Today the Toronto Real Estate Board published the numbers for the Toronto home sales for the month of October 2008. The average selling price across the GTA was $352,974. This is down 4.2% from the monthly average the month before and down 11.3% at the peak of May 2008.
It is not surprising that there has been a pull back in the real estate market in Toronto, but certainly nothing like the decline the stock market has seen! Homes remain a very stable long-term investment. The number of sales is well below the volume recorded in past years for the month of October. Mostly, people are being cautious at this time. People who do not need to be selling their homes are not selling. They are happy to stay put and will make a move when market conditions improve. But this then has an effect of skewing the average sales price. Fewer high-end homes are selling. The overall mix of homes may be different and thus the average is impacted.
But then current market conditions provide an excellent opportunity to be a buyer. The supply of homes for sale is up and the number of bidding wars and multiple offers is way off. The buyers have much more control for setting the terms of negotiation.
It is also a good time for move-up buyers in the same market. If you are selling one house and buying another within the Toronto market you are still okay. You may lose some value on the sale of your existing home. But you get a good deal on your purchase and then if you are moving-up to a better home, it should appreciate more rapidly than the home you have moved from.
If you would like to discuss the current market conditions more or understand how this impacts your current situation, please give Ralph a call.