2017 concluded with December producing 4,930 sales in the GTA. In total, 2017 finished the year strong with GTA realtors recording 92,394 sales. This is the 4th highest sales total since 2005. However, this total was down by 18.3% when compared to the record set in 2016.
The record amount of sales during the 1st quarter of the year were followed by a decline in the 2nd and 3rd quarters after the Ontario Fair Housing Plan was implemented. There was an uptick in sales in the 4th quarter, as the impact of the fair housing plan began to diminish, and other buyers accelerated their home purchase in response to the new mortgage stress test guidelines becoming effective on January 1, 2018.
The average home price for all home types in the GTA was $735,021, a 0.7% increase over December 2016. Markham also saw the average sale price for all properties increase by 4.4% ($979,383) over November, while Stouffville saw a decrease to the average sale price for all properties by 4.7% ($893,803) when compared to the previous month.
Jason Mercer, TREB’s Director of Market Analysis added, “it is interesting to note that home price growth in the second half of 2017 differed substantially depending on market segment. The detached market segment – the most expensive on average – experienced the slowest pace of growth as many buyers looked to less expensive options. Conversely, the condominium apartment segment experienced double-digit growth, as condos accounted for a growing share of transactions.”
With many different sub-layers to the marketplace, it is important to identify the market that you will be selling and/or buying in. A trusted real estate agent will ensure that you are positioned correctly for the market you are in.
What Does This All Mean?
During 2017 significant government policy decisions were made that caused downward pressure to be put on price. This resulted in the real estate market shifting from a seller’s to a balanced market (or in some communities a buyer’s market).
Looking forward to 2018, we anticipate a more cautious market as mortgage qualification rules begin to take effect. Once these new rules become standard practice, we will see a consistent and more stabilized marketplace throughout the year. Other external factors such as further government intervention (such as unexpected policy changes) and interest rate adjustments will be important topics to monitor through 2018. There is great anticipation for a strong, healthy and stable real estate market in 2018. Wishing you a happy and prosperous new year!