Home Prices Continuing to Climb in Halton
If you were hoping for a significant drop in home prices (and according to a recent Angus Reid survey, a whopping 27 per cent of respondents are hoping for a major crash), you will be disappointed to hear that the housing market is quite robust in Oakville, Burlington, Milton, Halton Hills and surrounding cities.
The Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) recently revealed that Toronto (and the GTA in general) witnessed sales and price increases on a year-over-year basis in August.
TREB says GTA realtors reported 6,839 sales through TREB’s MLS system in August 2018 - an 8.5 per cent increase compared to August 2017.
Both the average selling price, at $765,270, and the MLS Home Price Index Composite Benchmark for August 2018 were up compared to the same month in 2017, by 4.7 per cent and 1.5 per cent respectively.
The average selling price is increasing as well.
TREB says detached home sales were up by double digits on a year-over-year percentage basis.
“It is encouraging to see a continued resurgence in the demand for ownership housing. Many home buyers who had initially moved to the sidelines due to the Ontario Fair Housing Plan and new mortgage lending guidelines have renewed their search for a home and are getting deals done much more so than last year," says Garry Bhaura, TREB president.
"In a region where the economy remains strong and the population continues to grow, ownership housing remains a solid long-term investment."
TREB says August 2018 sales were up by two per cent compared to July 2018. However, the seasonally adjusted August 2018 average selling price was down slightly by 0.2 per cent compared to July 2018, following strong monthly increases in May, June and July.
“Market conditions in the summer of 2018, including this past August, were tighter than what was experienced in the summer of 2017," said Jason Mercer, TREB’s director of market analysis, adding that lack of housing inventory remains—and will continue to be—a serious problem.
Toronto-based real estate website and brokerage Zoocasa says the Halton and Peel markets appear to be heating up.
Zoocasa says the Halton region market was in balanced territory as of August, with a total of 727 sales - just over half of the 1,096 new homes listings introduced to the market over the same time period, and -1.2 per centlower than what was recorded in July.
However, Zoocasa points out that price growth has been relatively flat with an average home price of $851,604: -0.3 per cdent lower than last month.
“The year-over-year picture is rosy, however, with a robust 22.3 per cent improvement in sales, and only a -.17 per cent decrease in the average home price,” it says.
“Compared to 2017, the level of buying competition for buyers has remained unchanged, with a sales-to-new-listings ratio (SNLR) of 56 per cent posted both this year and last.”
In terms of numbers specific to the entire GTA, a detached house in the 905 currently costs about $917,387 (up from $907,347 in July). A semi costs about $658,160 (almost unchanged from last month's average price of $658,533), towns are selling for $605,768 (a little down from $607,930) and condos are costing buyers about $447,957 (down from $461,255 in July).
With municipal elections just over six weeks away, TREB says it's working to connect voters with candidates through a new website.
“One of the key issues facing home buyers and renters in the GTA is inadequate housing supply and choice, and one of the main reasons for this is municipal policy that unnecessarily locks up housing options," says Bhaura.
Whether it is approval delays, inflexible and outdated zoning rules, or market distorting taxes like Toronto’s Land Transfer Tax, current municipal policies are a big part of the reason why there is not enough gentle density housing, like semis, row homes, and multiplexes, in the GTA."
It'll be interesting to see how the market shifts going forward.