Torontonians react to the province’s housing measures and other trends from the latest round of real estate stats.
Housing policy impacts Greater Golden Horseshoe area
New listings – a lack of which has long plagued areas in the GTA – skyrocketed last month as a result of Ontario’s recently announced housing plan.
“Homebuyers and sellers both reacted to the recent Ontario government policy announcement aimed at cooling housing markets in and around Toronto,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s Chief Economist. “The number of new listings in April spiked to record levels in the GTA, Oakville-Milton, Hamilton-Burlington and Kitchener-Waterloo, where there had been a severe supply shortage. And with only ten days to go between the announcement and the end of the month, sales in each of these markets were down from the previous month. It suggests these housing markets have started to cool.”
Overall, Canada enters balanced territory
An uptick in new listings and a softening of sales contributed to a balancing out of the nation’s housing industry, with the national sales-to-new listings ratio dropping to 60.1% last month compared to 67.3% in March.
"The ratio in the range of 40%-to-60% is considered generally consistent with balanced housing market conditions. Above 60% is considered a sellers' market and below 40%, a buyers' market,” Dr. Sherry Cooper, chief economist with Dominion Lending Centres, wrote in her analysis of the stats release. “The sales-to-new-listings ratio was above the sellers' market threshold in about half of all local housing markets, the majority of which continued to be in British Columbia, in and around the Greater Toronto Area and across Southwestern Ontario.”
BC home prices recover
Prices in Vancouver took a dive last year following the city’s 15% foreign sales tax, but they seem to be recovering.
“After having dipped in the second half of last year, home prices in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia have been recovering, are up from levels one year ago, and are now at new heights or trending toward them (Greater Vancouver: +11.4% y-o-y; Fraser Valley: +18% y-o-y),” CREA said in its release.
Several markets show moderate sales increases
“Home prices were up modestly from year-ago levels in Regina (+0.4% overall, led by a 2% increase in apartment prices), Ottawa (+4% overall, led by a 4.9% increase in two-storey single family home prices), Greater Montreal (+3.7% overall, led by a 5.5% increase in prices for townhouse/row units) and Greater Moncton (+4.8% overall, led by a 12.7% increase in prices for townhouse/row units),” CREA said.