Number of listings increase as balance returns to real estate market

In July 2023, the real estate market in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) witnessed a surge in home sales, new listings, and home prices in comparison to the same month in 2022. According to the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB), the market also experienced a more balanced condition on a seasonally adjusted basis, with sales trending slightly lower and new listings on the rise.

“Home sales continued to be above last year’s levels in July, which suggests that many households have adjusted to higher borrowing costs,” said TRREB president Paul Baron. “However, it does appear that the sales momentum experienced earlier in the spring has somewhat stalled since the Bank of Canada restarted its rate tightening cycle in June. The impact of higher rates has been compounded by the persistent lack of listings, making it challenging for people to find properties to purchase compared to previous years.”

In July 2023, GTA realtors reported a total of 5,250 sales through TREEB’s MLS system, representing a 7.8 per cent increase compared to the same month last year. Concurrently, new listings also saw a significant annual growth rate of 11.5 per cent during the same period. The MLS Home Price Index composite benchmark indicated a 1.3 per cent year-over-year increase, while the average selling price surged by 4.2 per cent to $1,118,374 over the same timeframe.

On a seasonally adjusted monthly basis, the number of sales trended lower for the second consecutive month, while new listings showed an upward trend. The seasonally adjusted average selling price slightly decreased.

“Uncertainty surrounding the direction of borrowing costs, jobs, and the overall economy has impacted home sales over the last two months,” explained Jason Mercer, TRREB’s chief market analyst.  “Over the long term, the demand for ownership housing will remain strong due to record population growth. However, many homebuyers may remain on the sidelines in the short term until the direction of monetary policy and the economy becomes clearer.”

Ultimately, the city is still unaffordable for many, especially for those interested in an actual house not a condo. A recent report suggested that it takes approximately nine years of income saved to upsize from a condo to a house.

The current situation in the GTA real estate market indicates both opportunities and challenges, as sales and prices continue to rise, but potential homebuyers face hurdles due to limited listings and economic uncertainties.

Article exclusive to STREETS OF TORONTO