The The Toronto Regional Real Estate Board MLS reported 7,256 sales for February 2020, representing over a 45% increase from the same month last year, the biggest year over year increase in the past decade. Also up were February’s new listings at 10,613, almost 8% higher year over year. In stark contrast to the positive numbers, February’s active listings at 8,816 were down by 33.5% compared to 2019 – the biggest year over year monthly decrease of the decade.
As shown in this 10 year summary of TREB activity, February 2020 sales have recovered to 95% of February 2016 levels. However, February 2016 saw activation of 6% more new listings than this February, in a year that ultimately saw 85,731 total transactions. Of even greater significance, February 2016 saw 24% more active listings versus this February overall, yet TRREB’s forecast for 2020 is for 97,000 transactions or 13% more than occurred in 2016. All this points to increasing pressure to win insufficient product in an environment where buyers are returning post OSFI stress test adjustments, and a return to record low interest rates on the heels of last week’s Bank of Canada announcement.