As the Canadian housing market cools, Toronto maintained its prices, as sellers pulled their homes off the market, to wait for better market conditions. The Toronto Real Estate Board reported there were 4,375 sales through the region last month, a 1.3% decline from a year ago. The average sales price reached $482,648 last month, a 4.3% increase from a year ago. “The January sales figures represent a good start to 2013. While the number of transactions was down slightly compared to last year, the rate of decline was much less than what was experienced in the second half of 2012. This suggests that some buyers, who put their decision to purchase on hold last year due to stricter mortgage lending guidelines, are once again becoming active in the market,” said Ann Hannah, president of TREB, in a statement. “It is interesting to note that sales were up for many home types in the GTA regions surrounding the City of Toronto. This is due, at least in part, to the additional upfront land transfer tax in the City of Toronto.” The Toronto results come as Vancouver continues to suffer. The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver said Monday there were only 1,351 sales in the region in January 2013, the second lowest for the month since 2001 and 18.7% below the 10-year average. “The January sales figures represent a good start to 2013. While the number of transactions was down slightly compared to last year, the rate of decline was much less than what was experienced in the second half of 2012. This suggests that some buyers, who put their decision to purchase on hold last year due to stricter mortgage lending guidelines, are once again becoming active in the market,” said Ann Hannah, president of TREB, in a statement. “It is interesting to note that sales were up for many home types in the GTA regions surrounding the City of Toronto. This is due, at least in part, to the additional upfront land transfer tax in the City of Toronto.” The Vancouver board insists the decline has not led to panic among sellers but rather just a slowdown in activity. Critics suggest the next step in the housing market will be a slashing of prices. In Toronto, realtors remain confident the market will be strong. “There will be enough competition between buyers in the marketplace to prompt continued growth in home prices in 2013. Expect annual average price growth in the 3% to 5% range this year,” said Jason Mercer, senior manager of market analysis with TREB, in the release. The board’s statistics do show there is some upward pressure on supply. New Listings climbed to 10,624 last month, a 10.7% increase from a year ago. Source: http://business.financialpost.com/2013/02/05/toronto-home-prices-jump-even-as-sales-decline/?__lsa=9da3-7538   Financial Post