TREB Members reported 2,670 sales in January from the 5,075 sales reported in the first month of 2008. Of these, 1,106 transactions took place in the City of Toronto compared to 2,128 in January 2008. In the surrounding “905” area, 1,564 sales were recorded, from 2,947 last year.
The GTA housing market has not been immune to the economic slowdown in Canada. Some potential home buyers were less-certain about their positioning in the economy over the past year. Until the economy rebounds, and along with it consumer confidence, the number of existing home sales will be more moderate in comparison to the average over the last ten years. Home prices also moderated in January.
The average MLS selling price dipped to $343,632. The average price was $364,415 in the City of Toronto, from $404,202 in 2008. In the surrounding regions (“905” area code), the average price was $328,935 from $352,965 last year.
Buyers have experienced more choice in the existing home marketplace. Lower selling prices have resulted. It should be noted that the GTA housing market has followed the broader economic slowdown, but was not a cause of the downturn. Home prices remained affordable throughout the new millennium. The average family can still qualify for a mortgage on the average priced home. This remains the case today. Given that we are not facing an early-1990s-style affordability crisis, the rebound in the housing market will likely be quick once economic recovery takes hold.