Toronto Housing Market Well-Balanced: BMO

Toronto Housing Market Well-Balanced: BMO 
- 17 per cent year-over-year drop matches average decline from
August-February period 
- Prices remain firm 
TORONTO, ONTARIO -- (Marketwired) -- 04/03/13 -- The March home sales
figures for Toronto home sales are very much in line with the softer
trend seen over the prior six months, according to BMO Economics.  
"The 17 per cent year-over-year drop almost precisely matches the
average 16 per cent decline seen in the August-February period," said
Doug Porter, Chief Economist, BMO Capital Markets. "While sales have
no doubt cooled, the market is relatively well-balanced between
buyers and sellers. Similarly, prices remain stable, with the
increase in average prices of just under 4 per cent from year-ago
levels almost identical to the trend of the previous six months." 
Mr. Porter noted that sales have slowed considerably since last
summer, both in Toronto and across most major Canadian cities.
"Prices have also slowed notably, but in the majority of major
markets - including Toronto - we continue to see modest increases."  
Paul Maranger, Senior Vice-President, Sales, for Sotheby's
International Realty Canada, said he was not surprised by the Toronto
sales figures, and indicated that they reflect a lack of supply
within Toronto city limits, rather than a shortage of demand - noting
that prices continue to rise, albeit more slowly. "The marriage of
persistently harsh winter weather and earlier-than-usual holidays may
have delayed the buying season. I would not be surprised to see sales
figures in the 416 climb again in April, May and June."  
Laura Parsons, Mortgage Expert, BMO Bank of Montreal, noted that it's
essential for both buyers and sellers to be aware of any changing
conditions on the local level.  
"If planning to buy or sell a property, consider working with an
expert who can help you make decisions that are appropriate to the
health of your local market, and more importantly, that responsibly
fit within your particular financial situation," said Ms. Parsons.  
Ms. Parsons added that home buyers should stress-test their mortgage
against a higher interest rate to ensure they could handle any
potential increases in interest rates down the road and choose a
mortgage with a shorter amortization, which can help them become
mortgage-free sooner.  
About BMO Financial Group  
Established in 1817 as Bank of Montreal, BMO Financial Group is a
highly diversified North American financial services organization.
With total assets of $542 billion as at January 31, 2013, and more
than 46,000 employees, BMO Financial Group provides a broad range of
retail banking, wealth management and investment banking products and
solutions.
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ronald.monet@bmo.com 
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