Hope for first-time homebuyers as searing Toronto market cools

First-time Toronto homebuyers may find themselves with more options this month as the housing market finally swings in their favour.

GTA sales dropped 50% in first half of June compared to same time last year: report

Shashank Gandhi is a 25-year-old engineer with a good job. He's been living with his parents in hopes of one day owning a home. (Martin Trainor/CBC)

First-time Toronto homebuyers may find themselves with more options this month as the searing housing market cools and finally swings in their favour.

New numbers from the Toronto Real Estate Board suggest housing sales in the Greater Toronto Area dropped by 50 per cent in the first two weeks of June compared to the same period last year.

That drop in sales was greatest for detached houses, followed by other low-rise homes.

That has some, like Shashank Gandhi eager to start hunting for options.

'I think it can happen'

Gandhi, 25, is an engineer who lives with his parents in Markham to save money in the hope of one day owning a home. In the fall, he'd all but given up on the hope of finding something affordable.

"I think that reality is closer now than it was before. I think the market's kind of stabilized. I think people are probably trying to sell their condos now too so I think it can happen," he told CBC Toronto. 

Dan Cooper, a team leader of the Dan Cooper Group with Royal LePage, says he's found the market has changed dramatically over the last two months.

"The spring was a very interesting market. It was so easy. You list a property, you get your eight offers, it sells for $150,000 over the ask and Bob's your uncle," he says.

Dan Cooper, a team leader of the Dan Cooper Group with Royal LePage, says he's found the market has changed dramatically over the last two months. (Craig Chivers, CBC)

The only problem with that marketplace was a lack of inventory, he adds. Now his biggest problem is finding qualified buyers.

Outside Toronto proper, he says, there's an even more dramatic change.

In Oakville and Burlington, for example, there are about four times as many listings as there are actual sales.

That's unlike in the city centre, where the concentration of condos being sold is still high, the TREB report says. 

'The ultimate buyer's market'

"What was a seller's market is the ultimate buyer's market right now," says Cooper. "This whole multiple bids situation that we had in the spring is completely over."

That's good news for Gandhi, who says his big dream is to move downtown.

"I'd say I'd wait about a year before I make any decision just to see if it does go down anymore," he says.

"Maybe there's more apartments and condos popping up on the market."

But he says he wouldn't wait too long.

That's wise, according to Cooper. He expects that the housing market may warm back up within about six months time.