October 2018 Market Update

Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 7,492 sales through TREB’s MLS® System in October 2018 – a six per cent increase compared to October 2017. On a preliminary seasonally adjusted basis, sales were down by one per cent compared to September 2018.

The average sale price for October 2018 was up 3.5 per cent on a year-over-year basis to $807,340. After preliminary seasonal adjustment, the average selling price was up one per cent compared to September 2018. The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) Composite Benchmark was up by 2.6 per cent compared to October 2017. Price growth continued to be driven be the condominium apartment and higher density low-rise market segments.

“Annual sales growth has been positive since the late spring. While the OSFI stress test and higher borrowing costs have kept sales below 2016’s record pace, many households in the Greater Toronto Area remain upbeat on home ownership as a quality long-term investment. A strong regional economy and steady population growth will continue to support the demand for housing ownership as we move into 2019,” said Mr. Bhaura.

There were 14,431 new Listings entered into TREB’s MLS® System in October 2018 – down 2.7 per cent compared to October 2017. The fact that sales were up and new listings were down year-over-year in October suggests that market conditions became tighter.

“Annual sales growth has outstripped annual growth in new listings for the last five months, underpinning the fact that listings supply remains an issue in the Greater Toronto Area. With municipal elections in the rear view mirror, all levels of government need to concentrate on policies that could remove impediments to a better-supplied housing market, including facilitating the development of a broader array of medium density housing choices,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Director of Market Analysis.

Q3 2018 Condo Market Statistics

The average selling price for condominium apartments reported sold by Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® through TREB’s MLS ® System in the third quarter of 2018 was up by 8.4 per cent year-over-year to $552,269. The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) Apartment Benchmark Price was up by 10.1 per cent year-over-year to $506,300 in September 2018.

The highest average condominium apartment selling price was in the City of Toronto, at $594, 039. This result was up 9.7% compared to Q3 2017. The MLS® HPI Apartment Benchmark Price for the City of Toronto was up by 11.5 per cent year-over-year to $535,600 in September 2018.

“Condominium apartments represent a relatively affordable home ownership option in the Greater Toronto Area, particularly for first-time buyers. Looking forward, strong demand for condo apartments should continue as people move to the GTA to take advantage of quality job opportunities, including those jobs associated with recent investment announcements from well- known tech companies,” said Mr. Bhaura.

Total condominium apartment sales reported through TREB’s MLS® System amounted to 5,781 in Q3 2018 – up two per cent from 5,667 sales reported in Q3 2017. Conversely the number of new listings was down 2.1 per cent on a year-over-year basis. The combination of increasing sales and decreasing new listings year-over-year points to tighter market conditions, supporting the current strong annual rates of price growth.

“Recent survey results from Ipsos revealed that the vast majority of young people in the GTA are concerned about home ownership. Nearly 92% of respondents agreed that the goal of home ownership is becoming more difficult for younger people in the city. With these insights in mind, it makes sense that relatively more affordable home ownership alternatives like condo apartments have been very popular with home buyers over the past year,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Director of Market Analysis.

September 2018 Market Report

Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 6,455 sales through TREB’s MLS® System in September 2018 – up 1.9 per cent compared to September 2017.  The average selling price for September 2018 sales was up by 2.9 per cent over the same period to $796,786.  The MLS® HPI composite benchmark price was up by two per cent year-over-year.

New listings entered into TREB’s MLS® System in September 2018 amounted to 15,920 – down by 3.1 per cent compared to September 2017.  With sales up year-over-year and new listings down, market conditions became tighter.  Many buyers may have found it more difficult to find a home meeting their needs.

“It is healthy to see sales and prices in many areas across the Greater Toronto Area up a bit, compared to last year’s lows.  At the same, however, it is important to remember that TREB’s market area is made up of over 500 communities.  Market conditions have obviously unfolded differently across these communities.  This is why it’s important to work with a REALTOR® who is familiar with local market conditions in your areas of interest,” said Mr. Bhaura.

“While higher borrowing costs and tougher mortgage qualification rules have kept sales levels off the record pace set in 2016, many households remain positive about home ownership as a quality long-term investment. As the GTA population continues to grow, the real challenge in the housing market will be supply rather than demand. The Toronto Real Estate Board is especially concerned with issues affecting housing supply as we move towards municipal elections across the region,” added Mr. Bhaura.

