Another hot year in store for major markets

by Olivia D'Orazio05 Feb 2015
If January stats are to be believed, 2015 will be another year of rising property values, increasing sales and depleted listings.
According to the Toronto Real Estate Board, Canada’s largest city sold 6.1 per cent more homes during the first month of this year – a total of 4,355 properties – compared to the year-ago period. Average price also increased, rising 4.9 per cent to $552,575.
"The January results represented good news on multiple fronts,” said TREB president, Paul Etherington. “First, strong sales growth suggests home buyers continue to see housing as a quality long-term investment, despite the recent period of economic uncertainty. Second, the fact that new listings grew at a faster pace than sales suggests that it has become easier for some people to find a home that meets their needs."
Those new listings are likely a result of completed condo projects coming onto the market. Condo sales, too, saw a steeper rise in January sales – up 11.2 per cent – than detached homes (up 7.1 per cent from January 2014), and semis and townhouses, which were up less than one per cent each.
Townhomes, however, realized the greatest growth in average price for the first month of the year, rising eight per cent to $440,058. Semis followed, rising 7.8 per cent to an average price of $520,510.
Detached properties realized an average price growth of just 4.2 per cent to $716,127, likely on the continued unavailability of listings. The average price of condo sales rose 3.6 per cent to $358,823 in January.
Those increases in average price, however, are expected to continue in 2015 – largely on the Bank of Canada’s decision to lower the benchmark interest rate to just 0.75 per cent.
"The strongest rates of price growth will be experienced for low-rise home types, including singles, semis and town houses,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s director of market analysis. “However, robust end-user demand for condo apartments will result in above-inflation price growth in the high-rise segment as well."

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