TORONTO, June 4, 2018 — Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 7,834 sales through TREB’s MLS® System in May 2018. This result was down by 22.2 per cent compared to May 2017. While the number of sales was down year-over-year, the annual rate of decline was less than reported in February, March and April, when sales were down by more than 30 per cent. On a month-over-month basis, seasonally adjusted May sales were basically flat compared to April.1
Supply of homes available for sale continued to be an issue. New listings were down by 26.2 per cent. The fact that new listings were down by more than sales in comparison to last year means that competition increased between buyers. Recent polling conducted by Ipsos for TREB suggests that listing intentions are down markedly since the fall.
“Home ownership remains a sound long-term investment. Unfortunately, many home buyers are still finding it difficult find a home that meets their needs. In a recent Canadian Centre for Economic Analysis study undertaken for the Toronto Real Estate Board, it was found that many people are over-housed in Ontario, with over five million extra bedrooms. These people don’t list their homes for sale, because they feel there are no alternative housing types for them to move into. Policy makers need to focus more on the ‘missing middle’ – home types that bridge the gap between detached houses and condominium apartments,” said Tim Syrianos, TREB President.
The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) Composite Benchmark was down by 5.4 per cent year-over-year. The average selling price for all home types combined was down by 6.6 per cent to $805,320. On a seasonally adjusted basis, the average selling price was up by 1.1 per cent compared to April 2018.1
“Market conditions are becoming tighter in the Greater Toronto Area and this will provide support for home prices as we move through the second half of 2018 and into 2019. There are emerging indicators pointing toward increased competition between buyers, which generally leads to stronger price growth. In the City of Toronto, for example, average selling prices were at or above average listing prices for all major home types in May,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Director of Market Analysis.
Housing Issues Important to Voters
TREB is releasing the results, today, of a poll conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs regarding issues relevant to the upcoming provincial election.
“Housing and real estate issues are top of mind for many Ontario and GTA voters, and they often turn to their REALTOR® for opinions on these matters. That’s why we think it’s important to help shine the spotlight on these issues during the provincial election campaign,” said Tim Syrianos, TREB President.
The poll, conducted by on-line survey of 1200 GTA residents (500 in 416 and 700 in 905) between May 18 and May 22, 2018, found that,
- Among 9 listed issues (health care, government spending/balancing budget, taxes, housing affordability, energy costs, economy, transportation/traffic, environment/climate change, enhancing social programs), 25% of GTA residents rank housing affordability in their top two most-important issues for the Ontario election campaign;
- 69% agree (35% strongly/34% somewhat) that a party’s platform on housing affordability will influence who they vote for on election day;
- Nearly six in ten (56%) of GTA residents believe that government policies should focus equally on increasing the supply of housing and reducing the demand of housing; few believe that they should only be focused on reducing demand;
- 77% of GTA residents support reducing the provincial land transfer tax and 68% support repealing this tax completely.