January report from Toronto real estate board 2018

Toronto Real Estate Board announced that GTA had over 4,000 residential transactions through TREB’s MLS® System in January 2018.  This result was down by twenty-two per cent, last Jan it was 5,155 sales .

New listings entered into TREB’s System amounted to 8,585 – a 17.4 per cent increase, last January number was 7,314.  That number of new listings was the second lowest for the month of January in the past ten years.

“Toronto Real Estate Board outlook for 2018  was released on Jan. 30th.  The outlook pointed to a slower start to 2018, compared to the record-setting pace last year.  Expect the pace of home sales to increase, as the psychological impact of the Fair Housing Plan starts to wane and home buyers find their footing relative to the new OSFI-mandated stress test for mortgage approvals through federally regulated lenders,” said the board president.

The MLS® Home Price Index Composite Benchmark was up over  5 % year-over-year.  This annual rate of growth was driven by the condominium apartment market segment, with double-digit annual growth versus the single-family segment, with prices flat compared to last year.  The overall average selling price was down by 4.1 % year-over-year to $736,783.  The decline was weighted toward the detached home sales.  With the City of Toronto, the average sold price was up for all home types except for detached houses.

“Home prices in some market areas are flat compared to last January.  Last year, Toronto was in the midst of a housing price increase driven by very low inventory in the marketplace.  It is likely that market conditions will support a return to upward price growth for many home types in the second part of 2018.  The condominium apartment segment will be the driver of this price growth,” said TREB’s Director of Market Analysis.

“The City of Toronto’s Executive Committee meeting today to make recommendations on the City’s 2018 Budget, Toronto Councillors would be wise to note the vast difference between last January’s real estate market and this January’s, given the City’s inadvisable reliance on the Municipal Land Transfer Tax.   The amount of revenue that the City generates from this tax goes up and down with the real estate market.  The last year should be a wake-up call for City Council.  They should heed the City Manager’s ongoing warnings of  banking on this tax. The Land Transfer Tax is not a good way to fund municipal services,” said TREB president.

The revenue from the Municipal Land Transfer Tax is based on the number of real estate transactions and the value of those transactions. When the MLTT was first implemented in 2008, it made up less than 2% of the City’s operating budget.  Today, it makes up 7%, a 250% increase.

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