High borrowing costs and uncertain economic conditions continued to weigh on Greater Toronto Area (GTA) home sales in November 2023. Sales were down on a year-over-year basis, while listings were up from last year’s trough in supply. With more choice in the market, selling prices remained basically flat year-over-year.
There were 4,236 sales reported through TRREB’s MLS® System in November 2023 – a 6% decline compared to November 2022. Over the same period, the number of new listings was up by 16.5%. On a seasonally adjusted monthly basis, sales edged up compared to October 2023, while new listings were down by 5.5%.
The MLS® Home Price Index Composite benchmark and the average selling price, at $1,082,179, in November 2023 were basically flat in comparison to November 2022. On a seasonally adjusted monthly basis, the MLS® HPI Composite benchmark was down by 1.7%. The average selling price was down 2.2% cent month-overmonth.
Home prices have adjusted from their peak in response to higher borrowing costs. This has provided some relief for buyers, from an affordability perspective. As mortgage rates trend lower next year and the population continues to grow at a record pace, expect demand to increase relative to supply. This will eventually lead to renewed growth in home prices.
Houses and condos are meant to be homes, first and foremost. We know the demand for homes, both rental and ownership, will grow for years to come. We have seen some productive policy decisions recently that should help with housing affordability, including allowing existing insured mortgage holders to switch lenders without the stress test.
Additionally, in the interest of household and economic stability, we continue to call on the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) to apply the same approach to uninsured mortgages. It also goes without saying that further policy work is required to bring more supply online.