The Greater Toronto Area (GTA) saw 7,834 home sales in May 2018, a decline of 22.2 per cent year-over-year, reports the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB). Although the number of home sales fell year-over-year, this annual rate of decline was less than reported in February, March and April, when declines exceeded 30 per cent. On a month-over-month basis, seasonally adjusted May sales remained essentially unchanged, compared to April.
In May, new home sales listings fell by 26.2 per cent year-over-year, which, when compared to the drop in home sales, indicates increased competition between buyers. A recent poll conducted by Ipsos for TREB suggests that listing intentions are down significantly, compared to the fall.
“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,” said Tim Syrianos, TREB president, in a press release. “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.”
The MLS Home Price Index Composite Benchmark dropped by 5.4 per cent year-over-year. The average selling price for all home types combined fell by 6.6 per cent to $805,320. On a seasonally adjusted basis, however, the average selling price increased by 1.1 per cent month-over-month.
“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,” added Jason Mercer, TREB’s director of market analysis. “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.”
TREB today released the results of an online poll of 1,200 GTA residents conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs regarding housing issues relevant to the upcoming provincial election, which is taking place on June 7.
The poll, which was conducted between May 18 and 22, 2018, found that:
- Twenty five per cent of GTA residents rank housing affordability in their top two most important issues for the provincial election campaign;
- Sixty nine per cent believe a party’s platform on housing affordability will influence who they vote for;
- Fifty six per cent 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 focusing on reducing housing demand; and
- Seventy seven per cent of GTA residents support reducing the provincial land transfer tax and 68 per cent support repealing this tax completely.