The Toronto resale market closed out the year with 55,779 sales of single-family dwellings, up a remarkable 42 per cent from 39,273 in 1995 and up 26 per cent from 44,237 in 1994.
“What a year!” commented 1997 TREB President Jerry England. “The continued downward trend in interest rates pushed the market to levels of activity not seen since the 1980s. While direct historical comparisons are difficult due to boundary revisions, this will still go down in TREB’s history books as one of our best years.”
Commenting on price, Mr. England noted the average closed out the year at $198,150, down about 2 per cent from 1995. He pointed to two factors to help explain why prices have not gone up. Firstly, he noted that much of the activity was in the lower price ranges, where first time homebuyers were the driving force. Secondly, he noted that the move-up buyer seemed to be more active in the new home market. Finally, Mr. England noted that the bulk of sales were taking place outside of the Metro Toronto area. “TREB’s Central Market area recorded 14 per cent of the Board’s total sales, while the West, East and Northern areas accounted for 86 per cent.” Heading into 1997, Mr. England said market strength should continue into the spring as long as interest rates remain reasonably low. Looking at prices, he pointed to CMHC’s prediction that the average price could reach $202,000 in 1997. “We can see that happening, if the current decline in our inventory of listings continues.”
In December, TREB’s 4,127 single-family dwelling sales, which were reported throughout the Greater Toronto Area, totalled $808,959,196, and averaged $196,016. The median price was $172,000. Breaking down the total 1,608 sales were reported in TREB’s 27 West districts and averaged $178,921; 603 sales were reported in the 14 Central districts and averaged $272,141; 715 sales were reported in the 23 North districts and averaged $224,138; and 1,201 sales were reported in TREB’s 21 East districts and averaged $163,942. In addition to the sales of single-family dwellings, TREB Members reported 885 sales of properties of other types (P.O.T.) during December moving the total to 5,012. The dollar volume for properties of all types (P.A.T.) was $1,037,995,827, and the average price was $207,102.