| Real Estate Market

While the overall demand for housing remained buoyed by record immigration in 2023, more of this demand was pointed at the rental market. The number of Greater Toronto Area (GTA) home sales in 2023 came in at less than 70,000 due to affordability issues brought about by high mortgage rates.

“High borrowing costs coupled with unrealistic federal mortgage qualification standards resulted in an unaffordable home ownership market for many households in 2023. With that said, relief seems to be on the horizon. Borrowing costs are expected to trend lower in 2024. Lower mortgage rates coupled with a relatively resilient economy should see a rebound in home sales this year,” said new Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) President Jennifer Pearce.

There were 65,982 home sales reported through TRREB’s MLS® System in 2023 – a 12.1 per cent dip compared to 2022. Despite an uptick during the spring and summer, the number of new listings also declined in 2023. The trend for listings has been largely flat-to-down over the past decade, which is problematic in the face of a steadily growing population. On a seasonally adjusted monthly basis, sales increased compared to November, while new listings declined for the third straight month.

The average selling price for all home types in 2023 was $1,126,604, representing a 5.4 per cent decline compared to 2022. On a seasonally adjusted monthly basis, the average selling price edged higher, while the MLS® Home Price Index Composite edged lower.

“Buyers who were active in the market benefitted from more choice throughout 2023. This allowed many of these buyers to negotiate lower selling prices, alleviating some of the impact of higher borrowing costs. Assuming borrowing costs trend lower this year, look for tighter market conditions to prompt renewed price growth in the months ahead,” said TRREB Chief Market Analyst Jason Mercer.

“Record immigration into the GTA in the coming years will require a corresponding increase in the number of homes available to rent or purchase. People need to have comfort in knowing that they can plan their lives and future with the certainty that they will have the stability of an affordable place to live,” said TRREB CEO John DiMichele.

The condominium apartment market became much more balanced over the past year. While Q3 2023 condo apartment sales were up year-over year, growth in listings far outstripped growth in sales. The result was the average price edging lower providing some relief in the face of higher borrowing costs.

There were 4,415 condominium apartment sales reported through TRREB’s MLS® System in Q3 2023 – up 6.2 per cent when compared to the same quarter in 2022. Over the same period, new condo apartment listings were up by a much greater 28.8 per cent.

“The condominium apartment market is an important entry point into home ownership for first time buyers. A better-supplied market has led to more choice for these buyers, resulting in more negotiation power and lower selling prices on average. A pause in price growth has helped mitigate the impact of higher monthly mortgage payments,” said TRREB President Paul Baron.

In the third quarter of 2023, the average selling price for a condominium apartment GTA-wide was $716,145 – down slightly compared to $720,628 in Q3 2022. In the City of Toronto, which accounted for approximately two-thirds of condo apartment sales, the average selling price was $736,566 – down from $750,087 in Q3 2022.

 “While condo market conditions have become more balanced over the past year-and-a-half, we will likely start to see a tightening in the market in the second half of 2024. The GTA population is growing at a record pace and the consensus view is that we will start to see some relief in terms of borrowing costs beginning in 2024 and even more so in 2025,” said TRREB Chief Market Analyst Jason Mercer

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