Housing market sees decline in York Mills

Sales in June were down more than 50 per cent compared to last year

Toronto’s once-booming real estate market is in a cooling off period, according to a report by the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB), and although certain pockets in Midtown are still performing well, York Mills is seeing a decline in house sales.

Barry Cohen, a realtor with Re/Max Realtron who specializes in the sale of high-end homes in the York Mills area, said it is experiencing a lull.

“The GTA is heading in the short-term to a more balanced buyer-seller market. York Mills is in a buyer’s market at this point in time,” said Cohen.

This past June, TREB’s C12 Ward, which encompasses approximately 80 per cent of York Mills, sold less than half the single-detached homes it did in June of 2016 despite the fact that there were more listings on the market.

According to Cohen, only 14 single-detached homes were sold in the month of June, out of 84 homes up for sale. In June 2016, 38 single-detached homes were sold out of 61 listings. The year before that, in June 2015, 28 single detached homes were sold out of 100.

Cohen said the drop in sales could be attributed to a number of different factors, including Kathleen Wynne’s Ontario’s Fair Housing Plan (OFHP).

“York Mills is ina buyer’s market at this point in time.”

The OFHP announcement, which includes a new 15 per cent Non-Resident Speculation Tax (NRST) on the price of homes in the Greater Golden Horseshoe, came in April.

“We are in a period of flux that often follows major government policy announcements pointed at the housing market,” said Tim Syrianos, president of TREB in a press release which also noted that the greatest home sales declines were for singe-detached homes.

Cohen said the OFHP may affect York Mills more than other areas.

“York Mills is a little more influenced by the Asian buyer, who is experiencing some constraints. I think there is a larger percentage in North York … and many of them are sitting on the sidelines,” he said.

However, Cohen cautioned that the numbers from June look at a particular point in time, just months after the budget announcement, and noted the decline has also been driven by the media to a certain degree.

“It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy when you’re looking at a week-to-week change. If Kathleen Wynne was the starting point, you can actually see the growth rate up until March … Then just after her budget, sales rose again, until the media focused on this in great detail in May, and then you see a constant decline since then,” he said.