Toronto home sales up 23.5 per cent , realtors vow to study foreign investors

Housing prices in Toronto soared again in August and while doubts remain about the presence of foreign buyers in the country’s largest housing market, realtors are pushing ahead to study the issue.

The Toronto Real Estate Board said Wednesday it will be releasing “third-party research” in the coming months as it looks at supply issues in the metro area — a move that comes as August results show a 23.5 per cent increase in sales in the GTA from a year ago and prices up 23.3 per cent for suburban detached homes.

“One of the things we are going to ask (realtors) is to recall the sales they have been involved in over the last year and how many involved foreign buyers,” said Jason Mercer, director of market analysis with TREB. “The hope is we will have a better picture as we move towards the end of 2016.”

The announcement comes as British Columbia imposed a 15 per cent additional land property transfer tax on foreign buyers in Metro Vancouver effective Aug. 2 – a move some have connected with a 26 per cent year-over-year decline in sales in the city last month.