Home sales in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) were 2.4% higher in June 2018 than they were in June 2017, and the average selling price edged up on a year over year basis by 2%. This is the first time since 2016 that unit sales increased year over year and now reverses the year on year trend of declining monthly unit sales seen every month since April 2016. And new listings dropped from those recorded in June of last year by 18.6%, meaning that market conditions appear to be tightening, signalling that the housing market has turned the corner to a more positive course, as sales accounted for a 10.4% greater share of listings, up from 40.4% of active listings in June 2017 to 50.8% in June 2018.
There was also a change in the mix of properties sold in June 2018 compared to June 2017, with low-rise home types accounting for a greater share of sales at 63.2% this year compared to 61.0% last June. Sales of Detached and Semi-Detached homes were up by 5.5% and 8.1%, respectively, year-over-year in June, while condominium unit sales decreased by 5.3% in the same period.
All of this is happening as a result of that fact that home buyers are starting to move back into the market, after adjusting to the regulatory impacts of the foreign buyers tax which took effect in April last year, and the generally higher borrowing costs and new mortgage qualification stress tests that followed. The expectation is that we will see continued improvement in sales over the next year, although it is likely that issues related to the supply of listings will persist, leading to increased upward pressure on home prices as competition among buyers intensifies.
Finally, it is interesting to note that unit sales and selling prices were up in each and every month in 2018, reversing the trend that started in April of last year when the impact of the foreign buyers tax negatively impacted both numbers until housing activity rebounded somewhat in the fourth quarter, when buyers rushed to secure home ownership prior to the new stress tests coming into effect in January of 2018. As the chart below also demonstrates, home ownership has proven to be a positive long-term investment.
If you would like to find out what these statistics mean to you, or if you are curious to know how much your property is worth today or how much you can afford to buy, please reach out.
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