Toronto Home Sales Climb 18.9% In May While Vancouver Home Sales Hit 19-Year Low

Home sales throughout the Greater Toronto Area surged in May as the spring selling season kicked into high gear.

According to the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB), there were 9,989 property sales in Canada’s largest housing market last month, marking an 18.9% gain from a year earlier and an increase from April when 9,042 homes were sold in the GTA.

Meanwhile, active listings across the GTA fell 4.3% year-over-year in May. The combination of reduced inventory and surging sales helped lift the average selling price 3.6% year-over-year to $838,540, according to data released Wednesday.

"We are experiencing annual rates of price growth that are largely sustainable right now in the GTA – above the rate of inflation, but in the single digits. If, however, we continue to see growth in sales outstrip growth in new listings, price growth will accelerate," said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Chief Market Analyst, in a written news release.

Toronto's sales surge stands in stark contrast with the latest activity in Vancouver, where May home sales fell to their lowest level since 2000. The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver said May’s home sales of 2,638 was the lowest total for May since 2000 and 22.9% below the 10-year May sales average. It was also a 6.9% decrease from the 2,833 sales recorded in May 2018.

"High home prices and mortgage qualification issues caused by the federal government’s B20 stress test remain significant factors behind the reduced demand that the market is experiencing today," said Ashley Smith, the Vancouver Real Estate Board’s president, in a news release.