Toronto housing market April 2017

Photo: James Bombales

April was an interesting time to be a housing market observer in the GTA. Just as many had speculated it would, the provincial government introduced a bevy of new measures aimed at stabilizing segments of the Ontario residential real estate market that it believes are overheating.

In total, 16 measures were introduced by the Wynne government under its Fair Housing Plan. Panned by some and lauded by others, it’s unclear if the plan will have the desired impact, especially with some questioning the efficacy of the critical Greater Golden Horseshoe foreign-buyer tax component.

Today the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) released its April 2017 report on the GTA market. Anyone expecting the data to reveal any seismic shifts in the market spurred by the Fair Housing Plan will be disappointed. Staggering price increases are still the big story here.

Then again, it’s only been slightly more than a week since Premier Wynne made the announcement and, for its part, TREB says it’s still too early to tell if the measures have had an impact. However, in the TREB data, there do appear to be some important changes occurring in the market that observers will want to keep an eye on. Find out more below.

1. Total home sales for the area TREB covers were down year-over-over in April. Home sales numbered 11,630, down 3.2 per cent versus April 2016. There’s an important caveat though.

2. Why did fewer homes sell in April 2017 when compared to April 2016? TREB says Easter fell in April this year, leading to fewer working days in the month for sales to be entered into the MLS system versus April 2016. According to TREB, working days are when most sales are entered into the system.

3. New listings added to the MLS system were up in April. Way up. TREB recorded 21,630 new listings added to the system during the month, an increase of 33.6 per cent compared to April 2016.

4. Low-rise homes saw the largest increase in new listings, rising by double digits, while new condo listings recorded little change from the previous year.

5. Why were so many more homes listed this April? TREB says it’s too early to tell if it was a result of sellers reacting to strong price growth observed over the past year, or if some were influenced by the Ontario Fair Housing Plan introduced by the Wynne government on April 20th.

6. The MLS Home Price Index continued to soar on a year-over-year basis. The index tracking all home types across the entire TREB area rose 31.7 per cent over April 2016. The regions that saw the largest HPI increases were South Simcoe County (38 per cent), Durham Region (36 per cent) and York Region (34 per cent).

7. The average sale price for a detached home across the TREB area was $1,205,262, up 24.3 per cent over the previous year. In the 905 region it was $1,098,827 while the 416 recorded an average sale price of $1,578,542 in its detached segment, up 24.5 per cent and 25.2 percent, respectively.

8. The average sale price for a condo across the TREB area was $541,392, up 32.1 per cent. In the 416 it was $578,280 and in the 905 it was $449,792, up 32.3 per cent and 31 per cent, respectively.

9. Condos were the only property type that saw sales increase year-over-year in April. This was true in both the 416 and 905 regions. There were a total of 3,013 condos sold during the month, up 7.7 per cent from the year before.

10. The average days spent on the market dropped to 9 in April 2017, compared to 15 in April 2016.

11. Total dollar volume for the 11,630 sales that occurred in the TREB area in April was $10,708,804,074.

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