Toronto home prices are declining but the cooling effect might not last long
Home buyers are finally experiencing some relief from the outrageous prices plaguing the Greater Toronto Area housing market.
The Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) reports that home sales plummeted in June 2022 while average selling prices continued a month-over-month decline as the market recoils from mortgage rate hikes and soaring inflation.
JUST RELEASED! TRREB Forecasts Current Market Conditions To Remain Over Summer🏠. Access TRREB’s latest #MarketWatch Report for insights on June market stats, statements from TRREB Experts and More!— Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (@TheReal_TRREB) July 6, 2022
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A 41 per cent year-over-year decrease in home sales recorded in June 2022 only tells part of the story, as June 2021 was a solid month for sales, making year-over-year declines look much worse.
The total of 6,474 sales recorded last month also marked a month-over-month decline, though experts stress that this is a typical seasonal dip for the market.
TRREB President Kevin Crigger says that "Home sales have been impacted by both the affordability challenge presented by mortgage rate hikes and the psychological effect wherein home buyers who can afford higher borrowing costs have put their decision on hold to see where home prices end up."
Crigger expects "current market conditions to remain in place during the slower summer months" but adds that home prices should stabilize, bringing buyers back into the fold despite high borrowing costs.
In contrast to the decline in transactions, listings remained relatively stable, which TRREB explains is "resulting in a more moderate annual pace of price growth."
Home prices in the region climbed 5.3 per cent year-over-year to an average of $1,146,254, though this figure actually represents a month-over-month decline from May 2022, indicating a downward trend in prices.
It was a similar story with composite benchmark prices, rising almost 18 per cent year-over-year but declining compared with May 2022.
TRREB Chief Market Analyst Jason Mercer says that "listings will be an important indicator to watch over the next few months," pointing to low unemployment and most homeowners in no hurry to sell.
"If would-be sellers decide to take a wait-and-see attitude over the next few months, it's possible that active listings could trend lower as well," explains Mercer. "This could cause market conditions to tighten somewhat, providing some support for home prices."
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