March was a strong month for the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB), which posted record-high home sales for the first quarter of 2016. There were 10,326 home sales recorded in March and 22,575 sales in all of Q1, resulting in year-over-year growth of 16.2 per cent and 15.8 per cent, respectively. Double-digit year-over-year growth was experienced across all major home types during the first quarter of this year.
Meanwhile, the number of new listings in the TREB MLS System during March 2016 and in the first quarter fell compared to the same period last year.
“At the beginning of 2016, TREB’s outlook for the year pointed to a strong possibility of a second consecutive record year for home sales,” said Mark McLean, TREB president, in a press release. “This outlook was based, in part, on upbeat consumer survey results pointing to robust home buying intentions. It is clear that these upbeat intentions have translated into record first quarter results.”
The MLS Home Price Index Composite Benchmark for March 2016 increased by 11.6 per cent year-over-year. The average selling price for all home types combined grew 12.1 per cent year-over-year in March and 13.6 per cent in the first quarter.
“Demand was clearly not an issue in the first three months of 2016, regardless of the housing market segment being considered. The supply of listings, however, continued to aggravate many would-be home buyers,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s director of market analysis. “We could have experienced even stronger sales growth were it not for the constrained supply of listings, especially in the low-rise market segments. The resulting strong competition between buyers has underpinned the double-digit rates of price growth experienced so far this year.”