TORONTO, ONTARIO, APRIL 4, 2018 – Toronto Real Estate Board President Tim Syrianos
announced that Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 7,228 residential transactions
through TREB’s MLS® System in March 2018. This result was down by 39.5 per cent compared to
a record 11,954 sales reported in March 2017 and down 17.6 per cent relative to average March
sales for the previous 10 years.
The number of new listings entered into TREB’s MLS® System totaled 14,866 – a 12.4 per cent
decrease compared to March 2017 and a three per cent decrease compared to the average for the
previous 10 years.
“TREB stated in its recent Market Outlook report that Q1 sales would be down from the record
pace set in Q1 2017,” said Mr. Syrianos. “The effects of the Fair Housing Plan, the new OSFI mandated
stress test and generally higher borrowing costs have prompted some buyers to put
their purchasing decision on hold. Home sales are expected to be up relative to 2017 in the
second half of this year.”
The MLS Home Price Index Composite Benchmark was down by 1.5 percent on a year-over-year
basis for the TREB market area as a whole. The overall average selling price was down by 14.3
per cent compared to March 2017.
While the change in market conditions certainly played a role, the dip in the average selling price
was also compositional in nature. Detached home sales, which generally represent the highest
price points in a given area, declined much more than other home types. In addition, the share of
high-end detached homes selling for over $2 million in March 2018 was half of what was reported
in March 2017, further impacting the average selling price.
“Right now, when we are comparing home prices, we are comparing two starkly different periods
of time: last year, when we had less than a month of inventory versus this year with inventory
levels ranging between two and three months. It makes sense that we haven’t seen prices climb
back to last year’s peak. However, in the second half of the year, expect to see the annual rate of
price growth improve compared to Q1, as sales increase relative to the below-average level of
listings,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Director of Market Analysis.
TREB continues to stress that housing and housing affordability need to be at the forefront of the
policy debates leading into this year’s provincial and municipal elections.
“A well-functioning housing market is not only important to ensure that people have a place to live;
it is also important because it supports hundreds of thousands of jobs, billions of dollars in spin-off
expenditures and billions of dollars in government revenues. Issues such as the below-average
level of housing supply and often inadvisable policy ideas and negative measures such as land
transfer taxes, vacancy taxes, speculation taxes and second home taxes should also be
thoroughly debated by all candidates,” said Mr. Syrianos.
Source: Toronto Real Estate Board
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