Toronto area prices were slightly (1.6%) higher in January than last January, while the total number of homes sold was almost exactly the same. The inventory of homes for sale was the same as last year, as well as last month, and right on the 3 months’ supply level that is regarded as ‘balanced’, that is, neither a buyers’ market nor a sellers’ market. After many years of a strong sellers’ market, culminating in a ‘blow-off bubble’ in 2016 and 2017, we have been enjoying ‘Goldilocks’ market conditions for the past twelve months; this bodes well for a healthy (if not ‘hot’) spring market.
The divergence between the condominium and freehold segments of the market also continued last month, with condo prices 8% higher than last January, while freehold prices were 3% lower. Even though mortgage rates have stabilized and seen unlikely to rise much this year, the mortgage qualification rules introduced by the federal government last year continue to make detached or semi-detached homes unaffordable for many buyers.