Monday, November 10, 2008

Will this year be OWE 8 for Toronto Real Estate?

We are bombarded with information and headines, they are not necessarily reflective of the real facts. A TEASER ad that ran on the CTV National News talked about the 39% drop in real estate in the Toronto Market.

BUT... the drop was in sales activity, not the prices in that same year over year period.
While materially correct, this follows on the heels of the stockmarket adjustments that happened in October. With a Canadian and American election within weeks of each other, everyone held their collective breath.

Lets examine the individual statistics.
The Greater Toronto Area resale housing market reported 5,155 sales in October, Toronto Real Estate Board President Maureen O’Neill announced today.This represents a 35 per cent decline from the 7,915 sales reported in October 2007 and a 25 per cent decrease from the 6,876 transactions that took place during the same period two years ago. The article continues with... In the City of Toronto, the current average price of a home is $376,896, down 13 per cent from. Complete details available here.

What about the Canadian Real Estate Association for the same time period. What are they comparing? Their stats give the average sale for September 08 as $368,945 as compared to September 07 at $380,132. The real number here is an average decline of 3.15% year over year.
Are we alone?

I looked for source for Vancouver Real Estate information and found that their market is even more volitile than the local Toronto market. Their BOOM Market has been fed with construction for the Olympics.

"Residential benchmark prices, as calculated by the MLSLink Housing Price Index, declined 8.8% between May and October 2008, resulting in a 3.9% year to date price reduction for detached, attached and apartment properties in Greater Vancouver between October 2007 and 2008. In May 2008 the overall residential benchmark price was $568,411, compared to $518,668 in October 2008."

”Home sales are not keeping pace with the positive economic conditions in BC”, said REBGV president Dave Watt.” That’s a direct result of a loss of consumer confidence in the overall market. Accordingly, today’s housing market is characterized by moderating home prices and wide selection. It’s definitely a buyer’s market.
Residential property sales in Greater Vancouver declined 55% in October’08 to 1,364 from 3,028 sales recorded in October’07.
I whole heartedly agree with the President of the Vancouver Real Estate Board, in believing that we have moved firmly into a Buyers Market.
The inventory supply (number of listings) available in Toronto has not skyrocketed into the stratosphere, and although the pundits do profess it is still a safe time to buy, the hesitation created by FUD is tangible.
This last weekend while open housing, I noticed a refreshing sense of cautious optimism that was not visible in October. Maybe I'm just a glass half full person.
Your comments are always invited. If you are considering buying or selling in the next few months, I would be pleased to meet and discuss your situation.

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