Skip to content

WHAT'S AHEAD: Real estate prices may bottom out when mortgage rates drop

“With fewer than 950 sales for the whole year, (2023) was the slowest year for real estate sales since 1997,” said Darcy Toombs of Toombs Team Real Estate Group in Newmarket
Real estate sign sold Newmarket

Since the start of 2023, single family homes in the GTA, in which Newmarket resides, have risen from $1.268 million to more than $1.3 million.

This year, the average price of a single family home in the GTA peaked in June at $1.402 million, but has since dropped each month to $1.347 million as of October.

Similarly, apartment prices in the GTA have risen in 2023 with the average cost being $698,300 in January and have risen to $713,500 as of October. But, apartments did dip as low as $682,000 in March and peaked at $728,400 in September. 

It was much of the same with townhouses in the GTA throughout the year with the average cost being $797,400 in January, peaking at $856,300 in September, and dipping to $843,300 in October. 

Darcy Toombs, team leader/broker with Toombs Team Real Estate Group, said that the market went through a big shift in 2023 in Newmarket specifically. 

“With fewer than 950 sales for the whole year, it was the slowest year for real estate sales since 1997,” Toombs said. “Which is pretty astonishing considering how much the town has grown since then.”

Toombs said that the high cost of ownership, both entry to the market for first-time buyers, and the cost to carry larger debt for existing homeowners meant a lot of would-be buyers have put things on hold.

"Inventory was short at the beginning of the year, with active inventory hovering around 100 for all housing types, which helped keep prices elevated,” he said.

However, Toombs said that active inventory between September and November saw a large increase in homes for sale, which helped push prices down.  

“We have seen a large number of properties withdrawn from the market for the holidays, but I do foresee a large upswing in inventory in the new year,” he said.

Toombs is predicting that prices will retreat further into 2024, especially as there will be more and more people feeling the pinch of mortgage renewals in the coming months. 

“Rates are expected to come down in the second half of 2024, which will likely be when we see prices bottom out,” he said.

Newmarket resident and local real estate broker Wasim Jarrah, who is director for central Ontario realtors with the Ontario Real Estate Association, estimates that the market will drop another 20 per cent in the next few months.

“I think we know that interest rates will be going down, given that we predict housing prices will go down, then Canadians who need to buy will find an optimal opportunity if they’re financially planning for it,” he said.

Jarrah said there’s talk right now that interest rates will start coming down mid to end of next year and those who don’t need to buy right now will just wait it out.

On a year-to-date basis in Ontario, home sales totalled 153,979 units over the first 11 months of the year. This was a substantial decline of 12.9 per cent from the same period in 2022, according to the Ontario Real Estate Association. 

Shaun Cathcart, Canadian Real Estate Association senior economist, said while it was clear from about August that a lot of buyers were probably going to head back to the sidelines until at least next spring, a surprising number of sellers chose to try their luck this fall. 

“Not getting offers they were willing to accept, it’s looking like many of them are also now resigned to hunker down until next year,” he said. “It’s probably a good move given that recent expectations around interest rate cuts suggest it might be a somewhat more active spring market than we thought.”

Reader Feedback

Rob Paul

About the Author: Rob Paul

Rob Paul is a journalist with NewmarketToday. He has a passion for sports and community feature stories
Read more