Toronto home prices surge, but the suburbs are eye-popping

650 Queens Quay Office SpaceToronto’s housing market is kicking off 2016 in fine form, but the areas surrounding the city are chalking up even more impressive gains.

Sales in the Greater Toronto Area rose 8.2 per cent in January from a year earlier, to 4,672, according to statistics released today by the Toronto Real Estate Board.

Average prices climbed 14.1 per cent, while the MLS home price index, which is deemed a better measure, showed an increase of 11.2 per cent.

But the suburbs far outstripped the city in terms of price gains, the numbers showed.

“The difference in the annual growth rates for the MLS [home price index] and average price was largely due to a greater share of high-end detached homes sold in the regions surrounding the city of Toronto this year compared to last,” the group said.

The average price for a detached home in the city, or 416 area code, rose 11.6 per cent, but surged 20.9 per cent in the 905 region.

Of course, such a house still went for more in the city, at an average $1.06-million, compared with the 905’s $783,565.

The price gains for semi-detached houses and townhouses were also greater in the 905, though those for condos trailed.

Among other interesting tidbits in today’s report:

  • There were 181 sales in the GTA of detached homes valued at between $1-million and $1.25-million, more than 100 in the $1.25-million to $1.5-million range, 68 from there to $1.75-million, and 36 from there to just shy of $2-million.
  • Sales above $2-million numbered 84.

“It is clear that the handoff from 2015 to 2016 was a strong one,” said TREB president Mark McLean.

“Buying intentions are strong for this year as households continue to see home ownership as an affordable long-term investment,” he added.

Toronto and Vancouver are the two Canadian cities most often cited for their frothy markets.

Note: This article was first published At The Globe And Mail