First, let’s just take care of the usual stuff. The Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) reported yet another month of soaring real estate figures in March. Compared to a year ago, both housing prices and numbers of housing units sold increased significantly across the GTA.
The average price for existing homes of all types increased 33.2% to $916,567 from $688,011 in March of 2016. The total number of transactions rose to 12,077 units from 10,260 a year ago.
The Highest Real Estate Gains in the GTA
While news of more record home sales across Toronto might not be surprising, the story closer to home for us here in Markham and everyone in York Region is nothing short of amazing.
Some of the GTA’s best performing real estate markets are right here in York.
The 33.2% price increase in the GTA is one of the largest since the late 1980s. But it pales in comparison to some of those in our local municipalities.
65% Increase in East Gwillimbury House Prices
Yes, you read that correctly. The average price for existing homes of all types in East Gwillimbury rose 64.8% between March, 2016 and March, 2017, to $1,131,264 from $686,429.
To give that number more perspective, that’s almost double the percentage increase for all of the GTA. While it’s the highest increase of any of the GTA municipalities that TREB reported, it’s not the only hot spot in York.
The more established real estate markets in the region, including Markham and Richmond Hill, enjoyed gains that were in line with those across the GTA. Not only did many of the smaller, more ‘up-and-coming’ markets in the area manage to have extra-impressive increases, but it’s even more amazing that they’re doing so in the hottest real estate market in the Canada.
2016 Avg. Price = $451,972
2017 Avg. Price = $722,437
Percent increase = 59.8%
2016 Avg. Price = $1,139,342
2017 Avg. Price = $1,727,690
Percent increase = 51.6%
2016 Avg. Price = $862,275
2017 Avg. Price = $1,205,237
Percent increase = 39.7%
How Did They Do It?
While it’s difficult to determine all the factors that affect prices in a certain area, in this case, there are some basic reasons that will help you understand the huge increases.
1. Lower Starting Prices
In three of the four top-performing municipalities mentioned above, average existing home prices are still well below the average prices in the bigger markets of Markham and Richmond Hill. Similar increases in house prices can show as a higher percentage of lower prices.
For example: a $100,000 price hike in a $1,000,000 home represents a 10% increase. But a $100,000 increase in a $2,000,000 home represents only a 5% increase.
2. Housing Mix in Different Municipalities
The figures quoted here are for all types of homes, including detached, semi-detached, town homes and condominium apartments. Detached homes are in high demand all across the GTA and their price increases are usually higher than those of other home types. Smaller municipalities generally have a higher percentage of detached housing and a smaller percentage of other types of homes.
3. Demand for Lower-Priced Housing
Many home buyers, including those in the market for the first time, or those who are downsizing, are travelling further away from the core of the GTA is search of lower house prices. The extension of the 404 to Keswick and new GO trains stations opening further north in the region over the next few years also help to bring the municipalities ‘closer’ to the core.
It’s All Good.
We could analyze all day. But it’s all good news for homeowners and buyers across York Region. Our area continues to be one of the top performing markets in the GTA.