Great news! New listings in April were up by double-digits for detached, semi-detached houses and townhouses. TREB announced 21,630 new listings in the GTA area, in April 2017, which is a 33.6 per cent increase compared to April 2016. There were 7,015 new listings in The City of Toronto in April 2017, which is a 22.2 per cent increase, compared to 5,740 new listings in April 2016.
The number of sales was down for the first time in a while. Total sales for the whole TREB market area amounted to 11,630 which is a 3.2 per cent decrease in a year-over-year comparison.
One issue underlying this decline was the fact that Easter fell in April in 2017 versus March in 2016, which resulted in fewer working days this year compared to last and, historically, most sales are entered into TREB's MLS® System on working days.
The average price continued to grow in April 2017. For a detached house in the 416, a buyer would pay $1,578,542 on average, which is 25.2 per cent more than in April 2016. The average price for a condo increased by 32.3 per cent in April 2017, amounting to $578,380.
Even though there are new listings coming to the market, the demand is still very strong and it will take some time to satisfy the pent-up demand built over the last few years. Jason Mercer, TREB Director of Market Analysis, predicts the annual rates of price growth will remain well above the rate of inflation during spring and summer months.
Good news for this month and the next few months...finally there are more listings moving onto the market. This will surely have a stronger effect than the governments Foreign Buyers Sales Tax, which seems to have been reduced to affect only the small number of foreign buyers who are strictly parking money and have no intention of they or their families moving to Ontario.
What will the Government do when the flurry of last week's changes does little to the market? My thoughts are that the only changes that would make a big difference is higher interest rates and a stall in immigration to the GTA. Now, please be clear that when I speak of immigration, it is net immigration which also includes other parts of Canada. The Golden Horseshoe, as we are now called, is the economics engine of Canada at the moment and a slowing of jobs and job searches does not seem imminent.
Personally, I do not see this market subsiding much but that could also be wishful thinking. Our team likes being busy and working hard...and the past few years have been a great learning experience when it comes to balancing work, family and friends.
April showers bring May Flowers or in our case more listings!! The shortage we were experiencing in the earlier part of the year has seemed to have improved with more sellers entering the Spring Market. This natural move towards a more balanced market has more to do with the "Spring Market" being in full bloom than with the government's intervention. The 16 point plan introduced by the provincial government will do little to slow down the real estate market. For the most part, buyers who have decided to take a backseat and see what happens will soon realize that all they have done is lost precious time searching for their new home. For those looking to take advantage of less competition, this might be the best time to look for a property as other competitors sit back and wait.
I am feeling optimistic about the "Spring market"! Notably more listings - which may balance the market conditions. I for one have many local buyers that have been put off by the supply and demand issues experienced in the last few months. May 1st has definitely turned a tap on for more product so keep it running please!! This will definitely give some of those buyers more confidence to get involved and participate and hopefully less frustration on the horizon
Interesting shift we have noticed in the market in the last couple of weeks.
That is, less pressure on buyers to get into multiple offers - the evidence is that we have noticed a number of listings that have had an offer date this week did not sell on offer night. Yet, other listings are still selling in multiple offers if they are really desirable neighbourhoods.
There are a few things at play here:
Fear in the buyers' minds that prices have maxed out - thanks to the press and bubble talk and Kathleen Wynne's Fair Housing Plan announcement. This has put a lot of buyers on the sidelines as they digest what this means and if it will have an effect on prices. Lastly and most importantly, more inventory hitting the market now that spring is here. More supply plus somewhat tamed demand.
I am of the opinion that these factors will create a short term lull in the market but things will pick up steam, just like they are in Vancouver. Toronto is a way bigger metropolis and will chew this info up, swallow and move forward (Ontario's economy is strong in Canada and Canada is looking pretty good within G7 - see here). My take on all this? With the lull in the market currently, it is a good time to be a buyer now than it was previously in 2017 and likely better than it will be later in 2017.