🏡 TRREB: Buyers Re-Enter the GTA Housing Market in February 📈

Toronto, Ontario, March 5, 2024 – In a positive turn of events, Greater Toronto Area (GTA) home sales and new listings experienced a welcome surge in both annual and monthly figures during February 2024. The real estate market in the region continues to thrive, driven by population growth and a resilient local economy. Despite higher borrowing costs, the demand for housing remains robust, albeit below the peak reached in February 2021.

Market Resurgence Amid Rate Speculations 📊

TRREB President Jennifer Pearce highlighted the recent resurgence in sales activity, attributing it to the market's assumption that the Bank of Canada has concluded its rate hikes. Consumers are now anticipating potential rate cuts, prompting a growing number of homebuyers to adjust their strategies. Some have saved up larger down payments, opted for less-expensive home types, or explored different locations within the GTA to mitigate the impact of higher mortgage rates.

Sales and Listings Metrics 📈🏠

Realtors® reported a notable 17.9% increase in GTA home sales through TRREB’s MLS® System in February 2024 compared to the same period in 2023. Even after accounting for the leap year effect, sales saw a robust 12.3% year-over-year growth. New listings surpassed the annual rate of sales growth, indicating increased choices for prospective buyers. However, on a seasonally adjusted month-over-month basis, February sales experienced a slight dip after two consecutive monthly increases, while new listings remained relatively stable.

Steady Price Trends 📈💰

Home selling prices in February 2024 remained steady, akin to the same period in 2023. The MLS® Home Price Index Composite benchmark inched up by 0.4%, with the average selling price reaching $1,108,720, reflecting a modest 1.1% increase. On a seasonally adjusted monthly basis, both the MLS® HPI Composite and the average selling price showed upward movements.

Outlook for 2024 🚀🔍

As the year progresses, TRREB Chief Market Analyst Jason Mercer anticipates an increasing number of buyers re-entering the market with adjusted housing preferences to accommodate higher borrowing costs. In the second half of the year, lower interest rates are expected to further boost demand for ownership housing. First-time buyers are poised to contribute significantly, seeking to transition from high monthly rents to long-term investments that allow them to build equity.

Addressing Affordability and Mental Health 🌐💡

Highlighting the social impact of unaffordable housing, TRREB CEO John DiMichele emphasized the record pace of population growth. Anticipated lower borrowing costs are expected to drive demand for both ownership and rental housing over the next two years. Recent research by TRREB underscores the negative impact of unaffordable housing on mental health and life satisfaction, emphasizing the importance of ongoing efforts to eliminate red tape and meet homeownership needs.

In closing, the GTA real estate market's resilience and the positive outlook for the coming months paint a promising picture for both homebuyers and sellers. The evolving landscape reflects the adaptability of consumers and the industry to changing economic conditions. 🌟🏠


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