July 2017 Toronto Market Report: Smoke And Mirrors

Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 5,921 residential transactions in July 2017, which is down by 40.4 per cent on a year-over-year basis. Ontario government along with the TREB’s research reported that foreign buyers represented only a small proportion of overall home buying activity in the GTA, and Toronto Real Estate Board President Tim Syrianos confirmed there is something else behind these low numbers:

The year-over-year decline we experienced in July had more to do with psychology, with would-be home buyers on the sidelines waiting to see how market conditions evolve.

While sales were down, Toronto Real Estate Market experienced increased both in new listings and average prices in July 2017 - with the number of new listings up by 5.1 per cent and the average selling price for all home types combined up by 5 per cent year-over-year, to $746,218.

But according to TREB CEO John DiMichele, summer's market statistics seems to be skewing the general housing market conditions:

We see an uptick in sales following Labour Day, as a greater cross-section of would-be buyers and sellers start to consider listing and/or purchasing a home. As we move through the fall, we should start to get a better sense of the impacts of the Fair Housing Plan and higher borrowing costs.

Similarly to that, home buyers did benefit from more choice in the market this July compared to the same time last year, with the active listings up by 65.3 per cent, but this too is hiding the greater concerns:

If we do see some would-be home buyers move off the sidelines and back into the market without a similar increase in new listings, we could see some of this newfound choice erode. The recent changes in the sales and price trends have masked the fact that housing supply remains an issue in the GTA,

said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Director of Market Analysis


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