The Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) says the “psychological” effects of the province’s fair housing strategy contributed to an 18 per cent dip in home sales last year.
In a report recapping the 2017 sales year released Tuesday, TREB said the provincial plan to improve housing affordability spiked what had been a record-setting first quarter of 2017.
The Ontario Fair Housing Plan (FHP) was announced in the spring, and included new measures such as a 15 per cent tax on foreign buyers, actions to increase the housing supply and rent controls.
TREB statistics show a decline in sales over the second and third quarters, but the board’s analysts say actual policy changes were not the primary factor.
“I think really what you’re seeing is more of a psychological impact; households taking a step back, seeing where they sort of stood relative to the new legislation,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s director of market analysis.
TREB found that sales rebounded toward the end of the year, suggesting a “waning” effect of the FHP.
By year’s end, 92,395 homes changed hands, down from more than 113,000 transactions in 2016.