Since January, home sales across the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) have been tumbling when compared to the same time last year. Economists, however, are hopeful that come Spring, the market will adjust and bounce back.
When comparing year-over-year, sales these past few months in the GTA have plummeted 30 per cent or more, with average prices also seeing a decline. But when comparing month-over-month, listings and sales have been climbing. Cameron Forbes, GM of ReMax Realty Inc told The Globe and Mail that in May, year-over-year comparisons will be more on track, putting additional emphasis on buying in June as it will be a stronger month. “More homeowners will be willing to list their properties for sale as lawns turn green and gardens blossom,” Forbes says. “We’ll see a matching up of buyers and sellers in June.” Luxury markets have seen the biggest hit, when compared to the same time last year, but when comparing February sales to March sales, the demand has increase with sales up 31 per cent.
Several economists believe comparing 2018 numbers with 2017 is simply unrealistic, as last year should be considered an outlier year. TREB Director of Market Analysis, Jason Mercer, released a statement about the market recently, stating the two years are unambiguous. “Right now, when 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.”
For a while, Toronto homebuyers have been met with an unfriendly market. As prices are beginning to drop, the housing affordability crisis is beginning to lessen. Cooling measures have been implemented with the intentions for the market to slow, and so far, it has. With Spring around the corner, we should see a much more appealing market.