Toronto Skyline by Jonathan Hinkle
According to a June Market Report released by Greater Toronto REALTORS®, the overall number of transactions recorded through the TorontoMLS system went down 5.4 per cent to 9.422 home sales in a year-to-year analysis. The City of Toronto witnessed the steepest decline, as sales fell by 13 per cent in comparison to June 2011. Sales in all the other areas monitored by the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) remained comparable to last year.
TREB President Ann Hannah attributes the problem to the City of Toronto’s unfair Land Transfer Tax: “Recent polling by TREB suggests that many households are considering home purchases outside of the City of Toronto to avoid paying the Land Transfer Tax. This goes a long way in explaining the disproportionate decline in sales in the City versus surrounding regions.”
The average selling price went up by 7.3 per cent to $508,622. The GTA housing market continues to be affordable for buyers, according to new mortgage lending guidelines released by Jim Flaherty, as the percentage of the average household’s income going toward home ownership payments is kept below the 39 per cent ceiling announced by the Ministry of Finance. “The average household in the GTA continues to benefit from a considerable amount of flexibility to account for higher interest rates moving forward,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Senior Manager of Market Analysis.