The kids may be on vacation from school, but home sales in the GTA don’t show signs of taking any time off this summer. Recently, the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) updated its forecast for home sales for 2019 which are expected to be better than they were last year.
Two years ago, the real estate market in Toronto saw one of the hottest springs ever. But measures to cool down the market such as a foreign buyers’ tax and stricter mortgage qualification rules had their effect. Many homes in the area started to lose value starting in September 2018 – much to the alarm of those who had just purchased a home in the GTA. Fortunately, things have started to get back on track – and this time at a much more manageable pace.
Compared to 2018, the CREA said that they project home sales to creep up 1.2 percent in 2019. (That’s a big improvement from their previous forecast which predicted home sales to decline by 1.6% this year).
Despite the warnings of the doomsday prophets however, the housing market in Canada is regaining strength. This is due in part to the fact that mortgage interest rates are at their lowest since 2017 and also because we are seeing some of the fastest population gains of the past two decades.
According to the CREA report including housing sales across Canada, close to half of the increase has been driven by the GTA. The GTA housing market is once again gaining strength.
When the mortgage stress test was introduced at the beginning of 2018, it had the effect of slowing house sales. Since that time, however, sales have begun to rebound.
What does this mean for you?
If you are looking to sell your home, you are in a better position this year than you would have been last year. Gone are the days of crazy bidding wars, but the market is stable and you should still be able to get a fair price for your home. Overall, we consider it to be a seller’s market here in the GTA.
The good news for buyers is that we are not seeing prices increase nearly as dramatically as we have in past years. Modest price increases coupled with the current low mortgage interest rates are good news for buyers. Buyers looking to avoid the mortgage stress can seek out alternative lenders but should only do so under the advice of a reputable mortgage broker.
Those looking to purchase an investment property should do well this summer since Toronto rental rates are continuing to rise at a fairly quick pace.
Are you looking to buy or sell a home in the GTA this summer? If so, we would love to help. Contact our office to learn more.