Stats Show Buyers Afraid of Real Estate Market in Brampton and Beyond

Who's afraid of the real estate market?

Quite a few buyers, apparently!

The Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) recently announced that GTA realtors reported 5,921 residential transactions through TREB's MLS system in July—that's down a whopping 40.4 per cent down on a year-over-year basis (mostly led by the detached housing market in Toronto and surrounding cities).

While sales were down, the number of new listings reported were only slightly (+5.1 per cent) above last year's level.

"A recent release from the Ontario government confirmed TREB's own research which found that foreign buyers represented a small proportion of overall home buying activity in the GTA. Clearly, the year-over-year decline we experienced in July had more to do with psychology, with would-be home buyers on the sidelines waiting to see how market conditions evolve," said Tim Syrianos, president of TREB, in a statement.

But while sales are low, TREB sees no cause for alarm.

"Summer market statistics are often not the best indicators of housing market conditions. We generally see an uptick in sales following Labour Day, as a greater cross-section of would-be buyers and sellers start to consider listing and/or purchasing a home. As we move through the fall, we should start to get a better sense of the impacts of the Fair Housing Plan and higher borrowing costs," said TREB CEO John DiMichele.

As far as prices go, the trend of climbing year-over-year sales and declining month-over-month sales is persisting.

TREB says the MLS Home Price Index (HPI) composite benchmark price was up by 18 per cent on a year-over-year basis. However, the it was down by 4.6 per cent relative to June. The declines were driven more so by single-family home types.

The average selling price for all home types combined was up by five per cent year-over-year to $746,218.

As for prices, detached houses in the 905 region are selling for $910,340 (down from $948,099 in July), semis for $636,844 (down from $653,936), towns for $581,541 (down from $596,028 last month) and condos for $418,191 (down from $436,097).

So while prices are indeed up year-over-year, they're down month-over-month—a trend that's been persisting through spring and into the summer.

The best takeaway, however, is the new influx of inventory.

"Home buyers benefitted from more choice in the market this July compared to the same time last year. This was reflected in home prices and home price growth. Looking forward, if we do see some would-be homebuyers move off the sidelines and back into the market without a similar increase in new listings, we could see some of this newfound choice erode. The recent changes in the sales and price trends have masked the fact that housing supply remains an issue in the GTA," said Jason Mercer, TREB's director of market analysis.

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