Report from TREB’s Jason Mercer about the real estate scenario in Toronto for January 2016. With year 2016 January, it’s clear that the handoff in 2015 to 2016 was the strong one. Greater Toronto area realtors reported 4672 residential transactions to TREBS MLS in January 2016. this is all represented an 8.2% increase compared to January 2015. Now the fact that we saw year-over-year growth in sales is not surprising given that recent polling conducted for TREB suggested that 12% of GTA households were seriously considering the purchase of a new home in 2016. Buying intentions are strong for this year as households continue to see homeownership as an affordable long-term investment. Even with the slight uptick in advertising mortgage rates over the last couple of months, would be home buyers are still benefiting from borrowing cost at or near record low and don’t forget many households are still able to negotiate discounts off advertised rate. now recent polling also suggested that only a small percentage of households would be impacted by the stricter mortgage lending guidelines coming into a fact in the middle of this month which will require buyers to have a 10% down payment for any amount of the purchase price above $500,000.
So the bottom line is that the January sales results represent a strong start for what is forecast to be another strong year for homeownership demand in the GTA. Turn in a home price is the MLS home price index composite benchmark price for January 2015 was up 10.7% year-over-year basis. the average selling price over the same period was up by 14.1%. the difference in the annual growth rate for the MLS HPI and average price was largely due to a greater share of high-end detached homes sold in the region surrounding the city of Toronto this year compared to last. but regardless of which price and measure you use, the message remains the same.
We continue to see more competition between buyers in the GTA in January compared to the same period last year. so while we saw an annual increase in sales, this year we’re growth was up against a decline in listings both in terms of new listings entered into TREBS MLS system throughout January or active listings recorded at the end of the month. so competition between buyers was strongest for the lowrise segments of the market. is within these segments were we have experienced a persistent lack of inventory. Is this a trend that we expect to continue throughout 2016 . so TREB,s forecast is for annual rate of price growth for both the and alas HPI and the average selling price to remain well above the rate of inflation this year. So that concludes the summary of the January market statistics from TREB.