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Toronto Home Prices Climb on Heels of Tougher Mortgage Rules

According to the Toronto Real Estate Board, the average home prices in the Toronto region climbed 4.2 per cent last month, while buyers felt the brunt of the new mortgage qualification rules imposed this year. In the Greater Toronto Area, single-family detached home prices rose 3.1 per cent, while condo prices increased by 4.4 per cent.

While prices climbed from January to February, average prices dropped by 12.4 per cent compared to a year earlier. The following data released by the Toronto Real Estate Board compares the number of homes sold and average prices in the Greater Toronto Area, month-over-month and year-over-year.

 

February 2017 January 2018 February 2018
Home Sales 7,955 4,019 5,175
Average Home Prices $875,983 $736,783 $767,818

 

Average home sales decreased 35 per cent year-over-year but increased by 29 per cent from January to February. Similarly, home prices fell 12.4 per cent from February 2017 but rose 4.2 per cent from January to February of this year.

According to TREB’s director of market analysis, Jason Mercer, sales are likely to continue soaring throughout 2018. “As we move further into the spring and summer months, growth in sales and selling prices is expected to pick up relative to last year,” said Mercer in a recent statement, adding that growth will be accentuated in the townhouse and condominium markets. “That being said, listings supply will likely remain below average in many neighbourhoods in the GTA, which, over the long-term, could further hamper affordability.”

TREB president Tim Syrianos discussed the board’s findings, stating that the board had anticipated slower sales in the early months of 2018 compared to the meteoric rise in prices at the same time a year earlier. Syrianos stated that buyers are coming to terms with the “psychological impact” of housing reforms implemented by the Ontario government last April. The foreign buyer’s tax and mortgage qualification rules made a huge impact on the market as a large percentage of people across multiple demographics were effectively eliminated from the pool of potential buyers.

However, the changes have not had as much of a negative impact as some might have expected. Century 21 real estate agent Scott Ingram said that the majority of home owners in Toronto made a profit on the sale of their homes despite poor estimates and new regulations. Though Ingram estimated that nearly 9,500 buyers who purchased homes in Toronto last year were potentially unhappy due to a benchmark price $10,000 below the price they paid last year, they represent only 1.3 per cent of all homeowners in Toronto. He also states that the majority of those who are unhappy with their purchase compared to current market value, they will come out on top in the long run, as long as they do not intend to flip the home in the immediate future.

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