The numbers are in and one of Canada’s hottest housing markets neared record sales in 2014.
"TREB's 2014 sales figures are a testament to the importance Greater Toronto Area households continue to place on home ownership. GTA households realize that home purchases have been a quality long-term investment,” Paul Etherington, president of the Toronto Real Estate Board said. “While home prices certainly increased substantially in 2014, the purchase of an average priced home remained affordable, in terms of the average household's ability to comfortably cover their monthly mortgage payments."
TREB confirmed Wednesday that Greater Toronto Realtors reported 92,867 residential sales through the TorontoMLS system last year, a 6.7 per cent increase year-over-year and fell just shy of the record set in 2007.
“Even with a constrained supply of homes for sale in many parts of the Greater Toronto Area, buyers continued to get deals done last month,” Etherington said. “Households remain upbeat about home ownership because monthly mortgage payments remain affordable relative to accepted lending standards. This is coupled with the fact that housing has proven to be a quality long-term investment."
Meanwhile, prices increased to $566,726 in 2014, an 8.4 per cent year-over-year increase. The price hike can be attributed to a shortage of available homes, according to TREB.
"The strong price growth we experienced in 2014 can be explained with two words: listings shortage. The constrained supply of listings was especially evident for low-rise home types like singles, semis and town houses,” Jason Mercer, TREB's director of market analysis said. “The number of households looking to purchase these home types increased, while the number of homes from which they could choose decreased. This situation resulted in more competition between buyers and more aggressive offers."