Why is the 416 housing market doing so much better than the 905 in the long-term?

By: Zoocasa

January numbers for the GTA show a stable real estate landscape, with prices and sales slightly up from January 2018. Sales are up 0.6 per cent year over year to 4,009 transactions, while prices are up 1.7 per cent to $748,328, according to the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB).  But that disguises long-term unequal growth between the 905 and the 416.

When we look back at numbers from two years ago, January 2017, a different tale emerges. It appears the 905 was by far hit the hardest by  tighter mortgage lending rules from January 2018 and new provincial regulations from April 2017. Before these changes, the 905 was flying, with its large single-family homes in huge demand and correspondingly, prices were rising rapidly. But then the government and federal bank regulator rolled out a  series of regulations, spreading uncertainty and reducing affordability. The result hammered the market and affected it in a way that it did not affect the City of Toronto.

Prices in the suburbs have have largely declined from two years ago, while City of Toronto real estate prices have risen.

The 416 has edged up 6.8 per cent year over year to $777,674, with all areas posting healthy gains: Toronto Central rose 8.5 per cent to $881,000, Toronto East 8.8 per cent to $700,500 and Toronto West 6 per cent. $679,240.

In contrast, the 905 is only showing miniscule price growth in a few regions, with all other areas seeing plummeting numbers.

York region plunged the most, by 16.6 per cent to $871,350. Other popular areas in the 905 saw a less severe decline — Durham Region dropped 5 per cent to $577,900.

The 905 regions that did show growth, only posted gains of less than a percent.

Peel Region edged up 0.9 per cent to $696,690.

Halton Region also edged up a tiny 0.8 per cent $854,750, but even within that region, the popular cities of Burlington and Oakville declined: Burlington homes for sale dropped 4.7 per cent to $726,900, and Oakville homes for sale edged down .72 per cent to $1,050,000.

It’s unclear why the 905 is suffering under the new regulations while the 416 escaped largely unscathed. It could be that prospective buyers are being pushed into more affordable properties, and the 416 has more inexpensive property types, like condos. It could also be a lifestyle choice — perhaps prospective buyers don’t want to face long hours commuting the congesting roads and transit systems of the Greater Toronto Area, and prefer to buy close to work. Either way, it’s certainly worth examining further.

To see the details of January 2019s housing numbers across TREB, check out the infographic below:


Zoocasa.com is a real estate company that combines online search tools and a full-service brokerage to empower Canadians to buy or sell their homes faster, easier and more successfully. Home buyers can browse homes across Canada on the website or the free iOS app.