There is no denying that April 2018 presents a big drop in sales activity compared to April 2017. A 32.1 per cent drop, in fact. TREB reports 7,792 homes were sold in April 2018, while a year earlier 11,468 people bought a new home. The market has slowed down somewhat. Buyers have more inventory to choose from and more time to think their decision through and that is indeed reflecting on the market.
The average selling price of a home in Toronto last month was $804,584, which is a drop by 12.4 per cent compared to April 2017, but it is actually an increase of 8 per cent compared to the average price in April 2016.
Buyers are still buying and sellers are still selling, it's just taking a bit longer these days. Here's what Richard & Jim had to say about the recent market changes.
Richard Silver, Sales Representative, SVP-Sales
Markets are just that, they go up and down. If you are looking to play the real estate market as you would the stock market, then each change has opportunities, and we can present them to you. If you are not playing the market then what you are looking for is a good property that meets your needs and makes the end of the day worth coming home.
Property for most should be all about home. As Torontonians, we get too caught up in the "market" side of the discussion of the "real estate market". We forget how important having a gas stove, a bidet, or a condo building that allows dogs and double-car covered. These details make buyers salivate and are what is important in the long run. Sadly our emotions rise and fall as the monthly statistics are reported. High means success to some and low means failure.
The April 2018 statistics show a drop. There is no way around that. However, 7,800 sales in the GTA is nothing to sneeze at...7,800 families found some of their parameters met and dreams accomplished. That, to us at Torontoism is a successful market!
Jim Burtnick, Broker, SVP-Sales
It was April 20, 2017, just over a year ago when Kathleen Wynne announced Ontario's new Fair Housing Plan - 16 changes to Ontario's housing market and included such things as; expanding rent controls, standardized leases, a foreign buyers' tax and a vacant home tax among others changes.
Essentially, what this did almost immediately was put the brakes on people buying real estate until they were able to determine what these government induced changes to the free trade of real estate meant. Imagine. Nobody knew what effects that these changes would mean to the marketplace except that nobody wanted to trade in real estate until they knew what, if any, the Fair Housing Plan would have. Add to that the new mortgage stress test rules implemented On January 1, 2018, and no wonder buyers stayed on the sidelines. Nobody knew what effects these 2 major market changes would mean to real estate prices.
What we at the TORONTOism Team have been noticing is this; the market has not changed drastically in the 416 area where demand is still the highest, the 905 belt around the city has faired less well with more supply and properties trading at below the early 2017 peak.
But buyers are also realizing that the sky is not falling and are slowly but surely returning the active marketplace. Buyers are buying again and in line with TREB's forecast for 2018, we will see further increases in transactions and prices (albeit more moderately) as the rest of 2018 progresses. If you are going to buy in 2018, you have more choice, less pressure and the chance to choose well. Just don't wait too long or you can expect to pay more, compete more as more buyers come back into the game and off the sidelines.