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Significant drop reported in Toronto property market

The Toronto Real Estate Board President Maureen O'Neill announced on Wednesday that the first two weeks of February are not shaping up to be positive in terms of sales. A sharp decline has been evident here over past figures.

In the first two weeks of February, the market of Greater Toronto Area saw a decrease of about 14 per cent over the same timeframe and figures from 2007. The figures, 2775 transactions compared to 3240 sales was across the board, though was much more significant in the City of Toronto itself. There, an 18 per cent drop over last February's numbers is surprising. Only 1066 properties sold compared to 1308 last year.

The other parts of the area, which includes some 905 suburbs, saw a decline in sales as well, though not as sharp at 11 per cent over the same timeframe in 2007.

The report comes from a press release issued by the board. Ms. O'Neill had this to say, "It's important to recognize that the mid month report provides an indication of market conditions based on a very brief period." She then continues, "However, we believe the harsh winter weather we've experience in the early part of the month has had a negative impact on both sales and inventory levels. If you can't get buyers out to your open house, then you are less inclined to list. And fewer listings means less appealing product for the potential home buyer. It's a compound effect."

At the same time, many here fear that the US credit crunch will start to affect housing opportunities in Canada. While the good news is that for those with cash to lend to those borrowers unable to secure financing through US means, Canada lenders may be in a better position soon.