November 2021 was not only a strong month for luxury real estate compared to last year but one of the best months for condo sales above $2,000,000 ever. There was a total of 28 sales throughout the city’s downtown neighbourhoods (more…)
The Toronto and area residential resale market continued its torrid pace in November, defying all expectations and forecasts. It wasn’t, however, homogenous in its performance, with different housing types and areas performing at dramatically different levels.
Overall, reported sales for the greater Toronto area were up a scorching 24.3 percent compared to November 2019. Last year, 7,054 residential properties were reported sold. This year that number jumped to 8,761. That number was driven primarily by the sale of ground-level properties, detached, semi-detached, and townhouse homes. Sales of these types of homes increased in both the City of Toronto and the 905 region, and correspondingly, so did average sale prices.
It was no surprise that October’s resale market results continued the record pace that began in June. Reported sales hit a new high in October, with 10,563 residential properties trading hands during the month, a 25 percent increase compared to last year. Not only were sales volume at record levels, but average sale prices also continued their steady upward march. Last October, which was a strong month, 8,445 properties were reported.
We have run out of superlatives to describe the greater Toronto residential resale marketplace. Records have been broken consistently for the last few months, and September was no exception. Two records were shattered in September: most sales ever recorded for the month, and the highest average sale price for all properties reported sold.
July’s residential resale market performance was record breaking. Almost 11,100 properties were reported sold, a 28 percent increase compared to the 8,679 properties sold a month earlier. Compared to July 2019, sales improved by almost 30 percent. There were 8,555 residential properties reported sold last year. July’s numbers are the clearest indication as to the robustness and resilience of the Toronto marketplace, especially when fueled by record-low mortgage interest rates.
By any standards, the residential resale market’s recovery in June was nothing but phenomenal. The lockdown and emergency measures implemented by the Province in mid-March literally brought the market to a standstill. It stayed that way throughout April, but by early May, we could sense recovery. By May the industry, agents, buyers and sellers had adjusted to the rigid in-person showing protocols – masks, gloves, sanitizers, social distancing, and no-touch viewings. Also, by May, the pent up demand, already present before the pandemic, began to push against the restrictions imposed by Covid-19 and sales began to take place.
Until the Ontario Provincial Government declared a state of emergency, the Toronto and area residential resale market was on course to produce one of the strongest, most robust markets on record, including the establishment of a record-breaking monthly average sale price. All that changed around the middle of the month as people began following provincial health authorities directives: stay home, maintain social distancing, no large gatherings, and of course, wash your hands frequently. When many of Ontario’s businesses were ordered closed, the real estate market didn’t stop but stalled dramatically. (more…)
Happily, the Toronto and area residential resale market place delivered August results as anticipated and in a way that ensures that the resale market will remain stable, sustainable and accessible. The only concern is inventory, particularly in the City of Toronto.
Sales volumes were up by over 13 percent compared to August 2018, while the average sale price increased by 3.6 percent, right in line with the increase in wages. In August wages for permanent employees in Canada increased by 3.8 percent year-over-year. Considering that sales volumes are still playing “catch-up” from 2016 and 2017 numbers, a 13 percent increase compared to last year is modest.
In actual numbers 7,711 properties were reported sold in the greater Toronto area. Last year 6,797 were reported sold. The average sale price came in at $792,611 compared to $765,252 for the same period last year. It should be noted that the increase in sales volumes was concentrated in Toronto’s 905 region. Of the 7,711 reported sales 5,158 were primarily located in Halton, Peel, York, and Durham regions. Only 2,553 were City of Toronto properties. This number is almost identical to the 2,550 sales that took place in the City of Toronto last year. As these numbers indicate the City of Toronto made no contribution to the 13 percent increase in sale volumes across the entire marketplace.
The reason for this disparity is two fold. Firstly, the City of Toronto’s average sale price came in at $818,715, at least 5 percent higher than the average sale price achieved in the 905 region. More impactfully is the lack of inventory available to buyers in the City of Toronto.
Condominium apartment sales were practically flat in August (2.2 percent higher than last year). Condominium apartments have not only become pricey —— in the Central core of Toronto where most condominium apartments are located and sell, the average price is approximately $700,000. With mortgage stress testing a buyer of a condominium apartment would need household income substantially higher than $100,000 annually, and if their mortgage financing is high ratio at 10 percent equity, at least a $70,000 deposit. It is these factors that ultimately will keep average sale prices from increasing substantially more than 3 percent year-over-year for sometime to come, even if the Bank of Canada reduces its overnight lending rate, which its wisely refrained from doing at its meeting in early September.
