The trend of lower home sales in the Greater Toronto Area continued in March with a 39.5% drop in sales compared to a year earlier.

Toronto Real Estate Board reported 7,228 homes were sold last month, 17.6% below the 10-year average for the month. A year earlier, a record 11,954 were sold.

New listings were down 12.4% year-over-year to 14,866, 3% below the 10-year average.

“TREB stated in its recent Market Outlook report that Q1 sales would be down from the record pace set in Q1 2017,” said TREB president Tim Syrianos. “The effects of the Fair Housing Plan, the new OSFI-mandated stress test and generally higher borrowing costs have prompted some buyers to put their purchasing decision on hold. Home sales are expected to be up relative to 2017 in the second half of this year.”

The MLS Home Price Index Composite Benchmark was down by 1.5% from March 2017 for the TREB market area overall. The average selling price was down by 14.3%.

“Right now, when we are comparing home prices, we are comparing two starkly different periods of time: last year, when we had less than a month of inventory versus this year with inventory levels ranging between two and three months. It makes sense that we haven’t seen prices climb back to last year’s peak. However, in the second half of the year, expect to see the annual rate of price growth improve compared to Q1, as sales increase relative to the below-average level of listings,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Director of Market Analysis.

 

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