On a monthly basis, after preliminary seasonal adjustment, sales edged up by 0.2 per cent in September 2018 compared to August 2018.  The average selling price, after preliminary seasonal adjustment, edged lower by 0.5 per cent month-over-month.

“Generally speaking, annual rates of price growth have been stronger for higher density home types in 2018, including condominium apartments, townhouses and semi-detached houses.  In many neighbourhoods, these home types provide more affordable home ownership options.  This is why a policy focus on increasing mid-density housing options throughout the GTA is important,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Director of Market Analysis.

August 2018 Market Update

Toronto Real Estate Board President Garry Bhaura announced sales and price increases on a year-over-year basis in August. Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 6,839 sales through TREB’s MLS® System in August 2018 – an 8.5 per cent increase compared to August 2017.

Both the average selling price, at $765,270, and the MLS® Home Price Index Composite Benchmark for August 2018 were up compared to the same month in 2017, by 4.7 per cent and 1.5 per cent respectively. The average selling price increased by more than the MLS® HPI Composite due, at least in part, to a change in the mix of sales compared to last year. Detached home sales were up by double digits on a year-over-year percentage basis – substantially more than many other less-expensive home types.

“It is encouraging to see a continued resurgence in the demand for ownership housing. Many home buyers who had initially moved to the sidelines due to the Ontario Fair Housing Plan and new mortgage lending guidelines have renewed their search for a home and are getting deals done much more so than last year. In a region where the economy remains strong and the population continues to grow, ownership housing remains a solid long-term investment,” said Mr. Bhaura.

Month-over-month sales and price growth also continued in August. On a preliminary seasonally adjusted basis, August 2018 sales were up by two per cent compared to July 2018. The seasonally adjusted August 2018 average selling price was down slightly by 0.2 per cent compared to July 2018, following strong monthly increases in May, June and July.

“Market conditions in the summer of 2018, including this past August, were tighter than what was experienced in the summer of 2017. In August, the annual rate of sales growth outpaced the annual rate of new listings growth. We only have slightly more than two-and-a-half months of inventory in the TREB market area as a whole and less than two months of inventory in the City of Toronto. This means that despite the fact the sales remain off the record highs from 2016 and 2017, many GTA neighbourhoods continue to suffer from a lack of inventory. This could present a problem if demand continues to accelerate over the next year, which is expected,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Director of Market Analysis.

July 2018 Market Update

Toronto Real Estate Board President Garry Bhaura announced strong growth in the number of home sales and the average selling price reported by Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® in July 2018.

“Home sales result in substantial spin-off benefits to the economy, so the positive results over the last two months are encouraging. However, no one will argue that housing supply remains an issue. The new provincial government and candidates for the upcoming municipal elections need to concentrate on policies focused on enhancing the supply of housing and reducing the upfront tax burden represented by land transfer taxes, province-wide and additionally in the City of Toronto,” said Mr. Bhaura.

Residential sales reported through TREB’s MLS® System for July 2018 amounted to 6,961 – up 18.6 per cent compared to July 2017. Over the same period, the average selling price was up by 4.8 per cent to $782,129, including a moderate increase for detached home types. New listings in July 2018 were down by 1.8 per cent year-over-year.

Preliminary seasonal adjustment pointed to strong month-over-month increases of 6.6 per cent and 3.1 per cent respectively for sales and average price. Seasonally adjusted sales were at the highest level for 2018 and the seasonally adjusted average price reached the highest level since May 2017.

The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) Composite Benchmark for July 2018 was down slightly compared to July 2017. However, the annual growth rate looks to be trending toward positive territory in the near future.

“We have certainly experienced an increase in demand for ownership housing so far this summer. It appears that some people who initially moved to the sidelines due to the psychological impact of the Fair Housing Plan and changes to mortgage lending guidelines have re-entered the market. Home buyers in the GTA recognize that ownership housing is a quality long-term investment,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Director of Market Analysis.

June 2018 Market Update

Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 7,834 sales through TREB’s MLS® System in May 2018. This result was down by 22.2 per cent compared to May 2017.

