Homes sales across the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) saw a steep decline in February, when compared to the same time last year. According to the Toronto Real Estate Board’s (TREB) latest report released earlier today, figures show there were only 5,175 residential transactions reported through TREB’s MLS® System in February 2018, this number was down 34.9 per cent, from a record breaking 7,955 reported the year prior.
The number of new listings entered into TREB’s MLS® System saw a 7.3 per cent increase compared to February 2017, however the level of new listings remained well below what has been average for the month of February over the past ten years. The TREB report also states that the decline in sales were expected, as new market-cooling measures were implemented last year by the Ontario Government, and new mortgage lending guidelines and increased interest rates were introduced in January.
The GTA’s average selling price, which includes all types of residential re-sales, were down 12.4 per cent to $767,818 – still, however, the most expensive in Canada. The TREB report compared prices between condominiums and detached homes in Toronto and the rest of the GTA, as the figures confirmed a divided market between the two. The average price of a detached home in the GTA, city of Toronto, and “905” region all saw a steep decline. The GTA saw a 17.2 per cent drop, to just over $1 million, the city of Toronto saw an 18.6 per cent decline to $1.28 million, and the “905” region saw a 17.8 per cent drop to $911,065. The total number of single detached homes in the GTA fell by 41.2 per cent. The condominium market, however, saw an increase even as the number of sales saw the opposite. Prices for condominium apartments in the GTA rose 10.1 per cent to $529,782, while sales fell by 30.8 per cent overall.
TREB’s Director of Market Analysis, Jason Mercer, expects to see sales pick up in the spring and summer months. “Expect stronger price growth to continue in the comparatively more affordable townhouse and condominium apartment segments.” Mercer states. “This being said, listings supply will likely remain below average in many neighbourhoods in the GTA, which, over the long-term, could further hamper affordability.”
TREB President Tim Syrianos addressed the affordability crisis in the report, stating all levels of government must collaborate to implement solutions to increase the supply of housing. Syrianos put emphasis on the “missing middle” market, which calls for additional housing types like semi-detached homes, townhomes, multiplexes, and apartments.