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Cindie Carr-Harris
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TORONTO REAL ESTATE BOARD MARCH MARKET WATCH
Sunday, 08 April 2018, 10:05:00 AM

TORONTO, ONTARIO, APRIL 4, 2018 – Toronto Real Estate Board President Tim Syrianos

announced that Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 7,228 residential transactions

through TREB’s MLS® System in March 2018. This result was down by 39.5 per cent compared to

a record 11,954 sales reported in March 2017 and down 17.6 per cent relative to average March

sales for the previous 10 years.

The number of new listings entered into TREB’s MLS® System totaled 14,866 – a 12.4 per cent

decrease compared to March 2017 and a three per cent decrease 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 Mr. Syrianos. “The effects of the Fair Housing Plan, the new OSFImandated

stress test and generally higher borrowing costs have prompted some buyers to put

their purchasing decision on hold. Home sales are expected to be up relative to 2017 in the

second half of this year.”

The MLS Home Price Index Composite Benchmark was down by 1.5 percent on a year-over-year

basis for the TREB market area as a whole. The overall average selling price was down by 14.3

per cent compared to March 2017.

While the change in market conditions certainly played a role, the dip in the average selling price

was also compositional in nature. Detached home sales, which generally represent the highest

price points in a given area, declined much more than other home types. In addition, the share of

high-end detached homes selling for over $2 million in March 2018 was half of what was reported

in March 2017, further impacting the average selling price.

“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. It makes sense that we haven’t seen prices climb

back to last year’s peak. However, in the second half of the year, expect to see the annual rate of

price growth improve compared to Q1, as sales increase relative to the below-average level of

listings,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Director of Market Analysis.

TREB continues to stress that housing and housing affordability need to be at the forefront of the

policy debates leading into this year’s provincial and municipal elections.

“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. 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,” said Mr. Syrianos.

 

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