Toronto Real Estate Board President Garry Bhaura announced that Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported a year-over-year dip of 2.4 percent in the number of homes sold through TREB’s MLS® System in February 2019, while new listings declined by 6.2 percent. The fact that new listings fell more than sales suggests conditions became tighter over the past year, supporting year-over-year price growth.
Both the MLS® Home Price Index Composite Benchmark and the average selling price were up modestly on a year-over-year basis in February 2019: The MLS® HPI Composite Benchmark was up by 2.4 percent year-over-year, while the average selling price for all home types combined was up by 1.6 percent over the same period. Semi-detached properties led the way with a rise in average price of almost 10 percent and condos followed with an increase of just over 6 percent, while detached home prices showed a decrease of 2.1 percent.
Commenting on the current sales environment, Mr. Bhaura suggested, “The OSFI mandated mortgage stress test has left some buyers on the sidelines who have struggled to qualify for the type of home they want to buy. The stress test should be reviewed and consideration should be given to bringing back 30 year amortizations for federally insured mortgages.”
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