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  • Writer's pictureDiana Boyd

Real Estate Market Report: February 2024 Overview

Introduction: The Toronto real estate market kicked off 2024 with promising signs of growth and activity, setting a positive tone for the year ahead. January witnessed an increase in home sales compared to the same period in 2023, driven by factors such as lower borrowing costs and a rise in new listings. As market conditions tighten, experts anticipate renewed price growth and heightened competition among buyers. Let's delve deeper into the key insights from the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) report for January 2024.

Positive Start to 2024: TRREB President Jennifer Pearce expressed optimism about the market's performance, citing a positive start to 2024. With expectations of inflation receding throughout the year, coupled with potential lower interest rates, homebuyers are poised to regain confidence in entering the market. Pearce highlights the benefits for first-time buyers, who stand to benefit from more affordable mortgage rates, potentially easing the transition to homeownership.

Sales and Listings Overview: In January 2024, TRREB's MLS® System reported 4,223 sales, marking a notable increase of over one-third compared to January 2022. Additionally, new listings saw an uptick, albeit at a lesser annual rate of approximately six percent. The stronger growth in sales relative to listings suggests tighter market conditions, setting the stage for intensified competition among buyers.

Market Analysis and Predictions: TRREB Chief Market Analyst Jason Mercer forecasts further growth in home sales, particularly in the second half of 2024, following anticipated rate cuts by the Bank of Canada. As demand rises and listing supply remains constrained, Mercer predicts increased competition among buyers, ultimately exerting upward pressure on selling prices over the next two years.

Price Trends: While the MLS® Home Price Index Composite in January 2024 experienced a marginal year-over-year decrease, the average selling price saw a one percent decline to $1,026,703. Both indices also trended lower on a month-over-month seasonally adjusted basis. These fluctuations indicate a dynamic market environment, influenced by various economic factors and policy considerations.

Policy Implications: TRREB CEO John DiMichele emphasizes the importance of addressing policy issues to sustain market improvements. At the federal level, there's a call for reassessment of the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institution (OSFI) mortgage stress test, particularly its applicability across different interest rate cycles. Provincially, focus remains on the ambitious target of building 1.5 million new homes. Municipally, concerns are raised about the impact of property tax increases without consistent support from higher government levels, highlighting the need for comprehensive solutions to alleviate pressures across the housing spectrum.

Conclusion: The Toronto real estate market's performance in January 2024 reflects resilience and optimism, driven by factors such as lower borrowing costs and increased buyer activity. As the year progresses, attention turns to policy considerations and market dynamics, with stakeholders poised to navigate challenges and capitalize on opportunities in the evolving landscape.

As always, if you have any specific questions or inquiries about the real estate market, please don't hesitate to reach out to us directly. We're here to provide you with the guidance and assistance you need. Your feedback and engagement are always appreciated.


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