Sales fall, listings up in Toronto

by 03 May 2017
In its first release since Ontario’s new housing plan, TREB releases Toronto market stats and provides update on influence of foreign buyers and short-term speculators.

A total of 11,630 homes were sold in the GTA in April, down 3.2% year-over-year. New listings, meanwhile, were up 33.6%, according to the Toronto Real Estate Board.

"The fact that we experienced extremely strong growth in new listings in April means that buyers benefitted from considerably more choice in the marketplace,” Larry Cerqua, TREB president, said. “It is too early to tell whether the increase in new listings was simply due to households reacting to the strong double-digit price growth reported over the past year or if some of the increase was also a reaction to the Ontario Government's recently announced Fair Housing Plan."

TREB is forecasting the possibility of a balanced market, after years of being considered a seller’s market.

"It was encouraging to see a very strong year-over-year increase in new listings. If new listings growth continues to outpace sales growth moving forward, we will start to see more balanced market conditions,” Jason Mercer, TREB's director of market analysis, said. “It will likely take a number of months to unwind the substantial pent-up demand that has built over the past two years. Expect annual rates of price growth to remain well-above the rate of inflation as we move through the spring and summer months."

Foreign buyers

In this latest report, TREB also analyzed aggregated annual property sales in the Greater Golden Horseshoe (GGH) between 2008 and April 2017 – including data from the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) and Teranet.

That study found buyers with mailing addresses outside Canada account for less than 1% of activity. It also found foreign buyers in the GGH accounted for 2.3% of market share between 2008 and April 2017.

“The trend from 2008 to April 2017 suggests that the share of foreign home buyers has remained low.  The results also follow the results from earlier released data from an Ipsos survey of TREB Members conducted in the fall of 2016,” TREB said in its release. “The Ipsos survey results estimated that 4.9% of transactions undertaken between the fall of 2015 and the fall of 2016 were accounted for by foreign buyers.  The Ipsos survey results had an estimated margin of error of ± 2 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.” 

Speculation

“Between 2008 and April 2017, homes bought and sold within a short period of time – within one year of the original transaction – by domestic or foreign buyers accounted for a very small share (less than 5% in 2016 and approximately 7% between January and April 2017) of total transactions,” TREB said. “TREB analyzed the ratio of property owners that owned more than one property in the GGH to the total number of properties. As of April 2017, this was a relatively small 6.2% of total properties.”

COMMENTS

  • by R. R.R. 5/3/2017 10:01:19 AM

    As for foreign buyers go , some of these investor hire local people whom have been in Canada for more then three years , front them the money to do the transaction and within a year re sell the property for a nice profit.. being the holder of the mortgage under a incorporated name , these investors never get caught or even polled so the numbers are higher then that

  • by 5/3/2017 10:01:56 AM

    Did TREB share this information with the Municipality and Province before they made their decision to implement new taxes? If not, there's a big disconnect between what the government says and does then what is reality.

  • by Real Estate Professional 5/3/2017 12:10:38 PM

    Yes, it has been my experience that the foreign buyer percentage quoted or polled by statistics is very low and not realistic, at least not in the GTA. I have experienced foreign buyers hiring local people to "front" the property purchase on their behalf. I believe this will continue, as they attempt to avoid paying the foreign buyer tax.

Industry news

Submit a press release

Poll

Do you do commercial deals?