Toronto Real Estate Board President Mark McLean announced on December 3, 2015 that Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 7,385 home sales through TREB’s MLS® System in November 2015 – up by 14 per cent compared to November 2014. This result also represented the best result on record for the month of November. Sales through the first eleven months of 2015 amounted to 96,401.

“Not only did we see a record sales result for November, but with one month left to go in 2015, we have already set a new calendar year record for home sales in the TREB market area, eclipsing the previous record set in 2007. Sales were up on a year-over-year basis for all major home types, both in the City of Toronto and surrounding regions. This suggests that the demand for ownership housing is widespread, from first-time buyers to long-time homeowners across the GTA,” said Mr. McLean.

The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) Composite Benchmark was up by 10.3 per cent year over year in November. The average selling price for all transactions was also up by a similar annual rate of 9.6 per cent to $632,685. Annual rates of average price growth for November and the first eleven months of 2015 were similar, with the strongest rates of increase being reported for low-rise home types, including detached and semi-detached houses and townhouses.

“Demand for ownership housing has remained strong in the GTA throughout 2015, with sales generally increasing at a greater annual rate compared to new listings. This means that competition between buyers has strengthened in many neighbourhoods in the City of Toronto and surrounding regions. The end result has been upward pressure on home prices well above the rate of inflation in most cases,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Director of Market Analysis.

Mr. Mark McLean also announced the TREB MLS® commercial real estate results for November 2015

There was 428,741 square feet of combined industrial, commercial/retail and office space leased, on a per square foot net basis with pricing disclosed, during the month. This result represented a year-over-year decline of 8.8 per cent. As is generally the case with leasing transactions reported through TREB’s MLS® system, industrial properties accounted for the great majority of space leased, with firm deals reported for 295,133 square feet.

The average industrial lease rate was $5.41 per square foot net – up by 2.2 per cent year-over-year. The average lease rate for commercial/retail transactions was $14.39 per square foot net – down by 37.1 per cent annually. This decline was largely due to the lease of a very large property at a lease rate well below the normal average, as is often the case for larger properties. The average office property lease rate, at $12.10 per square foot net, was down by 8.9 per cent compared to November 2014.

“While we did receive some good economic news recently, with renewed growth in the Canadian economy in the third quarter, it would seem that some businesses may still be somewhat hesitant to undertake any major new investments in real estate,” said Mr. McLean.

“It was encouraging to see that the third quarter growth in GDP was based in part on an uptick in exports, which was related to the lower value of the Canadian dollar compared to the US dollar. Exports are important to the economy in the GTA and southwestern Ontario more broadly. If we continue to experience positive results on the export front, we could see an increase in real estate investment as firms seek to increase capacity to meet demand,” continued Mr. McLean.

There was a total of 39 industrial, commercial/retail and office sales in November, for which pricing was disclosed – down from 71 deals in November 2014. Sale prices, on a per square foot basis, were down on a year-over-year basis for all three market segments.

“Notwithstanding the fact that some firms may have put their decision to purchase real estate on hold due to uncertain economic conditions this year, it is also important to point out that the sale of all types of commercial properties can be volatile on a month-to-month basis because many of these deals are quite complex and can take a significant amount of time to go firm.  The dip in November sales could be offset with increases in the months ahead,” added Mr. McLean.