Beaches surged 13%, and both Georgina and Edenbridge-Humber Valley-Islington saw 10% price growth.

 

Toronto sales and listing prices

 

“There’s a ton of demand in the GTA and consumers were active in the market for the first six months but were taking their time to make decisions,” said Alexander. “Those neighbourhoods are so desirable that if you were thinking about buying in that neighbourhood, you didn’t have the luxury the rest of the GTA had with more selection.

“Tighter inventory in those neighbourhoods, and the quality of life you get in those areas, is very attractive, and there’s so much demand that it carries through.”

Royal LePage also reported that the aggregate home price in the GTA during Q2 was $821,632, and it forecasts it rising to $837,984 by the end of the third quarter.

“We don’t think prices will keep declining in the GTA because our week-by-week tracking of transactions has already shown a bump in house prices,” said Phil Soper, Royal LePage’s CEO. “It appears the bottom of the correction was sometime in the second quarter—probably June—and we’re anticipating prices will rise across Ontario in the third and fourth quarters.”

Of note, secondary cities throughout Ontario are experiencing escalating housing costs, for which Soper has a theory.

“An interesting phenomena we called out in this report for the first time is we saw a sharp uptick in home prices in secondary cities across the province and in interviews with our management team in these areas—places like Windsor, London, Kitchener-Waterloo, Belleville, Kingston—what we’re seeing is retiring baby boomers and young families in increasing number are relocating from the GTA for the cost of living,” he said. “Cost of living is the driver in housing.”

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About the Author

Neil Sharma is the Editor-In-Chief of Canadian Real Estate Wealth and Real Estate Professional. As a journalist, he has covered Canada’s housing market for the Toronto Star, Toronto Sun, National Post, and other publications, specializing in everything from market trends to mortgage and investment advice. He can be reached at neil@crewmedia.ca.

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