By: Tim Syrianos, TREB President
The December Housing Market figures have been released by TREB. The figures show that there were 92,394 sales through TREB’s MLS® System in 2017, which is down 18.3 per cent compared to the record set in 2016.
Record sales in Q1 were followed by a decline in Q2 and Q3 after the Ontario Fair Housing Plan (FHP) was announced. The pace of sales picked up in Q4, as the impact of the FHP started to wane, and some buyers arguably brought forward their home purchase in response to the new OSFI stress test guidelines effective January 1, 2018.
Much of the sales volatility in 2017 was brought about by government policy decisions. Research from TREB, the provincial government and Statistics Canada showed that foreign home buying was not a major driver of sales in the GTA. However, the Ontario Fair Housing Plan, which included a foreign buyer tax, had a marked psychological impact on the marketplace. Looking forward, government policy could continue to influence consumer behavior in 2018, as changes to federal mortgage lending guidelines come into effect.
The average selling price for 2017 as a whole was $822,681 – up 12.7 per cent compared to 2016. This annual growth was driven more so by extremely tight market conditions during the first four months of the year. In the latter two-thirds of 2017, fewer sales combined with increased listings resulted in slower price growth. In December, the MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) Composite Benchmark was up by 7.2 per cent year over year, and the overall average selling price was up by 0.7 per cent year over year.
TREB will have much more to say about the year to come on January 30 when we will release our third annual Market Year in Review and Outlook Report. The report will feature an outlook for home sales and prices; new Ipsos consumer survey results covering buying intentions, including insights on new federal mortgage lending guidelines; new research on housing supply options surrounding the ‘missing middle,’ and important new reports on the movement of people and goods throughout the GTA.
If you have questions, talk to a Toronto Real Estate Board Professional Member Realtor for further help and guidance. For updates on the real estate market, visit TREBhome.com. If commercial property is what interests you, contact a TREB Commercial Professional Member Realtor by visiting trebcommercial.com.