GTA home sales sunk last month by 39.5% compared to March 2017, according to the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB).
TREB’s monthly report also showed that sales were down 17.6% relative to average March sales for the past 10 years.
As well, the number of new listings entered into TREB’s system totalled 14,866, also a 12.4% decrease compared to March 2017, and a 3% dip compared to the average for the previous 10 years.
“TREB stated in its recent Market Outlook report that Q1 sales would be down from the record pace set in Q1 2017,” said TREB President Tim Syrianos. “Home sales are expected to be up relative to 2017 in the second half of this year.”
The average selling price also declined by 14.3% compared to March 2017, which could be good news for buyers. In Toronto, the average selling price is now $817,642, compared to last year when it was almost $900k. Although, a detached home in the city costs $1,293,903.
According to TREB, detached home sales, which generally represent the highest price points in a given area, declined much more than other home types.
“Right now, when we are comparing home prices, we are comparing two starkly different periods of time: last year, when we had less than a month of inventory versus this year with inventory levels ranging between two and three months,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Director of Market Analysis. “It makes sense that we haven’t seen prices climb back to last year’s peak.”
Leading into the provincial and municipal elections, TREB stresses that housing and housing affordability need to be at the forefront of the policy debates.
“A well-functioning housing market is not only important to ensure that people have a place to live; it is also important because it supports hundreds of thousands of jobs, billions of dollars in spin-off expenditures and billions of dollars in government revenues,” said Syrianos.
“Issues such as the below-average level of housing supply and often inadvisable policy ideas and negative measures such as land transfer taxes, vacancy taxes, speculation taxes and second home taxes should also be thoroughly debated by all candidates.”