Toronto housing starts have risen for three months in a row, CMHC says in a report released this week.
The seasonally adjusted annual rate of total housing starts rose 13% in October from the month prior, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. says, to a total of 34,200 units. Single-detached starts have remained stable, but condo starts have once again started to inch ahead. But those figures are still well below the starts posted in October 2008.
For Ontario, starts in urban areas (those with a population of 10,000 and up) rose to their highest level since March, reaching 55,700 units, a gain of almost 15% from September, but still almost 20% below the same period last year.
Perhaps it was those uncharacteristically high temperatures that had homebuyers out in droves in the first two weeks of November. Certainly, they had gotten over the doom and gloom of the first two weeks of last November.
According to the Toronto Real Estate Board, realtors reported 3,666 sales, a staggering 84% up on the same period last year. Prices year-over-year rose a more modest, but still impressive, 10% to hit an average of $415,066.
“Increased interest in ownership housing has been widespread throughout the GTA and across all housing types,” notes TREB president Tom Lebour in a release. “However, it is important to point out that we are now making comparisons to the fall of 2008 when we experienced a marked decline in sales and average price.”
The numbers for year-to-date sales also rose a healthy 11% compared with the same period in 2008, to reach 78,233. The average price for this period was $393,180 a 3% rise over the same period last year.
“Sales and average price in the GTA this winter will be well above levels reported throughout the fourth quarter of 2008 and the first quarter of 2009,” notes Jason Mercer, TREB’s senior manager of market analysis in a release.
Across Canada, sales had increased in the month of October. According to numbers from the Canadian Real Estate Association, home sales activity through the Multiple Listing Service was the highest ever for an October. The Canadian real estate boards reported 42,288 residential sales, a 41.5% hike over the same month last year. The year-to-date total rose to 401,124, a 1.6% increase on the same period last year.
The average sale price in October was $341,079, a 20.7% rise on last year.
“Low interest rates and upbeat consumer confidence continue to release the pent-up demand that built late last year and earlier this year,” notes CREA president Dale Ripplinger in a release. “The release of that pent-up demand has boosted national sales activity to new heights and is drawing down inventories.”
The marked rise in resale housing demand has continued to reduce inventories of unsold homes. In October, MLS had 194,994 homes listed for sale, down 20.8% on the same month last year.
New homes in the GTA’s 905 region have also skyrocketed, with home builders showing a 173% increase in low-rise sales for the month, compared with October 2008.
Activity may have been on the rise in Canada, but south of the border where tentative signs of recovery had been evident, October housing starts and building permit numbers came as a rather nasty shock.
If you want to know more about Toronto real estate, call sales representative and mortgage agent Alexandre (Alex) Malkhassiants, Right at Home realty, with all your questions: (416) 723-9383 (cell).