It’s the Same Trend in Toronto – Slower Sales, Higher Prices

This will come as no welcome news to home buyers in the GTA – while sales continue their downward slope, prices are still climbing ever higher. This, according to the Toronto Real Estate Board and the stats they unveiled today.

Throughout the entire GTA, home sales fell by 14 per cent in the first quarter of this year, continuing the slowdown that we’ve been seeing ever since new mortgage rules were introduced last July. But sellers still aren’t budging. Waiting even longer to cash in on the high profits that were seen at this time last year, prices were up 3.2 per cent when compared with the first quarter of 2012, with the average price now being $519,879.

But some sellers don’t have to wait. With very few homes close to the downtown core and to important transit stations, the homes in these areas are still seeing bidding wars on them. Not because their prices are so reasonable, but simply because there’s a shortage of this type of housing on the market right now. A serious shortage. And that’s great news for sellers in these areas.

Not surprisingly, condos that saw a significant drop in their sales, with 18.4 per cent fewer resale condos being exchanged throughout March, when compared with March of last year.

But these sellers too, hold firm on their prices. The average condo right in the heart of Toronto still has a price of $367,595, up 2 per cent from March of last year. And if buyers don’t mind looking outside of the core, and throughout the rest of the GTA, they may be able to save some money, as GTA condos have an average price of $278,984 on them. Still an increase over prices seen last year at the same time, but a smaller jump, at only 1.3 per cent higher.

Detached homes are still the most sought-after of the bunch in the Toronto market, but these saw a huge drop at the same time they seem to be hitting the ceiling on prices.

Detached homes in the City of Toronto saw a fall of 21.6 per cent drop in sales, perhaps because of the average $846,828 price tag that’s stuck onto those homes. If you want to go outside of the City once again, you can get them for cheaper, but they’re still not “budget-friendly.” Detached homes outside of the core, within the 905 areas of the region, saw a drop of 16.4 per cent in their sales – while posting average prices of $592,265.

Perhaps it’s because detached homes are becoming so unaffordable that buyers are now seeking out townhomes. If their 5 per cent price gain over last year is any indication, that would certainly seem to be the case. In the 416 area, townhouse prices rose to $450,104; while in the GTA they went up to $369,590.

The reason for the slowdown, as TREB pointed to, isn’t anything new. Tight mortgage rules, and the double land transfer tax, have all but put taken Toronto real estate out of arm’s reach for most people within it.