Although condominium apartments are still selling briskly ——- all condominium apartment sales took place in 22 days (the rate in the overall market place was 25 days) and at 100 percent of their asking prices ——- inventory levels are down. Last year there were 2,307 active listing at the end of August. This year only 2,117. The same is true for the overall market. Last year there were 17,864 active listings available to buyers in the greater Toronto area, this year that number has dropped to 15,870, an 11.2 percent decline. This not good news for buyers, even those who have the financial means to comfortably afford Toronto real estate prices, a serious concern going forward.
The high end of the residential resale market also continued its slow recovery. In August 159 properties having a sale price of $2 Million or more were reported sold. Last year 144 were reported sold, an increase of 10 percent, a number that lags the over market place increase of 13.4 percent. As discussed in previous reports the average sale price of luxury properties out-distanced the overall market place in 2016 and early 2017. That sector of the marketplace is still correcting, however that process is now almost complete. In August the sale of detached properties (average sale of $1,246,392) increased by 0.3 percent compared to last year, one of the few year-over-year increases in the City of Toronto over the last few months.
Given some recent economic numbers there is nothing that would indicate that the prevailing resale market place will change throughout the remainder of 2019 and into 2020. As indicated above, wages rose by 3.8 percent in August; 81,100 new jobs were added to the Canadian economy, 23,900 of those being full-time jobs; and the Bank of Canada did not lower interest rates. If the Canadian economy continues to create jobs throughout the balance of 2019, we should make it to year-end with out the Bank of Canada reducing rates. All of this economic activity ensures a stable real estate market going forward, with modest increases in sale volumes and 3 to 3.5 percent increases in average sale prices.
Chris Kapches, LLP, President and CEO, Broker
For the second month, the Toronto and area market place produced double-digit increases compared to the same month last year. In May 9,989 residential properties were reported sold in the greater Toronto area, a stunning 19 percent increase compared to the 8,402 that sold in 2018. The recovery of the Toronto housing market is due to a number of factors. The mortgage stress testing rules introduced in January 2018 appear to have been absorbed by buyers. More resale properties have come to market, although still not enough to create a balanced market. And lastly, interest rates have edged downward, softening the impact of the new mortgage stress testing.
It comes as no surprise that with the increase in the number of sales, average sale prices have also continued their upward momentum, although not as dramatically as the number of reported sales. In May the average sale price came in at $838,540, 3.6 percent stronger than the $809,305 average sale price achieved last year.
In the City of Toronto, average sale prices were even stronger. The average sale price for all properties sold in the City of Toronto came in at $937,804, 12 percent higher than the greater Toronto average sale price. This is a particularly startling number when it is remembered that it includes condominium apartment sales, the bulk of which are located in the City of Toronto. Almost 70 percent of all condominium apartment sales take place in Toronto (416 region). They continue to be the least expensive housing form available to buyers, although “least expensive” is becoming a relative term.
The increase in the average sale price was driven by an increase in the number of expensive homes that sold in May. This month 293 properties having a sale price of $2 Million or more were reported sold. That compares favourably with the 243 that were sold in 2018, a 20 percent increase. Over the past two years, higher-end sales have been relatively dormant.
In May 19,386 new property listings came to market, an almost identical number to the 19,237 that came to market last year. Unfortunately, the new listings that came to market were insufficient to effectively increase the supply. At the end of May, there were 20,017 properties available to buyers in the greater Toronto area, almost 5 percent less than were available at the same time last year. As the resale market moved into June there were 2.5 months of inventory in the 905 and only 2 months of inventory in the City of Toronto.
Not only did more properties sell in May with rising prices, but all sales took place at lightning speed. All properties sold (on average) in only 19 days. Depending on the type of property and location, the speed of sales was even faster. For example, semi-detached properties in Toronto’s central core sold in only 14 days. In Toronto’s eastern districts they sold in only 10 days, at 106 and 109 percent over the asking price, respectively. Generally, it took much longer for properties to sell in the 905 region, ranging from 25 days in the Halton region to 36 days in Simcoe County. Sale in the York region took 27 days.
In May 2,542 condominium apartments were reported sold, almost 70 percent of them were located in the City of Toronto. The average sale price for all condominium apartments sold was $648,891. In Toronto’s central core, where 63 percent of all reported sales were located, the average sale price came in at an eye-popping $718,455. What may be even more startling is that all these condominium apartments sold in only 17 days and at 100 percent of their asking prices.
