The Greater Toronto Area had a record-breaking October for home sales. The Toronto Real Estate Board says that there were 8,804 homes sold through its MLS in the month, up from 8,512 a year earlier. The average price was up 7.3 per cent to $630,876 with prices driven by low rise properties. TREB president Mark McLean was pleased with the results but warned that the province could hit home sales if it decides to introduce a municipal land transfer tax in addition to the current provincial one: “Recent polling has shown that the great majority of Ontarians oppose this tax and would consider delaying a move if they were forced to bear the additional upfront cost” he said.

The commercial sector is a very different story in the GTA with a year-over-year decline in space leased of 39.4 per cent to 427,842 square feet. Industrial space deals were down 39.6 per cent and while rents were up 14.5 per cent year-over-year, the figures are skewed to some extent by fewer deals on larger spaces which tend to have lower rents per square foot than smaller ones. “We have seen volatility in commercial leasing and sales throughout 2015.  This falls in line with the fact that there has been a fair amount of uncertainty with regard to the Canadian economy this year as well.  It follows that many firms have put their real estate investment plans on hold until the direction of the Canadian economy becomes clearer,” said TREB’s Mark McLean.

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