The Canadian real estate market often fluctuates, and the first part of 2018 is no exception. In January, Canadian home sales fell by 14.5 per cent compared to the month prior. The decrease in real estate transactions is led by a slow down of 26.6 percent in Toronto, Ontario according to the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA).
Despite a slow down of sales throughout the country, the average home price in Canada continues to see a steady year over year increase. Prices rose 2.3 per cent compared to the year prior. However, Toronto saw the opposite take place with a year over year decrease of 4.1 per cent. Still, the average house price in Toronto is $736,783, significantly higher than the national average of $481,000.
Less sales were in part due to a reduced number of homes on the market between December and January. There was a 21.6 percent decrease in listings nationwide and a 39.3 percent decrease in the Toronto area when adjusted for seasonality. Typically the spring market begins in late January, but so far CREA has not seen the usual month-end bump.
Some experts believe that the numbers indicate that more people put their homes for sale in December to get ahead of the new stress test laws for mortgages. The new law came into effect on Jan. 1, 2018. Whatever the reasons, it is clear that the real estate market in Ontario and across the country will continue to change. A lawyer can help those looking to enter the real estate market as either buyers or sellers understand the laws which affect this transaction.
Source: The Toronto Star, “Canadian home sales hit lowest level in three years“, Tess Kalinowskireal, Feb. 15, 2018