March GTA home sales flat as listings fall and prices rise

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Mortgage brokers and realtors are beginning to worry as the real estate market in the GTA has flattened.

This is being blamed on the stress test and the stringent mortgage lending guidelines. The Toronto Real Estate Board insists that this has kept out a large number of potential first-time homebuyers who aren’t qualifying for a mortgage. Making it harder is the fact that there are fewer listings and indications that prices of homes are going up.

The call for changes to the policy came as March showed flat home sales of 7,187, down by one home from the same month a year earlier.

The average selling price for March was up 0.5 per cent, or $3,821 from a year earlier to $788,335.

New listings in March were down by 5.1 per cent year-over-year to come in at 13,996.

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The board said it has also raised concerns about a proposed increase to the municipal land transfer tax to address homelessness.

But what the Toronto Real Estate Board is not factoring in is the trend for millennials to favor renting over buying given the gig economy. Because so many millennials work on short-term contracts and can be for possibly months before their next project, banking institutions are wary of lending and millennials are wary of buying when employment is not guaranteed. -CINEWS

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