While the number of sales was down year-over-year, the annual rate of decline was less than reported in February, March and April, when sales were down by more than 30 per cent. On a month-over-month basis, seasonally adjusted May sales were basically flat compared to April. Supply of homes available for sale continued to be an issue.

New listings were down by 26.2 per cent. The fact that new listings were down by more than sales in comparison to last year means that competition increased between buyers. Recent polling conducted by Ipsos for TREB suggests that listing intentions are down markedly since the fall. “Home ownership remains a sound long-term investment. Unfortunately, many home buyers are still finding it difficult find a home that meets their needs. In a recent Canadian Centre for Economic Analysis study undertaken for the Toronto Real Estate Board, it was found that many people are over-housed in Ontario, with over five million extra bedrooms.

These people don’t list their homes for sale, because they feel there are no alternative housing types for them to move into. Policy makers need to focus more on the ‘missing middle’ – home types that bridge the gap between detached houses and condominium apartments,” said Mr. Syrianos.

The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) Composite Benchmark was down by 5.4 per cent year-overyear. The average selling price for all home types combined was down by 6.6 per cent to $805,320. On a seasonally adjusted basis, the average selling price was up by 1.1 per cent compared to April 2018. “Market conditions are becoming tighter in the Greater Toronto Area and this will provide support for home prices as we move through the second half of 2018 and into 2019. There are emerging indicators pointing toward increased competition between buyers, which generally leads to stronger price growth.

In the City of Toronto, for example, average selling prices were at or above average listing prices for all major home types in May,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Director of Market Analysis.

May 2018 Market Update

Here’s a summary of the significant real estate milestones for Toronto in May 2018 … influenced in a big way due to the new mortgage stress test requirements, the modest increase in mortgage rates and lower sales of higher-priced luxury homes across the GTA.

  • Lowest May sales since 2002 (7,834)
  • The ratio of sales-to-listings dropped to 37.4% in May – Now in a moderate seller market territory
  • The average sale price came in at $805,320– which was a negative 6.6% compared to May 2017 – Remember last year the new Ontario government rules came into effect on April 20th which really influenced the May market last year
  • Note that this average was still 8.9% higher than 2 years ago in May 2016
  • Overall sales in the month were down 22% from one year ago
  • The GTA real estate market overall averaged the days-on-market at 20 – a more normal level for this time of year
  • Detached home sales in May 2018 with a purchase price over $2,000,000 were down 51% from last year
  • Again, it’s becoming clear that first-time buyer aspirations are now shifting to a condominium lifestyle – CONDO sales took a ‘highest ever’ for May 38.2% of the total market
  • Downtown condo active listing numbers were lower in C01 (by 17%) and up in C08 (by 6%) from last year at this time
  • The downtown condo days-on-market average was 12-16 days – significantly faster than the overall market
  • The ratio of sales-to-listings for condos downtown ranged between 78% in C01 to 71% in C08 indicating an extremely strong seller’s market… double the GTA overall.
  • The average sale price for downtown condominium suites is up by roughly $75,000 from May 2017
  • Building on this higher demand due to better affordability, condo appreciation in the two main downtown markets averaged 10-13% year-over-year
  • Markets in York Region and other 905 neighbourhoods have suffered the most from the market slowdown – York Region is now showing that they’re in ‘buyer market’ territory
  • As inventory increases through the spring, buyers should watch for more opportunities to get the condo or house of their dreams.

As always, please contact me if you have any questions. Thank you.

 

April 2018 Market Update

Toronto Real Estate Board President Tim Syrianos announced that Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 7,792 sales through TREB’s MLS® System in April 2018.

The average selling price was $804,584. On a year-over-year basis, sales were down by 32.1 per cent and the average selling price was down by 12.4 per cent. The year-over-year change in the overall average selling price has been impacted by both changes in market conditions as well as changes in the type and price point of homes being purchased. This is especially clear at the higher end of the market. Detached home sales for $2 million or more accounted for 5.5 per cent of total detached sales in April 2018, versus 10 per cent in April 2017. The MLS® Home Price Index strips out the impact of changes in the mix of home sales from one year to the next.

