Real Estate News

Toronto home sales drop most since recession as new rules put brakes on market

Garry Marr

The Toronto Real Estate Board said Monday there were 10,196 sales through the Multiple Listing Service last month, down from 12,790 sales reported in May 2016. Detached home sales fell 26.3 per cent during the period and condominium apartment sales were off 6.4 per cent.

The Toronto home market has not seen such substantial declines in both sales and prices since the recession of 2008.

The actual, or normalized, effect of the Ontario Fair Housing Plan remains to be seen. In the past, some housing policy changes have initially led to an overreaction on the part of homeowners and buyers, which later balanced out,” said Jason Mercer, director of market analysis with TREB, in a statement.

The Ontario government announced 16 measures on April 20 to cool the housing market, among them a 15 per cent non-resident speculation tax and expansion of rent controls that limit annual increases, that some commentators have suggested could cool the appetite of investors looking for income properties

TREB pointed to a 14.9 per cent increase in the average price of a home from a year ago, but the $863,910 May figure for the GTA compares with an average of $920,791 in April, a 6.2 per cent drop.

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