February Sales Down From Last Year's Record High
The number of Toronto-area homes sold last month fell nearly 35 percent and the average selling price dropped more than 12 percent from historically high levels set last year.
Toronto Real Estate Board President Tim Syrianos announced that Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 5,175 residential transactions through TREB’s MLS® System in February 2018. This result was down by 34.99 percent per cent compared to the record 7,955 sales reported in February 2017.
The number of new listings entered into TREB’s MLS® System totaled 10, 520 – a 7.3 percent increase compared to the 9,801 new listings entered in February 2017. However, the level of new listings remained below the average for the month of February for the previous 10 years.
“When TREB released its Outlook for 2018, the forecast anticipated a slow start to the year compared to the historically high sales count reported in the winter and early spring of 2017. 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,” said Mr. Syrianos.
The MLS® Home Price Index Composite Benchmark was up by 3.2 percent on a year-over-year basis for the TREB market area as a whole. This growth was driven by the apartment and townhouse market segments, with annual benchmark price increases of 18.8 percent and 7.5 percent respectively. Single-family detached and attached benchmark prices were down slightly compared to February 2017. The overall average selling price for February sales was down 12.4 percent year-over-year to $767,818. However, putting aside the price spike reported in the first quarter of 2017, it is important to note that February's average price remained 12 percent higher than the average reported for February 2016, which represents an annualized increase well above the rate of inflation for the past two years.
“As we move further into the spring and summer months, growth ins ales and selling prices is expected to pick up relative to last year. Expect stronger price growth to continue in the comparatively more affordable townhouse and condominium apartment segments. 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,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Director of Market Analysis.