Hamil­ton area house sales re­main at record highs

Toronto home sales dip com­pared to a year ago, but prices still climb

The Hamilton Spectator - - BUSINESS -

House sales in Hamil­ton and Burling­ton set a new high for April with the sev­enth monthly record in a row, ac­cord­ing to the Re­al­tors As­so­ci­a­tion of Hamil­ton-Burling­ton.

The as­so­ci­a­tion re­ported 1,770 sales in April — 7.5 per cent higher than the same month last year.

The av­er­age res­i­den­tial sale price in Hamil­ton was $541,720, com­pared to $424,124 in April of last year. The av­er­age num­ber of days these prop­er­ties spent on the mar­ket was 14. In April 2016, it was 23.

In Toronto, home sales dipped in April com­pared to a year ago, a sign that Canada’s hottest hous­ing mar­ket may be cool­ing down, though prices con­tin­ued to climb at a dizzy­ing pace.

The Toronto Real Es­tate Board re­ported Wed­nes­day that the to­tal num­ber of trans­ac­tions last month slipped 3.2 per cent from a year ago.

Mean­while, the av­er­age price for all prop­er­ties in the Greater Toronto Area in April rose by 24.5 per cent year-over-year to $920,791. In March, prices sky­rock­eted by 33.2 per cent.

The data came two weeks after the On­tario gov­ern­ment an­nounced more than a dozen mea­sures aimed at cool­ing run­away house prices in the Toronto area, none of which have yet taken ef­fect. Among them is a 15 per cent tax on non-res­i­dent spec­u­la­tors in the Greater Golden Horse­shoe, a fast­grow­ing re­gion that stretches from the Ni­a­gara Re­gion to Peter­bor­ough.

List­ings shot up 33.6 per cent from a year ago — the great­est yearover-year in­crease in at least seven years, TREB said.

Jason Mercer, TREB’s di­rec­tor of mar­ket anal­y­sis, said it is pre­ma­ture to say whether the in­flux of home­own­ers put­ting their prop­er­ties up for sale is the re­sult of soar­ing prices, which make it tempt­ing to cash out, or of the prov­ince’s new mea­sures.

“It’s too early to say whether it was just home­buy­ers re­act­ing to the strong price growth that had been re­ported through the first quar­ter, or if there was some im­pact from the pol­icy an­nounce­ment,” Mercer said.

TREB re­leased fresh data in­di­cat­ing that spec­u­la­tion and for­eign own­er­ship make up a small com­po­nent of the city’s hous­ing mar­ket.

Be­tween 2008 and April 2017, the av­er­age share of for­eign buy­ers of prop­er­ties in the Greater Golden Horse­shoe re­gion was 2.3 per cent. TREB said its anal­y­sis was based on prop­erty as­sess­ments and land registry data in the prov­ince.

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