Photo: James Bombales

Through the busy spring and early summer homebuying season there were a record-breaking 37,749 homes sold in the Toronto region market from April to June.

This was an unprecedented period of sales activity for the market, one that led to many market observers and policymakers to conclude that the superheated market was becoming increasingly untethered to economic fundamentals.

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After a similarly smouldering fall 2016 season and the market ramping up for another record-smashing run in March 2017, the Liberal provincial government finally stepped in with a raft of policy measures — known as the Fair Housing Plan — designed to cool activity and set things back on a safer track.

The result? Naturally home sales declined as the effects of the new policies worked through the market. By 2018, only 24,276 homes were sold in the April to June period. Not a total collapse by any means, but still a nearly 36 percent decline when compared to the market high experienced in 2016.

This chart from the Toronto Real Estate Board helps put into perspective the immediate cooldown the market experienced following the introduction of the Wynne government’s Fair Housing Plan as well as the longer term volatility in sales activity.

Toronto home sales chart

It also illustrates the highly touted recovery the market has been experiencing following a tough winter season. Indeed, the orange bars representing 2019 sales may not be reaching anywhere close to the heights seen in 2016, but they’re sure looking a lot healthier than 2017-2018.

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