Toronto Regional Real Estate Board Monthly Market Watch

Welcome back to Market Watch! Higher borrowing costs, continued uncertainty about the economy, and the constrained supply of listings resulted in fewer home sales in August 2023 compared to the same period last year. However, the average selling price remained virtually unchanged compared to August 2022. On a seasonally adjusted monthly basis, sales and average price edged lower. Read more to learn how this affects the housing market.

Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 5,294 sales in August 2023 – down by 5.2% compared to August 2022. New listings shot up by 16.2% year-over-over, providing some relief on the supply front, but year-to-date listings are still down substantially compared to the same period last year. Seasonally adjusted sales dipped slightly by 1% month-over-month compared to July 2023, while new listings increased by 1.3%. The MLS® Home Price Index Composite benchmark for August 2023 was up by 2.5% year-over-year. The average selling price was also up, but by less than 1% to $1,082,496 over the same timeframe. On a month- over-month seasonally adjusted basis, the MLS® HPI Composite benchmark was virtually unchanged and the average price edged lower by 1.6%.

“While higher interest rates have certainly impacted affordability, the prospect of higher taxes will also hit households’ balance sheets, especially younger buyers with limited savings. With the City of Toronto moving to raise the municipal land transfer tax (MLTT) rate on properties over $3 million as a revenue tool, it must also consider helping first-time home buyers struggling to enter the market by adjusting their tax rebate threshold to reflect today’s higher home prices,” said TRREB CEO John DiMichele.

In summary, the market experienced more balanced conditions this summer compared to the tighter spring market. However, many buyers have had to adjust their offers in order to qualify for higher monthly payments after the continued increase in interest rates after a pause in the winter and early spring.

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GTA REALTORS® reported 5,250 sales through TRREB’s MLS® System in July 2023, a 7.8% increase compared to July 2022. Over the same period, new listings rose by an annual rate of 11.5% to 13,712. The seasonally adjusted average selling price dipped to $1,118,374, but it is up by 4.2% over the same timeframe last year. The MLS® Home Price Index Composite benchmark edged higher by 1.3% year- over-year.

“Over the long term, the demand for ownership housing will remain strong on the back of record population growth. However, many homebuyers will continue to be on the sidelines in the short term until the direction of monetary policy and the economy becomes clearer,” said TRREB Chief Market Analyst Jason Mercer.

In summary, uncertainty surrounding the direction of borrowing costs, jobs and the overall economy has impacted home sales over the last two months. However, the number of new listings and home prices were up in July 2023 in comparison to July 2022.

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Selling prices in August 2023 remain almost the same as last year’s levels but dipped slightly compared to July. As interest rates continued to increase, many buyers have had to adjust their offers in order to qualify for higher monthly payments. Not all sellers have chosen to take lower than expected selling prices, resulting in fewer sales.
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