More flexible stress test needed: real estate board

The Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) continues its call for longer amortization periods and a more flexible stress test in the wake of a year-over-year dip in homes sales.

“While higher borrowing costs have impacted home purchase decisions, existing homeowners nearing mortgage renewal are also facing higher costs,” says TRREB President Kevin Crigger.

“There is room for the federal government to provide for greater housing affordability for existing homeowners by removing the stress test when existing mortgages are switched to a new lender, allowing for greater competition in the mortgage market. Further, allowing for longer amortization periods on mortgage renewals would assist current homeowners in an inflationary environment where everyday costs have risen dramatically.”

TRREB reports 5,627 home sales through its MLS® System in August. That’s a 34.2 per cent drop compared to August 2021, though a lesser annual rate of decline compared to the previous four months. August sales also represented a month-over-month increase compared to July.

Sales represented a higher share of new listings compared to the previous three months. If that trend continues, it could indicate some support for selling prices in the months ahead, TRREB predicts. On a year-over-year basis, the average selling price for all home types combined was up by 0.9 per cent to $1,079,500. The average selling price was also up slightly month-over-month, with numbers suggesting a greater share of more expensive home types sold in August.

Here’s the average selling price in August by region: Durham ($920,269), Halton ($1,207,303), Peel ($1,062,984), Toronto ($1,031,979) and York ($1,265,628). Here’s the average selling price in York by municipality: Aurora ($1,191,194), East Gwillimbury ($1,276,964), Georgina ($861,952), King ($2,164,576), Markham ($1,273,428), Newmarket ($1,051,080), Richmond Hill ($1,367,394), Vaughan ($1,274,395) and Stouffville ($1,341,849).

Photo courtesy of Royal LePage.

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