It may have been a last minute rush to buy before the Federal Government’s “stress test” came into effect. Or it could have been business as usual – but both GTA home sales and prices soared in October.
The Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) reported another record month for sales: 9,768 up 11.5% from October, 2015 results. Condo sales grew fastest last month with increases of 19.8% in the City of Toronto and 28.3% in the rest of the GTA.
The average selling price rose 21.1% to $762,975, driven by detached and semi-detached properties in both 416 and 905, but affecting all major home types. The average price of a detached property across TREB’s market area is now $1,034,077. New listings increased by a scant 0.9% – a positive, but not yet significant, sign.
The changes announced by the Federal Government, designed primarily to dampen activity in Canada’s two hottest housing markets – Toronto and Vancouver – took effect October 17. First time homebuyers in particular are expected to be impacted by “stress tests,” intended to ensure they can handle their mortgage payments should rates increase or personal circumstances change.
Market watchers and insiders alike have expressed concern. Says TREB president Larry Cerqua: “As we move through November and December, we will be watching the sales and listings trends closely, in light of recent policy changes announced by the Federal Minister of Finance.”
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