It's official - we've smashed a record! The Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) has released the sales figures for July and a new monthly sales record has been set with 11,081 transactions reported on the MLS. This represents a 29.5% increase over July 2019 and a 27.4% increase from June. Historically, we would experience a dip in the summer months but with COVID-19 impacting vacation plans, we are seeing the results of pent up demand from the market downturn experienced in April and May.
Annual sales growth was fuelled in large part by the low-rise housing segments. Detached home sales were up 43.7% year-over-year, followed by townhomes at +31.3%, and semi-detached at +25.4%. Worth noting was the jump in low-rise home sales in the suburbs with detached home sales in the 905 showing an annual increase of 48.3%, outpacing sales of detached homes in the City of Toronto by more than 4 to 1 (4,531 compared to 1,102) as buyers seek sanctuary outside the city and working from home becomes more normalized.
Condo sales for the region were also up, albeit a more modest 6.7% with buyers looking for lower density options and easier access to outdoor space. That said, it should also be noted that due to COVID-19, showings are more challenging in high-rise communities than in ground level housing and many amenity spaces remain closed.
Despite the economic uncertainty, housing prices across the GTA continue to hold. At $943,710, the average sales price was up 16.9% from the same period last year. The MLS Home Price Index (HPI) Composite Benchmark which is a more accurate indicator of inflation in the market was up 10% year-over-year. With average price growth exceeding the HPI composite benchmarks, it further illustrates how we are seeing a resurgence in the market for more expensive single detached housing.
Looking at pricing by category, average prices were up across the board. Semi-detached ($915,451) showed the biggest gains at 16.1%, followed by detached ($1,154,356) at 16% and townhomes ($733,775) at 11.1%. Condos ($635,778) were up 8.8% year-over-year. Average prices for singles and semis in the 416 were up 25.5% and 20% respectively.
With the high volume of housing sales, new listings and active listings are not keeping pace. While new listings were up 24.7% year-over-year, active listings are down 16.3%. Housing inventory is now sitting at just 1.4 months, creating very strong seller’s market conditions as competition amongst buyers continues to grow.