Toronto home sales rise by 17% year over year

Toronto’s housing market entered the spring season with a bang as sales rose by 17% in April compared to the previous year.

The number of transactions went up to 9,042 units last month from 7,744 units in April 2018, the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) said. On a seasonally-adjusted basis, sales went up by 11% last month from March.

The single-family home segment drove the sales gains, TREB said.

“The strong year-over-year growth in sales is obviously a good news story and likely represents some catch-up from a slow start to the year,” said Garry Bhaura, TREB’s president.

The improving sentiment is also bringing out more sellers, with new listings up by 8% from the previous year. However, Bhaura said that the demand still outpaced increased supply, pointing to the ongoing housing supply issue in Toronto that could drive even more price gains.

The rise in sales is an indication that Toronto’s housing market is stabilizing from a recent slump, although it was off the dizzying heights a few years ago. The market cooled significantly last year due to tightened mortgage regulations, foreign buyer taxes and other measures designed to curb prices – which raised worries that the steps had gone too far.

However, economic fundamentals – such as strong employment gains and a sharp increase in immigration – remain supportive, as well as the dovish tilt globally from central banks that has helped bring down borrowing costs in recent months, according to a Bloomberg report.

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