A total of 12,077 resale transactions were recorded in the GTA in March, up by an eye- catching 17.7% versus the 10,260 units sold in March 2016. The detached home and condo apartment segments provided the greatest impetus for growth, coming in at +19.8% and +23.9% respectively. The townhome (+12.2%) and the semi-detached (+1.9%) segments followed. The number of new listings also increased on a year-over- year basis, coming in at 17,051 which was up by a substantial 15.2% versus March 2016. That said, new listings growth still lagged sales growth meaning that GTA market conditions continued to tighten further. The total number of active listings at month- end were 7,865 – down by a whopping 35.2% versus last year. Despite pressure from various circles, policy-makers have thus far not implemented any knee-jerk policies regarding the GTA housing market in a bid to quell dramatic price increases.
Given the limited supply, strong competition between buyers continued to cause unprecedented high levels of price growth in all major market segments. The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) Composite Benchmark Price was up by 28.6% year- over-year. This index factors out sales mix changes of the various housing types and is therefore the best indicator of the true rise in prices. The average selling price in March was $916,567 – up by an even more gravity- defying 33.2% versus the $688,011 average price in March 2016. All market segments experienced comparable annual rates of price growth. In order for prices to moderate, a substantial period of months in which listings growth is greater than sales growth will be required. Until that happens, the market will continue to be a “perfect storm” for potential sellers and an ongoing dilemma in terms of stress for potential buyers.