The Greater Toronto Area housing market is flat this March, with sales and prices barely budging from the same month in 2018.
The Toronto Real Estate Board reports that sales are almost identical this March from last, at 7,187, just off by a single transaction. Similarly, prices have risen under 1 per cent to $788,335. Days on market, a metric that can be used to see how “hot” a market is, increased just one day to 21. The only real difference between this March and last is the supply. New listings are down 5.1 per cent to 13,996 properties and active listings are down 2.5 per cent to 15,576.
“Market conditions have remained tight enough to support a moderate pace of price growth. Despite sales being markedly lower than the record levels of 2016 and early 2017, the supply of listings has also receded. This means that in many neighbourhoods throughout the GTA, we continue to see competition between buyers for available listings, which provides a level of support for home prices,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Chief Market Analyst.
Since inventory has decreased while sales have remained stable, the same number of prospective buyers are likely in the field, but with less properties to choose from. This means a price decline is highly unlikely.
TREB blames the flat spring market largely on reduced affordability and a lack of mid-size homes for boomers to downsize into:
“The OSFI stress test continues to impact home buyers’ ability to qualify for a mortgage. TREB is still arguing that the stress test provisions and mortgage lending guidelines generally, including allowable amortization periods for insured mortgages, should be reviewed. The supply of listings in the GTA also remains a problem. Bringing a greater diversity of ownership and rental housing online, including ‘missing middle’ home types, should be a priority of all levels of government,” said TREB President Garry Bhaura.
When we break down TREB’s numbers by region, Toronto central remains one of the most expensive areas to buy a property at $927,028. Neighbourhoods in this region are in the spine of the city and include Rosedale, Forest Hill and the Annex and tend to be on the subway line and lined with mature trees. Toronto east is significantly cheaper at $754,055 and includes Scarborough and East York where the houses tend to be smaller and often off the main subway line. Toronto west has become very family friendly and has attracted scores of young professionals in recent years, while still being cheaper than the core at $744,439. It includes Etobicoke homes for sale, Liberty Village and Roncesvalles.
But it’s no longer true that the 905 is cheaper than the 416.
Mississauga homes for sale go for $738,673, for example, similar to prices in the east and west of the City of Toronto. Richmond Hill and Vaughan, to the north of the city, are two of the most expensive areas in the entire TREB region, at close to $1 million, and yet have few transit links to the 416 itself.
For more information on the Toronto housing market this March, check out the infographic below:
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