The situation for buyers of County homes over $300,000 was much better during the first quarter of this year compared to the over-heated seller’s market at the start of 2017. Most indicators point to the return of a balanced market except for the time homes are staying on the market: after a slow start to the year, by March homes were selling at roughly as quickly as last year.
Sales of homes over $300,000 for the first quarter of 2018 were down 28% from the same period in 2017 (above). Given the importance of Toronto buyers in this price range, the decline in County sales was most certainly influenced by the 35% decline in the number of detached homes sold in the City of Toronto during the same period.
Over the course of the first quarter of this year, the average number of active listings on the market each month was up by nearly 40% compared to last year.
The average months of inventory (number of homes listed for sale divided by the number of homes sold) for the first quarter of 2018 was up over 75%, reflecting a significant improvement in the selection available for buyers compared to last year.
The average selling to listing price ratio was down during the first quarter of 2018 compared to 2017, reflecting more moderate expectations on the part of sellers.
While the outlook for buyers was generally improved in the first quarter of 2018, the sole exception was in the speed with which homes were selling. In January, at the start of 2018, homes were typically taking close to 100 days to sell, but by March homes were selling nearly as quickly as at the same time last year.
Conditions were generally more favourable for buyers during the first quarter of this year, with softer sales than at this time last year coupled with an increase in the number of active listings.
Despite this, homes continue to sell relatively quickly by County standards and buyers need to act promptly when they find a desirable property.