MARCH 2018 MARKET UPDATE Current Housing Market Update and our Teams Success in todays market!
In the last few month’s media has focused on the year-over-year comparison of the GTA housing market’s painting a very grim picture of the Real Estate Industry. Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) reported last week, sales were down a 39.5 percent year-over-year in March and the overall average selling price was down by 14.3 percent compared to March 2017. These numbers look terrible and would definitely deter the average buyer/seller from entering the market.
In our opinion comparing year-over-year numbers to an unusual period where market activity was hitting record heights doesn’t paint a realistic picture. Over the course of 2017, the Toronto market went from “lofty expensive” to “out-of-the-universe-crazy” back down to “just lofty expensive.” That means that while things have cooled considerably from March 2017’s record-breaking numbers, the average prices have really only gone back to where they were just prior to the overheated Spring 2017 market.
The Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) said the average home in the Greater Toronto Area sold for $784,558 in March, down 14 percent year over year, however, the average sales price in March was up 2.2 percent compared with February this year. It is the third consecutive month that average sales prices have risen in the GTA from the prior month, showing signs of stabilizing and pointing towards a modest growth in the second half of 2018 once the housing market uncertainty fades.
Sales volumes continue to be weak as many buyers and sellers remain on the sidelines. TREB said 7,228 homes sold in March, a drop of 40 percent from 11,954 sales in the same month last year. According to TD Bank’s economist Michael Dolega said the number of homes sold in the GTA fell 6.8 percent in March compared with February based on the seasonal adjustment of the data.
The number of new listings entered into TREB’s MLS® System totaled 14,866 – a 12.4 percent decrease compared to March 2017. The MLS Home Price Index Composite Benchmark was down by 1.5 percent on a year-over-year basis for the TREB market area as a whole.
Now that the first quarter of 2018 is behind us, is there relief in sight? Some signs point to yes — a flattening of prices and a small uptick in sales in March could mean that the worst effects of the new mortgage rules are behind the market. However, Interest rates are widely expected to rise further this year, higher interest rates could make mortgage stress tests a more difficult hurdle for homebuyers that need mortgage financing. It will take a little longer to ascertain how much of the impact is temporary and how much is permanent.
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March 2018 - Toronto Real Estate Board Update