Photo: James Bombales

GTA home sales numbers have been dropping dramatically year-over-year since January, and last month was no exception. Sales were down 32.1 per cent year-over-year in April, with prices dropping 12.4 per cent, according to a new report from the Toronto Real Estate Board.

“While average selling prices have not climbed back to last year’s record peak, April’s price level represents a substantial gain over the past decade,” writes TREB president Tim Syrianos, in a statement.

The drop in activity has largely been attributed to a new mortgage stress test which came into effect on January 1, and a rising interest rate environment. April’s lacklustre performance reflects the ongoing cooling of the GTA market.

For a closer look at last month’s housing activity, BuzzBuzzNews has rounded up 8 stats that put things in perspective.

1. While sales were down significantly year-over-year, they fell just 1.6 per cent month-over-month. “The month-over-month sales trend has flattened out over the past two months following a steeper drop-off in January and February,” reads the report.

2. “The comparison of this year’s sales and price figures to last year’s record peak masks the fact that market conditions should support moderate increases in home prices as we move through the second half of the year,” writes TREB director of market analysis Jason Mercer.

3. The drop in the average sales price reflects a shift away from low-rise homes towards more affordable town homes and condos. Detached home sales for $2 million or more accounted for 5.5 per cent of April home sales, down 5 percentage points year-over-year.

4. The price of detached homes dropped 14.4 per cent year-over-year, while townhomes prices were only down 7.8 per cent. Condo prices jumped 3.2 per cent year-over-year.

5. Similarly, while detached home sales were down 38.4 per cent year-over-year, townhome sales dropped only 22.1 per cent year-over-year and condos were down 26 per cent year-over-year.

6. The MLS Home Price Index was down 5.2 per cent year-over-year, reflecting the shift towards more affordable housing types.

7. Supply continues to be tight, with a year-over-year drop in new listings from 21,571 in April 2017 to 16,273 last month.

8. “Recent polling by Ipsos tells us that the great majority of buyers are purchasing a home within which to live. This means these buyers are treating home ownership as a long-term investment,” writes Syrianos. “A strong and diverse labour market and continued population growth based on immigration should continue to underpin long-term home price appreciation.”

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