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Eryn Richardson November Sales York Region

The 905 area experienced and decline in sales for 2012. The Toronto Real estate board announced that in 2012 3,485 homes were sold. In 2011 there were 3,956 sales, a 13% decline. Don't worry, the sky in not falling.

A key factor that has influenced the dip in sales experienced in recent months relates to the changes in mortgage lending guidelines that came into effect in July. The changes reduced the maximum amortization period from 30 years to 25 years and set a purchase price ceiling for government backed insured mortgages at one million dollars. These regulations have resulted in some households putting their decision to purchase on hold while they save up more money for a down payment and/or experience an increase in their income.

The 905 Region, with an average price of $463,779, showed a price increase of four per cent compared to a half-percent decrease in the City of Toronto average home price, which was $517,866.

The pace of average price growth in November was slower than what was experienced for much of 2012, especially in the low-rise segment of the market. This was largely due to the fact that the mix of single detached homes sold in the City of Toronto this past November changed relative to last year. Specifically, the share of homes that sold for over one million dollars was down considerably.

While the mix of home types sold may have changed, market conditions remained tight for low-rise home types. This is evident when we consider the MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) for the GTA. The MLS® HPI tracks the price change for benchmark homes - in other words: a home with the same attributes over time. When we look at price through this lens, we find that the benchmark price for major home types was up by 4.6 per cent in the GTA as a whole and 3.9 per cent for the City of Toronto.

News on the employment front was positive in November, as the Toronto seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased to 8.2 per cent, from 8.6 per cent the previous month. Interest rates remain largely unchanged, with a five year fixed mortgage rate of just over three per cent continuing to be available.

At this time of year I am often asked whether it is prudent to list one's home for sale over the holidays, and there are in fact, many benefits to doing so. Consider that those viewing homes at this time of year are more likely to be serious buyers. As well, homes often look their best when they are decorated for the holidays, and a favourable emotional response to a property often prompts an offer.

About Author Eryn Richardson :

Information obtained by permission from the Toronto Real Estate Board by Eryn Richardson, Real Estate Broker. For more Real Estate information go to Eryn Richardson's Home Team's website <a href="" target="_blank"></a>. Eryn Richardson, is a Broker with Century 21 Heritage Group in Newmarket Ontario. His personal website is <a href="" target="_blank"></a>.

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