Toronto housing takes sharp turn into buyer’s market

By one metric, the Greater Toronto housing market has quickly shifted from a seller’s market to one favouring buyers.

The area’s sales-to-new-listings ratio dropped to 39.4 per cent in June, according to seasonally adjusted figures released Monday by the Canadian Real Estate Association. In January, it topped 94 per cent.

A ratio between 40 and 60 per cent is generally thought to reflect balanced market conditions. A reading above 60 indicates a seller’s market; a reading below 40 indicates a buyer’s market. Prior to June, Greater Toronto was last in buyer’s territory in 2009.

GTA sales-to-new-listings ratio

The Toronto market has cooled off considerably after the Ontario government unveiled a housing-reform package in April, which included a non-resident speculation tax.

Greater Toronto home sales fell 15.1 per cent in June from May, according to CREA’s seasonally adjusted data. Separately, the Toronto Real Estate Board has said June sales dropped 37.3 per cent from the previous June, while new residential listings climbed 15.9 per cent.

“While markets in B.C. and Ontario (particularly Toronto and Vancouver) still remain the tightest markets across the country with well under three months of inventory, Toronto is softening the fastest,” said Diana Petramala, an economist at TD Economics, in a research note.

The Globe and Mail
Published Monday, Jul. 17, 2017