TRREB sees GTA home prices flatten, but realtors detect return of market activity

The Greater Toronto Area’s real estate board saw home prices plateau in January after being in free fall and depressing sales since spring, but brokers see a return to activity already taking shape.

The Toronto Regional Real Estate Board calculated the home price index to be $1,078,900 for last month, a slight drop from $1,081,400 in December.

The average home price followed the same pattern with January coming in at $1,038,668, which was little changed from $1,051,031 in December.

The flattening follows several months of steady declines, which saw prices fall nearly 20 per cent from their spring peak and 16.4 per cent from a year ago.

The fall has largely been attributed to rising interest rates, which tend to move in tandem with mortgage rates and weigh on homebuyer sentiment.

With the Bank of Canada hiking the interest rate eight times in the last year alone, potential sellers have left their homes off the market, while buyers have sat waiting for prices to hit their bottom.

“There’s a standoff in the housing market with few people wanting to sell amid falling prices, and even fewer looking to buy amid higher borrowing costs,” Priscilla Thiagamoorthy, BMO Capital Markets senior economist, said in a note to investors.

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