Toronto’s residential property prices went up slightly last month despite a noticeable sales slowdown recently, according to the latest numbers from the Toronto Real Estate Board.
GTA’s average selling price across all housing types grew by 1.6% annually in February to reach $780,397. This was also considerably higher than the January average of $748,328.
Meanwhile, last month’s sales shrunk further by 2.4% when compared to February 2018, with just a little over 5,000 transactions. Supply had a greater decline, with the number of new listings entering the market falling by 6.2% year-over-year.
TREB President Garry Bhaura reiterated the Board’s position that the B-20 qualification rules, which might have been useful in stabilizing the market once upon a time, are now doing more harm than good.
“The [Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions] mandated mortgage stress test has left some buyers on the sidelines who have struggled to qualify for the type of home they want to buy. The stress test should be reviewed and consideration should be given to bringing back 30-year amortizations for federally insured mortgages,” Bhaura stated, as quoted by BNN Bloomberg.
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The figures came in the wake of a month which merited some measure of optimism. January new home sales in the GTA had a notable 14% annual increase, the Building Industry and Land Development Association announced in its report supplemented by Altus Group data.
“This year is starting off on a positive note,” Altus Group executive vice president of data solutions Patricia Arsenault said. “The improvement in new home sales over last January is consistent with our outlook for somewhat higher annual sales in the GTA this year, following the drop in 2018.”
“It looks like the market is starting to return to typical levels after a particularly difficult year,” BILD president and CEO David Wilkes added.