House prices in Dufferin County, Durham, York and Halton lead GTA decline

By: Jessica Mach on April 4, 2018

A year after the Greater Toronto Area’s housing mania consumed the single-detached market, prices in areas around the GTA remain down substantially from a year ago.

Dufferin County, Durham, York, and Halton regions have all seen drastic declines when compared to March 2017.

The York Region saw the biggest price drop, with the average price of a home in March standing at $939,659 — a substantial 20.53% decline from last year’s average price of $1.18 million. The region, north of Toronto, includes the municipalities of Aurora, East Gwillimbury, Georgina, King, Markham, Newmarket, Richmond Hill, Vaughan, and Whitchurch-Stouffville.

The Halton Region, which is west of Toronto and covers Burlington, Halton Hills, Milton, and Oakville, saw home prices fall by 15.80%. While the average price of a home in the area stood at $1.01 million in March 2017, that number has dropped to $854,476.

Meanwhile, home prices in the Durham Region dropped by 14.25%. In Dufferin County, they fell by 14.67%.

Home prices also fell in the rest of the GTA, but at less drastic rates. In Toronto proper, the average price for all home types in March, including houses and condos, was $899,452 — down 9.10% from last year. In the GTA as a whole, the average price of a home was $784,558, down 14.3% in March 2017. Home prices outside of Toronto have fallen faster than in the city.

Condo prices, however, defied the overall trend. Condos are selling rapidly — they’re often spending less than two weeks on the market — and a drop in available inventory has occurred since last year. That means that prices have shifted upwards from last year by 6.1%. That masks their true gains, however, as last March and April were seen as a peak for the Toronto housing market, meaning frantic bidding wars rapidly drove up prices from January to March.

This year’s homebuying season is the first since OSFI introduced its “stress test” rule that has made it harder for hopeful homebuyers to qualify for a mortgage.

Home sales have also fallen this year by a staggering 39.5%. The Toronto Real Estate Board registered more 7,000 sales in March, compared to nearly 12,000 in March 2017. This is due to houses taking longer to sell, with far more listings and fewer selling. In the condo market, far fewer units were listed for sale this year — and they’re selling more quickly when they do list.