The snow is beginning to melt and this signals the beginning of the spring market. February saw 10,520 new listings get entered into TREB’s MLS System, a 7.3% increase over February of last year. The increase shows that individuals are not shying away from the current market and putting their home up for sale. There were 5,175 transactions completed this month, a 34.9% decrease over the record 7,955 transactions completed in February 2017.
“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. Prospective home buyers are still coming to terms with the psychological impact of the Fair Housing Plan and some have also had to re-evaluate their plans due to the new OFSI-mandated mortgage stress test guidelines and generally higher borrowing costs,” indicated Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) President Tim Syrianos.
Active listings continue to remain high when compared to the previous year. Active listings increased by 147.4% year over year, with 13,362 properties on the market compared to 5,400 in 2017.
The overall average selling price for all home types in February decreased year-over-year by 12.4% to $767,818. However, if we put aside the sharp pricing increase that we witnessed during the first quarter of 2017 and look at February 2016, we notice that the overall average price remains 10.75% higher.
The submarkets continue to tell a different story from the overall market. Locally, Markham had the average sale price for detached homes increase by 3% to $1,253,188, when compared to the previous month, while sales also increased by 37% over January 2018. Stouffville’s detached homes had the average sale price decrease by 14% to $966,750 when compared to January 2018. However, sales did pick up in the community as Stouffville’s detached homes saw a 53% increase over the previous month. The results show that both communities are beginning to increase in activity.
The overall TREB numbers show 2.6 months of inventory, which would indicate that we are still in a seller’s market. However, most submarkets such as Markham, detached homes (5.6 months) and Stouffville, detached homes (6.5 months) are experiencing months of inventory that would depict a balanced market. A market is determined by the months of inventory it holds. A seller’s market is 1-5 months, a balanced market is 5-7 months, a buyer’s market is 7-10 months.
What Does This All Mean?
The market continues to normalize in 2018 becoming healthier and more stable. As we move further into the spring and summer months we can expect to see growth in sales and selling prices. Year-over-year results will continue to yield over dramatized numbers until about May where we can compare last year’s and this year’s markets equally. Currently, buyers continue to have ample choice in the market and having your home well-presented is important in separating it from the rest of the homes out there and receiving top dollar for your property.