First time buyers wary of Toronto market, sales outlook revised lower

by Steve Randall10 Jul 2017
Would-be homebuyers in the Toronto market are cautious following the introduction of the Ontario Fair Housing Plan, but it seems that won’t delay their move long-term.

An Ipsos poll for Toronto Real Estate Board shows that some potential homebuyers are delaying their purchase with first-time buyers having the flexibility to wait and see and Realtors’ data shows a sharp drop in sales.

However, it seems that many will return to the market in the next year although that may be after a reassessment of the type of home or location; this could put pressure on tight inventory though.

June figures reveal 7,974 sales, down 37.6 per cent from a year earlier while listings were up 15.9 per cent. The average selling price was up 6.3 per cent year-over-year to $793,915. Year-to-date average selling price was up more than 20 per cent to $870,016.

“It remains to be seen whether the level of inventory will hold up to accommodate the eventual resurgence in demand.  The Fair Housing Plan was less precise as it related to long term housing supply issues.  Moving forward, TREB looks forward to working with the Ontario government in the development of effective, evidence-based policies pointed at the housing market,” said TREB CEO John DiMichele.

The survey shows that 30 per cent of sellers are likely to list their home in the next year and 35 per cent of buyers are likely to buy. While 40 per cent of these potential buyers are first-time buyers, that is down from the 53 per cent share of a similar poll in the fall.

The board has revised its sales forecast to between 89,000 to 100,000 transactions based on the impact of the Fair Housing Plan but also with expectation of interest rate increases this year.

As listings increase, TREB expects average selling prices to moderate from the pace of recent years, although still fall within a 13 to 18 per cent range for 2017.


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