2013 market is better than you think

"While comparing year-over-year metrics can be useful, we believe it can be misleading given we are coming off record volume years," reads the Toronto and Ontario Housing Market Forecast by First Swiss Mortgage Corp. "Industry experts fully expect that headlines will continue to focus on how sales remain down from last year, but are quick to point out that those same numbers have held steady since the last round of mortgage regulations took effect in July 2012."

Although transactions remained down in the first quarter from a year ago in more than 90 per cent of all local markets, notes the report, the gap diminished in a number of large urban markets. Those include Greater Vancouver, Calgary and Montreal.


As far as the country's biggest market, Toronto, prices continue to benefit from the support of overall "supply/demand dynamics," with the average selling price during the first four months standing at $513,895. That actually represents a 2.8 per cent rise from e same period one year ago.

That good-news story has been largely lost under a mountain of doom and gloom, with reports focused on the gap in sales this year relative to the pre-mortgage rule changes introduced last July.

Even seasoned investors says their appetite for and, indeed, confidence in taking on new purchases has been adversely affected by the negative reports.

Still, the bottom shows no signs of falling out of the real estate market both in the GTA and the broader Canadian market, say experts.

A prime example is T.O. townhouse market where prices reflect solid demand.

There, "the average selling price in April was led by townhomes and highrise condo apartments, which both saw a 3.1 per cent year-over-year price increase followed by semi-detached homes where there was a 2.7 per cent."

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