Toronto home sales Ontario election-compressed

Photo: James Bombales

Home sales and new listings took another tumble last month as the Greater Toronto Area housing market continued to adjust to the provincial government’s Fair Housing Plan and new federal mortgage rules rolled out in January.

There were 7,834 home sales across the GTA in May, a 22.2 per cent drop when compared to the same month in 2017. New listings dropped by 26.2 per cent on a year-over-year basis.

The data, released today, is the final snapshot of the GTA housing market released by the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) before Ontarians go to the polls for Thursday’s provincial election. According to poll results also released today by TREB and Ipsos Public Affairs, 69 per cent of GTA voters say a party’s platform on housing affordability will influence which party gets their vote on election day.

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In a press release accompanying the data, TREB President Tim Syrianos cited a study by the Canadian Centre for Economic Analysis undertaken for the board, which 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,” says Syrianos.

Here are 8 more stats that paint a picture of the GTA housing market ahead of the Ontario election this Thursday:

1. The year-over-year sales decline yet again climbed well into the double digits for the GTA. But, according to TREB, the rate of decline slowed. May saw a 22.2 per cent decline, while the declines measured in the past three months were all above 30 per cent.

2. New listings saw a bigger decline than sales when compared to the same period in 2017. TREB says that this indicates heightened competition between homebuyers.

3. The MLS Home Price Index dropped 5.4 per cent year-over-year and the average selling price across all home types recorded a 6.6 per cent drop to $805,320.

4. On a seasonally adjusted basis, the average selling price saw a small increase, climbing 1.1 per cent when compared to April 2018.

5. The market is still recording a higher temperature in the City of Toronto. According to Jason Mercer, TREB’s Director of Market Analysis, “average selling prices were at or above average listing prices for all major home types in May” in the city.

6. Across all home types, condos in the City of Toronto (416) saw the largest increase in average selling price last month, registering a 6.5 per cent increase over May 2017.

7. The TREB and Ipsos Public Affairs poll results found that nearly six in ten GTA residents believe that provincial government policies should focus on both increasing housing supply and reducing housing demand.

8. And further, when asked to rank nine listed issues, 25 per cent of GTA residents say housing affordability ranks in their top two most-important election issues. Other listed issues included energy costs, economy and government spending.

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