The latest statistics from the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) likely reflect adjustments home buyers are making to new rules in the housing market.
TREB president Tim Syrianos explains, “Prospective home buyers are still coming to terms with the psychological impact of the Fair Housing Plan, and some have also had to reevaluate their plans due to the new OFSI-mandated mortgage stress-test guidelines and generally higher borrowing costs.”
During this adjustment phase, the GTA housing market saw a dip in prices and sales last month. The number of sales for February totaled 5,175, which is 35% less than the February 2017 total of 7,955. Condo sales also saw a decrease, by about 31%. Overall resale prices for February were down 12.4%, year-over-year.
What didn’t see a decline was the number of new listings entered into the TREB MLS. More than 10,500 listings were added in February, a 7.3% increase when compared to February 2017. Still, that’s below the decade-long average for the month of February.
The declines aren’t exactly surprising. When TREB released its 2018 forecast, it surmised that the year would be off to a slow start.
As for the rest of the year, the availability of listings may not be high and prices may not be low. “Listings supply will likely remain below average in many neighbourhoods in the GTA, which, over the long-term, could further hamper affordability,” says Jason Mercer, TREB’s director of market analysis.