It was another month of record-breaking housing activity for the Greater Toronto Area in November.
The latest Toronto Regional Real Estate Board data (TRREB) shows home sales rose 3.3 per cent in the month from last year with 9,017 properties changing hands, marking a record for the month.
The Greater Toronto condo segment, in particular, saw sales gains of 41.6 per cent. TRREB noted that segment's sales may be a sign first-time buyers are moving back into the market as the economic recovery continues.
New listings dropped 13.2 per cent year-over-year, led by double-digit declines for the detached and condo segments.
“For far too long governments have focused on short-term band-aid policies to artificially suppress demand,” said Kevin Crigger, president of TRREB, in a release Friday.
“Current market activity highlights decisively that these policies do not work, and unless governments work together to cut red tape, streamline the approval processes, and incentivize mid-density housing ongoing housing affordability challenges will escalate.”
Buyers were also paying more than ever for homes as the average selling price in the region soared to $1,163,323 in November, up nearly 22 per cent from a year earlier.
Some housing market observers have noted a portion of buyers might be rushing into the market to lock in mortgage pre-approvals at lower rates before the contracts expire.
Capital Economics Senior Canada Economist Stephen Brown said in a note to clients Thursday that he believes national home prices could rise further this month as this phenomenon continues, but is forecasting a sharp slowdown in home price growth as affordability is eroded in the face of higher mortgage rates.
“House prices still look extremely stretched relatively to implied affordability and that gap will widen as mortgage rates rise further,” Brown said.