Greater Toronto Area Realtors reported 7,765 transactions through the Toronto MLS system in March 2013 – down 17 per cent compared to 9,385 transactions in March 2012. While the year-over-year dip in March sales followed the trend that has unfolded since mid-way through 2012, it is also important to note that the Good Friday holiday was in March this year versus April in 2012.
Generally speaking, there are fewer sales reported on statutory holidays and weekends. In the first quarter of 2013, sales amounted to 17,678 – down by 14 per cent compared to Q1 2012.
“Home ownership remains affordable for a household earning the average income in the Greater Toronto Area. There are many willing buyers in the marketplace today. While some households have put their decision to purchase on hold as a result of stricter lending guidelines or the additional Land Transfer Tax in the City of Toronto, other households simply haven’t been able to find the right house due to a shortage of listings in some market segments,” said Toronto Real Estate Board President Ann Hannah. The average selling price in March was $519,879 – up by 3.8 per cent compared to March 2012. The average price in Q1 2013 was $508,066 – up by 3.2 per cent compared to the first quarter of 2012.
“The average selling price and the MLS® Home Price Index Composite Benchmark was up on a year-over-year basis across most home types, especially in the low-rise market segments where supply remains an issue. TREB’s average price forecast for 2013 remains at $515,000, representing a 3.5 per cent annual rate of growth,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Senior Manager of Market Analysis.