Notwithstanding that condominium apartments are now becoming quite pricey, the supply still remains insufficient to meet demand. At the beginning of June there were only 2,568 condominium apartments available to buyers, more or less the same number as were available last year when the average sale price was $40,000 less than it is this year. To qualify for an average priced condominium apartment in Toronto’s central core now requires a household income of substantially more than $100,000 annually and a 10 percent down payment of more than $70,000.
Looking ahead to June we can anticipate that sales will probably decline from May’s torrid pace to a more moderate 9000 sales, with the average sale price increasing moderately by about 3 percent. Price increases in this modest range are exactly what the Toronto resale market needs in order to remain sustainable.
Chris Kapches, LLB, President and CEO, Broker
Chestnut Park Real Estate
April’s housing market results clearly demonstrated that the Toronto and area resale market is strong and robust. As indicated in previous monthly reports, any sluggish behaviour by the resale market was due to a lack of inventory, and not to a decline in buyer demand.
In April, for the first time in several months, the number of new listings coming to market exceeded expectations. No doubt improved weather conditions were a major factor. In April 2017, 205 new properties came to market, 8 percent more than the 15,933 that came to market in April last year. For the first time in many months, buyers had a choice that had previously been unavailable to them. Notwithstanding this increase in new listings, by month-end, the total number of active listings available to buyers was only 18, 037 properties, still 1 percent less than the 18,206 available last year. The explanation? Absorption.
April saw Toronto and area realtors posting 9,042 sales, a dramatic 17 percent increase compared to the 7,744 properties that were reported sold last year. It is obvious that buyers were waiting for more properties to become available. They did, however, have to act extremely quickly.
In April all properties sold (on average) in only 19 days, an astounding number when it is considered that this number represents the sale of all properties in the greater Toronto area, including condominium apartments. In some neighbourhoods, the pace of sales was even faster. For example, all semi-detached properties in the neighbourhoods of Riverdale, Leslieville and the Beaches sold in only 8 days, a pace not seen since the frenzied period leading up to April 2017. In fact, all semi-detached properties throughout the entire 416 area of Toronto sold in only 10 days, and for average sale prices of 107 percent over asking.
Condominium apartment sales were just as resilient. All condominium apartment sales in the City of Toronto took place in only 17 days and for average sale prices of 100 percent of the asking price. This was also true in Toronto’s central districts were more than 60 percent of all Toronto condominium apartment sales are recorded. What is a troubling about these results is that for the first time the average sale price in the central core exceeded $700,000. The once affordable alternative housing is now becoming quite pricey in Toronto.
With sales happening at these speeds throughout the greater Toronto area, it is not surprising that the average sale price also increased In April. The greater Toronto average sale price came in at $820,148, almost 2 percent higher than last April’s average sale price of $804, 926. In the City of Toronto, the average sale price was even higher, coming in at $904,000, once again a number similar to the one that caused the provincial government to implement various measures to try to cool the resale market, including the implementation of 15 percent foreign buyer’s tax. It should be added that that number includes condominium apartment sales, which account for 50 percent of all reported sales. If condominium apartments are removed for this calculation the average sale price for detached and semi-detached property sales in the City of Toronto comes in at $1,193,000.
In April we saw some improvement in the number of higher-end sales. April saw 250 reported sales having a sale price of $2 Million or more. This compares favourably with the 233 that were reported sold last year, a 7 percent increase. These numbers were one of the first increases recorded in this price-point in some time. Although most of these sales were represented by detached properties, it is worth noting that almost 10 percent of the sales reported in this price-point were condominium apartments. Only 8 of these $2 Million or more reported sales were semi-detached properties.
It is clear from April’s data that the resale market has recovered in the City of Toronto but continues to lag in the 905 regions of the greater Toronto area. In the 905 regions sales took place at a slower pace, and average sale prices are substantially lower. As indicated earlier, the average sale price for all properties sold in the City of Toronto came in at $904,000, including condominium apartments. In the 905 region, the average sale price was only $820,000, almost 10 percent lower. Similarly, all sales in the City of Toronto took place in only 17 days and at 101 percent of asking prices. In the 905 regions sales took 19 days and at only 99 percent of asking prices. As April came to an end the 905 regions had 2.6 months of inventory, whereas the City of Toronto was reduced to only 2 months of inventory.
The looming concern in all this good news is affordability. It is exciting and invigorating to see how resilient the greater Toronto area resale housing market is, however with average sale prices approaching $1 Million in Toronto and $820,000 in the 905 regions, buying a property in the greater Toronto area may soon be beyond the reach of most first-time buyers.
Chris Kapches, LLB, President and CEO, Broker
Chestnut Park Real Estate