Durham leads GTA in year-over-year housing price hikes

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Published July 13, 2021 at 3:02 pm

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A regular complaint from people looking to buy a home in a red-hot real estate market – especially from first-time buyers – is the price jumps experienced in the past year have priced them out of the market.

Figures released this week by the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) back up that fear, especially in Durham Region, where year-over-year increases lead the GTA by a wide margin.

Home and condo prices are generally lower in Durham than in Toronto or parts west, but the jump in prices – in all categories, from detached homes to semis and condos – has been substantial.

Durham Region has seen prices rise on average more than 36 per cent since last year, with Orangeville (28.4) and Halton Region (24.8) trailing behind.

Durham also leads in year-over-year sales increases in the detached home category, townhouse category and condo apartment sales, and is second to South Simcoe (Barrie area) in townhouse sales increases.

Overall home sales in June were up across the GTA and beyond compared to last year but remained below the March 2021 peak and were lower than the number of transactions reported for May 2021, which is consistent with the regular seasonal trend.

The average selling price in June increased by double digits compared to last year as well, but the annual rate of increase moderated compared to the previous three months. GTA realtors reported 11,106 sales through TRREB’s MLS System in June – up by 28.5 per cent compared to June 2020.

Year-over-year sales growth was strongest in the condominium apartment segment, both in the City of Toronto and some of the surrounding suburbs, but on a month-over-month basis, both actual and seasonally adjusted sales continued to trend lower in June.

“We have seen market activity transition from a record pace to a robust pace over the last three months. While this could provide some relief for homebuyers in the near term, a resumption of population growth based on immigration is only months away,” said TRREB President Kevin Crigger. “While the primary focus of policymakers has been artificially curbing demand, the only long-term solution to affordability is increasing supply to accommodate perpetual housing needs in a growing region.”

In all major market segments, year-over-year growth in sales well outpaced growth in new listings over the same period, pointing to the continuation of tight market conditions characterized by competition between buyers and strong price growth.

The average selling price for all home types combined was up by 17 per cent to $1,089,536.

“Home sales soared at the start of the year, with a huge sales record in the first quarter. However, the record pace of sales has run its course as pent-up demand has increasingly been satisfied in the absence of normal population growth. With this said, a persistent lack of inventory across most segments of the market will keep competition between buyers strong, resulting in an average selling price well above $1 million through the end of 2021,” predicted TRREB Chief Market Analyst Jason Mercer.

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