The GTA housing market began 2023 in the same fashion it ended 2022 – with low year-over-year sales activity and pricing as higher borrowing costs continue to impact affordability.
But that doesn’t mean it’s all doom and gloom. From December 2022 to January 2023, the market remained in relatively the same place – hinting at the beginnings of stability.
“Home sales and selling prices appear to have found some support in recent months,” Paul Baron, president of the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB), said. “This, coupled with the Bank of Canada announcement that interest rate hikes are likely on hold for the foreseeable future, will prompt some buyers to move off the sidelines in the coming months. Record populate on growth and tight labour market conditions will continue to support housing demand moving forward.”
In January 2023, GTA REALTORS reported 3,100 sales through TRREB’s MLS system – 46 per cent less than the number of sales from the same time last year, but right in line with the 3,110 home sales recorded in December 2022.
Homes sold for an average price of $1,038,668 – slightly lower than a month ago and 16.4 per cent lower than the same time last year.
“Home prices declined over the past year as homebuyers sought to mitigate the impact of substantially higher borrowing costs,” Jason Mercer, TRREB chief market analyst, said. “While short-term borrowing costs increased again in January, negotiated medium-term mortgage rates, like the five-year fixed rate, have actually started to trend lower compared to the end of last year. The expectation is that this trend will continue, further helping with affordability as we move through 2023.”
“All three levels of government have announced policies to enhance housing affordability over the long term, including many initiatives focused on increasing housing supply in the ownership and rental markets,” John DiMichele, TRREB CEO, said. “Most recently, we were encouraged to see Toronto City Council support the mayor’s 2023 Housing Action Plan as part of the city’s overall $2 billion commitment to housing initiatives.”