Greater Toronto Home Resales at 1,500 in Mid December
Greater Toronto real estate agents reported 1,487 resale transactions during the first half of December, as compared to 2,868 sales recorded during the same period a year ago, Toronto Real Estate Board President Maureen O’Neill announced today.
Comment: Everyone seems to forget, though, that the impending Toronto Land Transfer Tax created an unusual spike in activity towards the end of 2007. Comparing this year end to that year end is not fair, as the conditions are nowhere near the same. Sales at the middle of December 2007 were 11% higher than in 2006, showing the effects of buyers trying to beat the new land tax.
The average price of a home in the Greater Toronto Area is currently $360,652. This compares to an average of $404,707 recorded during the first half of December 2007 and to an average of $343,048 recorded during the same period in 2006.
Comment: It bears repeating yet again. 2007 was an aberrant year, both due to price increases and because of the rush to buy at the end of the year. Comparing the current year to the same period in 2006, prices are actually up just over 5%. The sky is most definitely not falling… and the market is not crashing.
“Keeping today’s market numbers in perspective, MLS statistics confirm that over the last 10 years the price of homes has increased in value. What this means for the consumer is that real estate continues to hold its value and is a solid choice for long-term investments,” said Ms. O’Neill.
Comment: The average price for a home in Toronto in December of 1998 was $215,131. So the average value has risen 168% over the past ten years. Even if prices go down a bit from last year, it would be hard for anyone to say that Toronto real estate is a bad investment.
In the 416 area, 619 transactions were recorded during the first half of this month, from 1,402 sales that took place during the same timeframe a year ago.
The average price in the 416 area is currently $382,759, lower than the average of $450,731 a year ago, but 4% higher than the $367,650 recorded in the first half of December 2006.
In the 905 region 868 homes changed hands in the first two weeks of this month, as compared to 1,466 transactions that took place in the first half of December 2007.
The 905 region’s current average price is $344,887 down from an average of $360,691 recorded during the same timeframe a year ago but up almost 6% from the $325,477 recorded at mid-December 2006.
Comment: Splitting the 416 and 905 regions shows price growth in both areas over 2006. If value is up over the past 2 years, how can we say the market is crashing? The fact is, it isn’t. Correcting? Sure. Coming down a bit from the massive high that was 2007? Of course. But there is nothing catastrophic going on.
“The recent C.D. Howe land transfer tax study confirms Toronto real estate agent concerns that the second LTT imposed on homebuyers in the City of Toronto has indeed contributed to the economic conditions in the GTA,” added Ms. O’Neill.
There are currently 24,708 listings on the Toronto MLS system, up from 17,027 a year ago. The average number of days a home now remains on the market is 43, as compared to 33 days a year ago and 41 days in 2006. Sellers are achieving 96 per cent of their listing price, as compared to 98 per cent a year ago.
“Location, price and your own personal financial and family situation all play an important role when considering a purchase,” said Ms. O’Neill. “Toronto real estate agents can provide you with information about neighbourhoods, school districts and realistic pricing because of their vast knowledge of the local community.”
This mid-month release does not provide a year in review analysis. A summary of activity for all of 2008 including the month of December will be provided in the January 2009 Market Watch Report.
Toronto real estate agents are passionate about their work. They adhere to a strict code of ethics and share a state-of-the-art Multiple Listing Service. Serving over 28,000 Members in the Greater Toronto Area, the Toronto Real Estate Board is Canada’s largest real estate board.
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