Lack of Supply Driving Prices in GTA Housing Market

By: Zoocasa

Supply issues continue to create tight housing market conditions in the Greater Toronto Area this September, with new MLS listings down about 3 per cent to 15,920 and sales up almost 2 per cent to 6,455 properties sold.

“As the GTA population continues to grow, the real challenge in the housing market will be supply rather than demand,” says TREB President Garry Bhaura.  “The Toronto Real Estate Board is especially concerned with issues affecting housing supply as we move towards municipal elections across the region.”

Prices, as you can see in the infographic below, crept up almost 3 per cent year over year this September to $796,786.

“Generally speaking, annual rates of price growth have been stronger for higher density home types in 2018, including condominium apartments, townhouses and semi-detached houses,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s director of market analysis.

“In many neighbourhoods, these home types provide more affordable home ownership options.”

Detached home prices slipped 0.6 per cent to $1,008,361, semi-detached homes grew 5.3 per cent to $792,353 and townhouses are up  4.1 per cent to $634,314. Condos continue to outpaced all other property types, climbing 10 per cent to $570,140.

Condos for sale in downtown Toronto are especially robust, soaring almost 12 per cent to $687,701. Compare that to homes for sale in Toronto Central which have fallen just over 9 per cent to $2,090,264.

TREB adds that many buyers may have found it more difficult to find a home that meets their needs, and may be pressured into high-density living when in fact they prefer low-density.

That again comes down to supply, of which  no significant gains in supply are expected in the near future.

A combination of Greenbelt policies, creeping interest rates and NIMBY-ism means that supply is likely to remain at near-historic lows. Meanwhile, few boomers  are reportedly listing their properties, likely because there is no “middle-ground” type of housing to move into, that is between a condo and a single-family home.  At the same time, millennials are at the stage in their lives where they are getting married and starting families, and are trying to move into houses, not sell them. Adding to this demographic crunch is a sustained stream of migrants, from both outside Canada and from other provinces that are attracted to the GTA for economic opportunities.

This combination of low-supply and high-demand means it is highly unlikely any meaningful drop in prices will occur, lest conditions change.


Zoocasa.com is a real estate company that combines online search tools and a full-service brokerage to empower Canadians to buy or sell their homes faster, easier and more successfully. Home buyers can browse homes across Canada on the website or the free iOS app.