A staggering decline in year-over-year Toronto home sales was recorded in February. The 5,175 recorded sales marked a 34.9% drop from the record 7,955 sales reported in February 2017, while a 7.3% increase in listings still falls below the average for February over the last decade. Despite the alarming figures, the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) is attempting to quell worries with the assurance that the numbers are in line with predictions made in TREB's 2018 Market Outlook, which anticipates a rebound in the coming months.

TREB market report, GTA housing, home prices, Toronto condosToronto skyline, image by Michael Muraz via Flickr

“When TREB released its Outlook for 2018, the forecast anticipated a slow start to the year compared to the historically high sales count reported in the winter and early spring of 2017" said TREB President Tim Syrianos in a prepared statement released with the latest market figures. "Prospective home buyers are still coming to terms with the psychological impact of the Fair Housing Plan, and some have also had to reevaluate their plans due to the new OFSI-mandated mortgage stress test guidelines and generally higher borrowing costs,” said Mr. Syrianos.

February 2018 saw a year-over-year increase of 3.2% for the MLS Home Price Index Composite Benchmark. This is being largely attributed to the apartment and townhouse market segments, which saw respective price growth of 18.8% and 7.5%. Slight declines were recorded in single-family and detached home prices during this period. Overall, the new average price of $767,818 represents a 12.4% year-over-year from the previous February, though still roughly the same percentage higher than February 2016's figures.

In line with the earlier findings of their 2018 Market report, TREB expects a bounce back in sales in the coming months, though a lack of supply may remain as an issue driving prices. “Expect stronger price growth to continue in the comparatively more affordable townhouse and condominium apartment segments. This being said, listings supply will likely remain below average in many neighbourhoods in the GTA, which, over the long-term, could further hamper affordability,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Director of Market Analysis.

Let us know what you think in the comment section provided below.