Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 2,857 transactions through the TorontoMLS system during the first 14 days of August 2012. This mid-month result represented a dip of 7.6 per cent in comparison to 3,091 sales reported during the same period in 2011.
On a quarter-to-date basis, sales of detached homes declined 14% compared to the same period in 2011, while sales of semi-detached and condos down 11% and 23%, respectively. Sales of townhomes were comparable to last year.
“A number of factors played into the dip in sales in the first half of August. Sales growth in the spring was very strong, suggesting that some buyers sped up their decision to buy. Stricter mortgage lending guidelines that came into effect at the beginning of July likely prompted some households to put their buying decision on hold. Finally, relatively higher home prices and the additional upfront cost of the City’s Land Transfer Tax go a long way to explain the more pronounced dip in sales in the ‘416’ area code,” said Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) President Ann Hannah.
The average selling price for the first two weeks of August in the Greater Toronto Area was $480,180 – up 9.2 per cent in comparison to 2011.
On a quarter-to-date basis, low rise homes continued to see healthy price growth, while average selling price of condos dipped by 2.5% compared to the same period last year.
Although sales of existing homes have declined so far in the third quarter, GTA’s housing market remained tight for low rise homes, as indicated by the Sales-to-New Listings Ratio. As the housing market continues to cool, home buyers should benefit from the improving market conditions and have a better chance of finding a home that offers the desired lifestyle and yet fits within the required financial limits.