February 2018 Real Estate Market Recap | The Christine Cowern Team

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GTA Sees Increase in Listings, But a Decrease in Sales


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 February 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.

Condo Market Outperforms Detached Homes


 

The GTA condo market continued to thrive in February, with multiple offers and over-list sale prices seemingly becoming the new norm. According to February statistics recently released by the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB), while the number of condo sales in the GTA was down year-over-year (along with every other housing type), prices were 10% higher. Comparatively, prices of detached homes dropped by about 17%.

One could suggest that the new mortgage stress-test rules have forced prospective detached home buyers to reconsider their definition of affordability. Those once shopping for a house in the GTA may now be shifting their focus to a condo. The average price of a GTA condo in February was $529,782 – 4.4% higher than in January – compared to the average price of $1,000,736 for a detached home.

As TREB president Tim Syrianos points out in the TREB report, “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.”

Don’t expect condo price growth to stall, either. Jason Mercer, TREB’s director of market analysis, predicts “stronger price growth to continue in the comparatively more affordable townhouse and condominium apartment segments,” while “listings supply will likely remain below average in many neighbourhoods in the GTA, which, over the long-term, could further hamper affordability.”

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