Homes in the Greater Toronto Area were selling for an average $822,681 in 2017, up 12.7% from the previous year.
The tight market put upward pressure on prices at the start of the year while the latter two-thirds saw fewer sales and increased listings, helping to moderate price increases.
Toronto Real Estate Board members sold 92,394 homes through the MLS last year, down 18.3% compared to 2016 which was a record year. The provincial policy had a noticeable impact on the market.
“Much of the sales volatility in 2017 was brought about by government policy decisions,” said TREB president Tim Syrianos. “
He added that research, including TREB’s own, showed that foreign home buying was not a major driver of sales in the GTA. But the Ontario Fair Housing Plan had a psychological impact on the market.
In the fourth quarter though, the FHP’s influence weakened and sales increased following two quarterly declines. This was in part due to the impending OFSI mortgage underwriting rule changes.
“Looking forward, government policy could continue to influence consumer behaviour in 2018, as changes to federal mortgage lending guidelines come into effect,” said Mr. Syrianos.
by Steve Randall