Toronto house prices surge 10 per cent in March; no relief in sight

House prices shot up 10 per cent in March over a year ago driven largely by fierce competition, more demand for higher-end homes and a stunning 15.9 per cent jump in the price of detached homes in the City of Toronto.

There is no relief in sight for beleaguered buyers as Toronto heads into what’s looking to be a brisk spring market: While new listings were up some 5.5 per cent in March compared to a year ago, sales were up a whopping 11 per cent, according to figures released Tuesday by the Toronto Real Estate Board.

The average sale price of houses and condos combined across the GTA hit $613,933, up 10 year cent from the average of $557,684 in March of 2014, according to TREB sales and price statistics.

A detached home in the City of Toronto — which hit the $1 million milestone in February — rose to $1,042,405, but averaged a more moderate $709,116 in the 905 regions, where realtors report bidding wars are also escalating as the supply problem becomes more pronounced in the face of unrelenting demand fuelled in large part by low interest rates.

“…A substantial amount of pent-up demand remains in place, especially as it relates to the low-rise market segments (detached, semi-detached and townhomes),” said Board president Paul Etherington in a release.

“This suggests that strong competition between buyers, which has fuelled strong price growth so far this year, will continue to be experienced throughout the spring.”

A total of 8,940 properties switched hands across the GTA in March, with the peak spring buying and selling season of April, May and June just around the corner.

Even condo and townhomes sales surged as more buyers, realizing they may be locked out of the house market forever, turned their sights to the next most affordable thing.

Condo sales were up 13.5 per cent in the 416 region in March, year over year, and up 10.8 per cent in the 905 regions.

Average sales prices for condos were up 3.3 per cent in the City of Toronto, with the average price just shy of $400,000 at $398,337. Average condo transaction prices were up 6.7 per cent in the 905 regions, year over year, to $310,156, said TREB.

Townhome sales were up 8.3 per cent in the 416 region, year over year, and 9.1 per cent in the 905 regions and the average sale price hit $546,993 and $438,503 respectively.

Semi-detached sales dropped in March over a year earlier, which may reflect a lack of supply as they are among the most highly sought-after housing type now that detached home prices have climbed out of sight.

Sales for those attached homes were down 5.3 per cent in the City of Toronto and 2.5 per cent in the 905 regions. Prices, however, were up 9.8 per cent in the City of Toronto, to an average transaction price in March of $723,167 while prices climbed 9.2 per cent in the 905 regions to an average of $476,566.


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