This is why the MLS® HPI Composite Benchmark was down by only 5.2 per cent year-over-year versus 12.4 per cent for the average price. “While average selling prices have not climbed back to last year’s record peak, April’s price level represents a substantial gain over the past decade. Recent polling conducted for TREB by Ipsos tells us that the great majority of buyers are purchasing a home within which to live. This means these buyers are treating home ownership as a long-term investment. A strong and diverse labour market and continued population growth based on immigration should continue to underpin long-term home price appreciation,” said Mr. Syrianos.

“The comparison of this year’s sales and price figures to last year’s record peak masks the fact that market conditions should support moderate increases in home prices as we move through the second half of the year, particularly for condominium apartments and higher density low-rise home types.

Once we are past the current policy-based volatility, home owners should expect to see the resumption of a moderate and sustained pace of price growth in line with a strong local economy and steady population growth,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Director of Market Analysis.

March 2018 Market Update

Toronto Real Estate Board President Tim Syrianos announced that Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 7,228 residential transactions through TREB’s MLS® System in March 2018.

This result was down by 39.5 per cent compared to a record 11,954 sales reported in March 2017 and down 17.6 per cent relative to average March sales for the previous 10 years. The number of new listings entered into TREB’s MLS® System totaled 14,866 – a 12.4 per cent decrease compared to March 2017 and a three per cent decrease compared to the average for the previous 10 years. “TREB stated in its recent Market Outlook report that Q1 sales would be down from the record pace set in Q1 2017,” said Mr. Syrianos.

“The effects of the Fair Housing Plan, the new OSFImandated stress test and generally higher borrowing costs have prompted some buyers to put their purchasing decision on hold. Home sales are expected to be up relative to 2017 in the second half of this year.” The MLS Home Price Index Composite Benchmark was down by 1.5 percent on a year-over-year basis for the TREB market area as a whole. The overall average selling price was down by 14.3 per cent compared to March 2017.

While the change in market conditions certainly played a role, the dip in the average selling price was also compositional in nature. Detached home sales, which generally represent the highest price points in a given area, declined much more than other home types. In addition, the share of high-end detached homes selling for over $2 million in March 2018 was half of what was reported in March 2017, further impacting the average selling price. “Right now, when we are comparing home prices, we are comparing two starkly different periods of time: last year, when we had less than a month of inventory versus this year with inventory levels ranging between two and three months.

It makes sense that we haven’t seen prices climb back to last year’s peak. However, in the second half of the year, expect to see the annual rate of price growth improve compared to Q1, as sales increase relative to the below-average level of listings,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Director of Market Analysis.

February 2018 Market Update

Toronto Real Estate Board President Tim Syrianos announced that Greater Toronto Area REALTORS® reported 5,175 residential transactions through TREB’s MLS® System in February 2018. This result was down 34.9 percent compared to the record 7,955 sales reported in February 2017.

The number of new listings entered into TREB’s MLS® System totaled 10,520, a 7.3 per cent increase compared to the 9,801 new listings entered in February 2017. However, the level of new listings remained below the average for the month of February for the previous 10 years. “When TREB released its Outlook for 2018, the forecast anticipated a slow start to the year compared to the historically high sales count reported in the winter and early spring of 2017.

Prospective home buyers are still coming to terms with the psychological impact of the Fair Housing Plan, and some have also had to reevaluate their plans due to the new OFSI-mandated mortgage stress test guidelines and generally higher borrowing costs,” said Mr. Syrianos. The MLS® Home Price Index Composite Benchmark was up by 3.2 per cent on a year-over-year basis for the TREB market area as a whole. This growth was driven by the apartment and townhouse market segments, with annual benchmark price increases of 18.8 per cent and 7.5 per cent respectively. Single-family detached and attached benchmark prices were down slightly compared to February 2017.

The overall average selling price for February sales was down 12.4% year-over-year to $767,818. However, putting aside the price spike reported in the first quarter of 2017, it is important to note that February’s average price remained 12 per cent higher than the average reported for February 2016, which represents an annualized increase well above the rate of inflation for the past two years. “As we move further into the spring and summer months, growth in sales and selling prices is expected to pick up relative to last year. Expect stronger price growth to continue in the comparatively more affordable townhouse and condominium apartment segments.

This being said, listings supply will likely remain below average in many neighbourhoods in the GTA, which, over the long-term, could further hamper affordability,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Director of Market Analysis.