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Stress tests & interest rate, to further strain buyer pool

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MARKET UPDATE – BUYERS MARKET! 

Nearly all news outlets in Toronto have reported a jump in sales during September through to October. With headlines that read, “Toronto Home Sales Up 12% In October” or “Sharp Rebound In Toronto Home Sales Signals Market May Have Hit Bottom”. The media continued to speak about the increasing rate of buying in October, which made it seem like the market was recovering. They forget to mention that sales jump every year in October, and eventually drop each December.

Here is what you need to know:

  • Inventory is on the rise across Greater Toronto.
  • New listings across TREB reached 14,903, an 11.8% increase compared to this same time last year.
  • Active listings reached 18,859, which is a whopping 78.5% increase from the same month last year.

Additional inventory means more selections for buyers, and additional selections result in the buyers’ not overpaying, and being able to bargain down to their requested prices.

INTEREST RATES

The BOC (Bank of Canada) has held it’s benchmark rate at 1%. This was positively reacted to by the market place, however the government is still considering increasing the rates by next year all the way up to 2019, until we reach 3%. The government is continuously trying to clamp down on private sector debt by making it increasingly harder to borrow cheap money. Canada has, by far,  the most private sector debt relative to GDP in the G7 (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States).

NEW STRESS TEST

At the moment, only insured borrowers — those who put down less than 20 per cent — are required to undergo a stress test of their finances. This move is expected to reduce the maximum amount that buyers will be able to borrow to buy a home, even if they have a down payment of 20 per cent or more as of Jan. 1

TORONTO BENCHMARK PRICE

The big story is how quickly prices are decelerating, and price gains are tapering. The $747,800 price point across TREB is down 9.29% since the peak in May 2017. The year-over-year gain of 9.72% is also the lowest since July 2015. Yes, we’re in correction territory.

Source: CREA, Canada Statistics, Better Dwelling

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